Lighthouses of Brazil

A friend of mine from the Coast Guard, Abe VanOeveren, now retired, loves to travel to Brazil. Knowing I was running this site he asked if I wanted photos of the lighthouses he comes across in his travels. My answer was a definite YES!

So, below are photos sent to me by Abe. I am appending his comments as he wrote them as I myself know nothing about the lighthouses, so I will leave it to my expert. He says:

Hi John, Last email you mentioned lights in pictures. I’m not sure if you have a place on your website for pictures of lights from other parts of the world. In my travels in Brazil I’m always on the lookout for lights big and small and sometimes it is surprising what shows up. They are not all grand structures like estevan or Father Point flying buttresses but there are some beauties on the Brazilian coast . . .I’ll send some pictures of lights in Brazil, but the files are big (3mb) and take forever to upload (also to download). Abe

 

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– photo © A. VanOeveren

 

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– photo © A. VanOeveren

This one is in Manaus; Brazil, on the shore of the Amazon river. It is attached to the Alfandega (customs house), and generally off limits to the public. I had to ask for permission to go into the walled compound to get close to it. Light probably has been shrouded for years, so its  hard to tell what kind of lens is inside. Continue reading

Reprint – In the Sanctuary of the White Bear

In the Sanctuary of the White Bear   Green Living   The Ecologist

A rare white ‘spirit bear’ in the BC temperate rainforest. Photo: Ian McAllister / pacificwild.org.

[su_quote cite=”To many who live here, this singular being is an emblem of the sacredness of the rain coast and its vulnerability. “][/su_quote]

In the sanctuary of the White Bear by Canadian Poet Lorna Crozier

17th November 2013

 

Poet Lorna Crozier vists the Great Bear Rainforest in BC, Canada and finds a fragile paradise imbued with myth, meaning and magic for local indigenous peoples.

The big grizzly is perched on the other side of the river bank, so near he can hear the rain on my jacket. He raises his blunt head and courses the air. Stares at me and sniffs.

Above the stench of rotting salmon, my smell has been drawn into a grizzly’s nostrils, through the nasal passages inside his long snout. Part of me now lives inside the mind of an omnivorous animal whose Latin name ends with horribilis.

The bear is here for the salmon, who have returned to the rivers of their birth to spawn and die. We’re here for the bears.

Photographer/filmmaker Ian McAllister has joined my husband Patrick and me on our first morning to help introduce us to his home turf, the Great Bear Rainforest, a tract of land that follows B.C.’s coastline from the tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska Panhandle. He and his wife Karen run the Pacific Wild conservation group to protect this astonishing piece of wildness that they’ve known intimately for over twenty years.

The largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, the traditional territory of the Kitasoo / Xai’xais First Nation, this region is only two short flights from Vancouver. But we are as far from a city, as far from ordinary life, as you can get. . . . more

This essay originally appeared in Toque & Canoe, and in Counterpunch.

Mise Tales Twenty-Eight

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

The Lovely Bones   IMDb

The Lovely Bones   IMDb2

Has anyone seen the movie released in 2009 entitled The Lovely Bones? It features a fictitious lighthouse marking the entrance way to heaven in a thoroughly entertaining film.

“Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from purgatory. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.” – IMDb

There is one strange thing about this lighthouse – the light in the lantern revolves counter-clockwise (CCW)! This is most unusual and there are only a few lighthouses in the world that revolve CCW, the majority revolving clockwise (CW).

A couple I found were in Australia. Does anyone know the whys and wherefores of CW vs CCW rotation of the lamp? I think this deserves further investigation and maybe a future article. Thanks for any help you can contribute. Continue reading

Reprint – Are We Nearly Where Yet?

 

From the Condé Nast Traveller October 2012 by Tony Cross

Are we nearly where yet?

If your eyesight isn’t quite what it was, you may need a hand spotting this luxury lighthouse that is set to become a cult destination for lovers of the Northern Lights. You can see the red roof and white walls just peeking out from the top of the right side of the island, but without some serious navigating skills you may still have trouble finding it altogether.

No roads lead to the Littleisland Lighthouse at Litløya, Vesterålen, Nordland, Norway, and that extended address may still not be enough to get you there. Accessible only by boat, a more useful location may be it’s co-ordinates – (+68° 35′ 37.91″, +14° 18′ 34.89″) – which will take you 130 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

Guests arriving from the airport at Narvik or Evenes (accessible via Oslo from the UK) travel by bus to the small fishing community of Vinje, where they will be met by lighthouse staff and provided appropriate clothing for the short but exciting trip by boat to the island.

But for many, the real beauty of staying at Littleisland Lighthouse is what can be seen at night during the winter months…

The 2012/13 “season” for viewing the aurora borealis is predicted to be the most spectacular for 50 years, according to NASA who make the prediction based on reports of solar wind activity around the sun. This means that from now until March, skies such as those pictured above should be reasonably commonplace for visitors to this remote part of Norway, just northwest of the scenic Lofoten Islands. At night, guests will be kept warm with blankets, hot beverages and a sweet treat while they enjoy the view.

The lighthouse, built in 1912, is celebrating its centennial year, and owner Elena Hansteensen believes it offers the right mix of boutique luxury and complete isolation. Elena and her staff provide locally-sourced healthy meals, which is fortunate because there isn’t any other food available on the island unless you’re a dab hand at fishing.

Inside, the lighthouse offers two double rooms, a cosy library and dining area – all with spectacular views of the sea and sky. But the island has one or two more treats in store for those brave enough to visit…

When day breaks you can explore the island’s Stone Age settlements, which were established some 6,000 years ago, or visit the remains of its 19th century fishing village, as well as spot orcas and other species of whale off the island’s coast.

Exploration can be done alone or with one of the lighthouse staff as a guide. Alternative activities include fishing, or simply relaxing at the lighthouse with their resident Norwegian forest cats Sirius and Sara. The lighthouse itself is still very much in use, its LED light powered by solar panels and flashing every 10th of a second to sailors passing the rocky coast.

Those in fear of the weather will be relieved to hear that Littleisland is blessed with a surprisingly mild climate. While you should probably forget your swimsuit, thanks to the Gulf Stream average winter day temperatures are above freezing, and snowfall is light and fleeting.

Rooms at Littleisland Lighthouse are available from 1 November 2012 to 1 April 2013. Maximum four persons in two double rooms. Stays available for two or three nights, arrivals recommended on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Two nights costs £310 per person, three nights £420 per person (subject to exchange rates), and includes boat transfers to and from Littleisland, all meals, and a guided tour of the lighthouse. Norwegian Air offers return flights from Oslo to Evenes from around £150. Find out more about Littleisland here.

By Tony Cross

I Could Not Have Said It Better!

UN-CRUISE Blog

Five Finger Lighthouse

October 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM by Alyson

By Alison, Expedition Guide, Wilderness Discoverer

 Throughout the season, our boat passed the Five Finger Lighthouse in Frederick Sound. The story about the great fire of 1933 and the lighthouse refit was shared by guides, but upon reflection, we never covered what this lighthouse symbolized for those that used the structure.

 

 

Five Finger Lighthouse in Frederick Sound

This particular lighthouse was a home to the keepers, a guiding light for passing boats, a place to find companionship whilst reuniting with friends or visiting neighbors, and a trading post to deliver and purchase supplies, and now is a whale research station. The only dwelling that stayed constant for those on the seas, living on fox farms, or prospecting for gold was the familiar beacons on treacherous cliffs, which could be why, when we think of lighthouses, the first word that comes to mind is hope.

As the Wilderness Discoverer traveled down the waterways of SE Alaska, British Columbia, and the islands of the Pacific Northwest, the sighting of lighthouses spurred heartfelt conversations. The structure, the light, sea stories and shipwrecks, and those histories similar to Five Finger Lighthouse may have conjured up emotions of moving toward home. Observing lighthouses along the shore gives a feeling of solace and may have acted as a symbol of hope for warmth, love, safety, security, direction, and a lifeline to the outside world.

Read more about the Five Finger Lighthouse: 5fingerlighthouse.com

Visiting the BC Coast Lighthouses

Do you want to visit some of British Columbia lighthouses? A lot of them are isolated, but there are a few that tourists can easily see. Some of these are manned; some are automated.

One of the best websites for finding the location of the  lighthouses is Ron Ammundsen’s Lighthouses of British Columbia website. On the opening page he has maps of manned/staffed and unmanned lighthouses and their locations. This will show you what is available, and where they are located. To find photos and information on the chosen lighthouses check out Google.

 

One of the main items you will require is a place to stay. When flying to British Columbia via International Airlines (from another country) your point of entry would be Vancouver International Airport (YVR). From there you have a variety of ways to accommodate yourself – from hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, camp site, hostel, inn, resort, etc. Select from the list on the Hello BC website. Enter your dates, town, and preference, and select a place to stay. Really easy website to find your way around.

The next thing after a room for the night, is a place to eat. Canada is well-known for its diversity in the culinary arts, and British Columbia is no exception. The easiest way is to introduce you to a special webpage called Dining, again from Hello BC. This is an interactive menu connected to a BC map. Pick what type of food you want, where you want to eat, and wait for the results. It is well organized and easy to use.

The choice is amazing! Your selection may be saved as a PDF file for reference. Pick your town, pick your food and grab a cab to good dining. The nice thing is you can look on the map to see if a location is near your place of residence for any place in BC. The map (left) shows the 538 results from just selecting West Coast. Each red flag is a city with multiple locations in each. Each result will give you location, telephone number and website if available. A very comprehensive help page.

Fisgard Lighthouse

Before you come you should decide where you want to go, and what lighthouses you want to see. Most of the available lighthouses will be seen in and around the cities of Vancouver, and Victoria, BC. Others are visible from the ferries, and up and down Vancouver Island. On the Hello BC website on the Things To Do page there are no exact listings for lighthouses but if you type lighthouse in the search box (upper right) you will get a page of lighthouse listings, things lighthouse, resorts near lighthouses, etc. With the map from the website on Lighthouses of British Columbia you can then sort out where you want to go and which lighthouse you may wish to visit..

If you want to get off the beaten track, you can fly into many places or take ferries, hike in, or even rent a local water taxi or fish boat. The opportunities are unlimited depending on your time and finances. On the Hello BC webpage is also a section on Transportation and Maps listing many services available in BC.

Take your time, talk to other tourists, and if you have any questions, maybe I or other readers can help you out. They don’t call it Beautiful BC for nothing. Enjoy!

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To help you enjoy the coast more, it might be helpful to read up on a few of the things you might find at the shoreline. A great website for this is Vic High Marine. Check out the information on all things you might stumble across, or see on your trip.

Any more good advice out there? Please send it on and I will post it.

Mise Tales Thirteen

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

 

More Lighthouse Wallpaper (Photos)

There are some beautiful scenes here to light up your computer Desktop. All are free to download in small to x-large sizes.

 

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Lighthouse Watch add-on for Firefox browser. A unique hand-drawn lighthouse scene for the Firefox browser, plus a desktop wallpaper as well. You must log-in to your Firefox Add-ons account to install and store it on your computer.

 

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Reprint – Finders Keepers

Finders keepers
Published: 31/07/2012 with permission from the Aberdeen Press and Journal

Earlier this month, we revealed that the Northern Lighthouse Board was selling off three lighthouses near Stonehaven, Lossiemouth and Thurso, with price tags ranging from £75,000 to £270,000 – along with a foghorn at Girdleness, in Aberdeen.
All the buildings, once a beacon for sailors and fishermen, would be ideal for those willing to spend some time and money creating an unusual home.

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, on the other hand, is ready to move in to. The keepers’ accommodation, at the foot of the tower, has been run as a successful home and holiday accommodation for years.

This B-listed home sits in a stunning location, on the cliff edge at Melvaig, around 12 miles from Gairloch on the west coast – officially named as the happiest place in the UK last week – and overlooking the Isle of Skye to the south-west, Harris to the west and Lewis to the north.
It is for sale at offers over £325,000.
Building of the lighthouse was started by David Stevenson, one of the famous family of lighthouse engineers, in 1910. Two years later, it was helping steer boats safely through the seas. Continue reading

Moving Day 1970s

Crates awaiting lowering to the ship - photo Glenn Borgens

One of the problems with moving to another lighthouse was that everything had to be crated and or well-packed to withstand the dangers of the transportation and handling by ship and/or helicopter. It also had to survive unexpected falls and/or water damage, both fresh and salt.

When my wife Karen and I first moved on the lighthouses we had no material for crating so we had to get professionals from a moving company to do the work for us. They did a very good job but were very expensive.

When we got the bill we did not have the money to pay for it, so we told the man we would leave half the furnishings there in the warehouse and get them shipped out next month when we got paid. He was having nothing of that and eventually dropped the price to something we could afford. Continue reading

Illness at Boat Bluff Lighthouse 1970s

The following memory was passed on to me by Margit Losel. It happened during their time at Boat Bluff in the years 1977 – 1980. They were lucky! They were able to get off and on the lighthouse. Some stations were too isolated for this method to work. – retlkpr

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Boat Bluff c.1970s - photo Ray McKenzie

We were living on Boat Bluff Light and my oldest son Simon was an infant. He developed a very bad case of Croup. One stormy night he all but stopped breathing and we tried frantically to get some help.

We finally managed to get a radio patch through Bull Harbour Coast Guard Radio with a doctor in Bella Bella. The radio reception was so poor that the connection with the doctor broke up all the time, but we did understand that Simon needed medical attention as soon as possible.