Stories

Stories and pictures about our travels, our photography and the outdoors.

 

Lighten up. You light up my life. Light on the water. Night Light.

Coquille River lighthouse, Bandon, Oregon

Coquille River lighthouse, Bandon, Oregon

Tybee Island, Georgia

We are confused what to call this story. We enjoy looking at and photographing lighthouses – they come in all varieties, sizes, and heights, with each colored in a unique paint scheme used by mariners to pinpoint their position along nearly indistinguishable shorelines.  Their light provides a winking shaft of reassuring security through the shrouding fog or gloomy darkness.  The technology is pretty amazing for basically being little changed since the 19th century.

Fort Niagara New York

A Fresnel lens allows a beam of light from a puny little halogen lightbulb to be seen 25 miles out to sea at Cape Blanco in Oregon. Other lights being closer to the surface of the water can't be seen so far away.

Halogen bulbs inside the Cape Blanco lighthouse Fresnel lens. Yes that is the ocean in the background.

Halogen bulbs inside the Cape Blanco lighthouse Fresnel lens. Yes that is the ocean in the background.

Think what it must have been like before GPS; you are at sea, the engine is sounding a little rough,  it is dark (inside the closet in the basement kind of dark), the seas are picking up , the wind is increasing, and then you see the flash of light sweeping the horizon. You count the seconds, look at your chart and you know you are near Cape Hatteras - the graveyard of the Atlantic. (Gulp!)

Maybe it isn’t always a welcome sight.

Cape Hatteras light

So maybe the attraction is just the story. Maybe the symbolism of the light is what attracts so many landlubbers to this nautical aid? Or maybe just because they are built in cool places where the water meets the land. They may be mostly an anachronism but we think they are pretty interesting anyway.

Detail of the edge of the Fresnel lens of the Cape Blanco, Oregon light.