25 August 2010

Time out, photos worth a thousand words, and the sea

Everyone needs some time out, a little bit of freedom, relaxation and some 'me' time...This was such a week and at the suggestion of a good friend I joined her on a little sight seeing trip. The promise of a view of the ocean from our room sandy beaches, a beautiful harbour and relaxation...

When she mentioned the possibility to visit the tallest lighthouse in the State I started packing!
In fact at 107' tall and situated at 123' above sea level this was my first visit to a lighthouse.

And now for 135 steps to the top...
Truly we skipped that part but the lighthouse keeper was a great source of local information so we felt we did not miss anything.
The one thing we made sure we would not allow ourselves to forgo seeing was the Fresnel lens, made in France and shipped to the US in the mid-19th Century in molasses! The latter we understood to prevent the lenses to be damaged during transport.

And what a wonderful sight! These lens consisted of concentric rings of glasses prisms, in fact 1,176 prisms and 24 bull's eyes. This particular type of lens will project a beam to a distance of 26 miles.
As a signal to ships at sea, the eight foot high, two tons lens rotated completely every four minutes on its four ton pedestal and produced a white flash seen every ten seconds.

On the 31st of December 1891 the lighthouse was illuminated for the first time and remained in action until 1968!

Whilst the lenses rotated we noticed shadows on the far wall and I was very glad my little camera produced a good photo!

And so we came home with lots of souvenirs, a bit of sand in our sandals and content...We saw the sun rise and set on the ocean, we heard the foghorns in the distance...

As a teenager I remember wishing to live in a lighthouse or on a barge...I have now visited a lighthouse and I also remember the many barges on the canal behind my house...Oh the dreams...Until the next time!

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