‘This is the biggest storm I’ve seen’ – Lighthouse worker’s video goes viral (Ireland)
Paul Barron enjoyed a somewhat different view of Storm Barra. Mr Barron, an electronic engineer with Irish Lights, is currently out on the Fastnet Lighthouse off Cape Clear along with work colleagues Ronnie O’Driscoll, Dave Purdy and Malcolm Gillies. “We came out last Friday for maintenance work,” he explained this afternoon, “and we were supposed to be coming home on Tuesday but then everything was called off due to Storm Barra. Hopefully, the chopper will be back out to us on Thursday.”
So what is it like to be on a lighthouse, 54 metres above the sea, in the midst of a weather bomb? As scary as you can imagine. “We are looking out at about 9 metre swells with winds gusting up to 90 knots with an average speed of 70-80 knots,” the Cahir native explained. That equates to about 110 miles an hour.
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Hook Lighthouse (Ireland) arrow tradition to return on New Year’s Day
The time honoured tradition of the New Year’s Day `”arrow ceremony” at Hook Head Lighthouse — which goes back to 1687 — will go ahead this year, if not in its usual format due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions. Every year archers join An Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal District to fire arrows into the estuary, claiming dominion over the waters.
The ancient tradition dates back to 1687 when the Mayor and the corporation of New Ross Town Council claimed their authority over the Tower and its waters by traveling to the point of the Hook and shooting an arrow into the sea.
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Pontchartrain Conservancy (LA) to host 8th Annual Lights on the Lake
On Saturday, December 11, Pontchartrain Conservancy is hosting its 8th annual Lights on the Lake holiday celebration – a family-friendly, holiday event providing the best view of the annual West End Boat Parade. Hosted at the New Canal Lighthouse (8001 Lakeshore Drive), the event runs from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with the parade scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Dozens of local boat owners will decorate their vessels with wreaths, lights and holiday decorations and assemble at the New Canal Lighthouse before proceeding along Lakeshore Drive to Canal Boulevard and back, up and down the New Basin Canal, along Breakwater Drive and through the harbor. Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the elves with light displays will lead the parade.
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Beavertail Lighthouse (RI) open this weekend
The Beavertail Lighthouse Museum in Jamestown, Rhode Island, will host open houses from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 11- 12. Proceeds benefit the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association.
Visitors will be able to learn about the historical lighthouse, and holiday shoppers can choose from the gift shop’s selection of souvenirs with Beavertail logos and themes. These include coffee mugs, hats, books, DVDs, ornaments, T-shirts, sea-glass jewelry, coloring books and postcards.
Read more on the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association website
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Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in southern Western Australia undergoes first major restoration in 120 years
The 126-year-old Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, often the first or last sighting of Australia for sailors on southern shipping routes, is being renovated and restored. Australian’s tallest mainland lighthouse was constructed from local limestone in 1895 at the most south-westerly point of the continent.
From September 2021 until April 2022, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority will oversee the contracted upgrade works, with a vast scaffold network currently engulfing the historic 39 metre structure.
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Christmas craft fair and family events at Souter Lighthouse (England)
Souter Lighthouse is holding a host of Christmas events on Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12. The National Trust property’s popular Christmas craft fair is back, which organizers say offers visitors a more relaxed way of shopping. Entry is free and visitors can browse locally handmade crafts, gifts, cards and jewelry.
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150-year-old Blacksod Lighthouse (Ireland) to open to visitors over Christmas
The management committee of Blacksod Lighthouse, Comharchumann Forbartha Ionad Deirbhile, have announced that Blacksod Lighthouse is open for winter tours for the period November 2021 to February 2022.
Private tours are available in the off season while regular tours will run over the Christmas and New Year period. Blacksod Lighthouse on the southern tip of the Mullet Peninsula opened its doors to the public this summer for the first time in its 150 year history.
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Bell Rock lighthouse shining bright again off Angus coast (Scotland)
The light of the Bell Rock is burning bright again off the Angus coast.
Around three weeks after a fault plunged the famous lighthouse into darkness, engineers have completed a temporary fix. And they managed to get the job done just before Storm Barra swept in. But they will be back when the weather improves to make a permanent repair to the generator issue that caused the blackout.
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A very Christmassy Cape Mendocino Lighthouse, California
On Saturday, December 4 about 4 p.m., residents of the coastal town of Shelter Cove gathered for the first ever Shelter Cove Community Lighthouse and Tree Lighting event at Mal Coombs Park. Community members decorated a tree (several ornaments had a sand and sea theme) to go with the beautifully lit Christmas Lighthouse.
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Victorian Holiday at Heceta Head Lighthouse BnB (OR)
One of the Oregon coast’s most treasured holiday features returns: Heceta Lighthouse B&B’s Victorian Christmas. It happens at the little home by the sea December 11 – 12 and December 18 – 19 from 4 to 7 pm.
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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research.
If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to Jeremy D’Entremont at Jeremy@uslhs.org
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org