Category Archives: Cruises

Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Thanksgiving


Recently, Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, approved the National Park Service’s recommendation to transfer ownership of Whaleback Lighthouse to the American Lighthouse Foundation, the key New England volunteer organization responsible for saving and preserving twenty Lighthouse Treasures.

The 50-foot high granite Lighthouse actively guards the entrance to the Piscataqua River and marks the approach to Portsmouth Harbor. Both the Beacon and Fog Signal will be maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The historic Lighthouse structure will be restored and preserved by the teamwork of the American Lighthouse Foundation and their local chapter, the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

We are thankful that another New England Treasure has been saved and this distinctive coastal icon will be preserved for everyone to visit someday in the near future.

*Lighthouse Background:
For historic, Lighthouse Cruises, and travel information about Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.

*Map Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Whaleback Ledge Light

Related Past Posts:

Related News Source:
Whaleback Lighthouse Receives New Keepers, November 18, 2008

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Gansett Lighthouse Cruises Fall Schedule 2008

blognewport.jpg Gansett Cruises has scheduled 8 narrated Historic Lighthouse Cruises for Coastweeks, the Celebration of Rhode Island Coast.

View Rose Island Light, Newport Harbor Light, Lime Rock Light, Castle Hill Light, and Beavertail Lighthouse from the M/V Gansett for a 90-minute cruise of Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay.

“A Lighthouse cruise is the perfect way to relax and view the stalwart Lighthouses along the scenic Rhode Island coastline.” – Debbie Dolphin

The Lighthouse Cruise costs $20 and departs from Bowen’s Wharf on the following dates:
Sun. Sept 21 12:30 PM
Sat. Sept 27 5:30 PM
Sun. Sept 28 12:30 PM
Fri. Oct. 3 10:30 AM
Fri. Oct. 10 10:30 AM
Sat. Oct. 11 10:30 AM
Sun Oct. 12 2:30 PM

Reservations are recommended. For more information, please call (401) 787-4438 or visit the Gansett Cruises web site.

For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Long Wharf

Note: This is NOT a scrapped post. Gansett Lighthouse Cruises sends me a eMail every year asking me to publish their fall schedule. For the benefit of my readers, I provided another free advertising service to Gansett Lighthouse Cruises.

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National Lighthouse Day 2008 Events

Photo credit: Debbie Dolphin ©2008..
Graves Lighthouse, Boston Harbor

Notable New England Lighthouse events for the week before National Lighthouse Day:

Sunday, July 27, 2008 ~
Plum Island Light
Open House, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m
Google Map Directions

Sunday, July 27, 2008 ~ Nubble Light‘s Christmas in July, 8:00-9:00 p.m.
Google Map Directions

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 ~ Chatham Lighthouse Open House, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Google Map Directions

Thursday, July 31, 2008 ~ New England Lighthouse Tours: Lighthouses of Portsmouth, NH & Portland, Maine tour, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Thursday, July 31, 2008 ~ Nobska Lighthouse Open House, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Google Map Directions

Friday, August 1, 2008 ~ New England Lighthouse Tours: Seacoast Lights and Portsmouth Harbor by Land & Sea, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Google Map Directions

Local New England Lighthouse events scheduled for the week of National Lighthouse Day:

Saturday, August 2, 2008 ~ Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse Open House, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 ~ Chatham Lighthouse Open House, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Google Map Directions

National Lighthouse Day Events ~ Thursday, August 7, 2008

1. New England Lighthouse Tours: Haunted Lighthouses tour from Portsmouth, NH, 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Google Map Directions

2. Nobska Lighthouse Open House, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Google Map Directions

3. Narragansett Bay Lighthouse Cruise Wickford, RI, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Google Map Directions

Friday, August 8, 2008 ~ New England Lighthouse Tours: Seacoast Lights and Portsmouth Harbor by Land & Sea, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Google Map Directions

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ “Lights Across the Border” International Lighthouse Challenge, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse Open House, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Nobska Lighthouse Open House, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Google Map Directions

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ North Shore Lighthouse Cruise hosted by the Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Save the Bay Ultimate Lighthouse Tour Narragansett Bay, RI, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Notable Lighthouse Day events outside New England:

Saturday, August 2, 2008 ~ Pirate Heaven and Costume Contest at Old Baldy Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Saturday, August 2, 2008 ~ Reduced tour rates ($5) at Fire Island Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Thursday, August 07, 2008 ~ National Lighthouse Day at Cape May Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

Thursday, August 07, 2008 ~ National Lighthouse Day at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Google Map Directions

For other National Lighthouse Day events outside of New England, search Google for the Lighthouse web-site that manages and/or maintains the Lighthouse to see if any holiday events are scheduled.

Holiday Background

Since August 7, 1989, National Lighthouse Day has been celebrated and where feasible Lighthouse grounds are open to the public. August 7, 1989 was the 200th anniversary of the federal Lighthouse Act that gave Congress authority over the nation’s Lighthouse. On April 28, 1988, Senator John H. Chafee from Rhode Island sponsored a joint resolution to designate August 7 as National Lighthouse Day which President Ronald Reagan signed as Public Law No. 100-622 on November 5, 1988.

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Message in a Bottle at Seguin Island Lighthouse

Somewhere in a far far away galaxy of infinite Meme Magnitude, Kimberly “Arthouis” Barker from Blogsylvania just east of Oz, has Meme’d me to paint a Message in a Bottle Beach message for Mimi’s Wet & Wild Meme Marathon.


seguinisland.jpg You may find my spirit or my LOST bottle floating around Seguin Island Lighthouse where sea rumors speak of a Mimi-like ghost who plays the piano as mermaids entice lost mariners offshore (1)!

For a Map Location of the Lighthouse and my LOST bottle, please visit the Google Map of Seguin Island Lighthouse

Someday, you may see my LOST bottle floating in the ocean of Mimi’s Wet & Wild Bottle Blogosphere! Anyone can participate in the Message in a Bottle Meme including everyone in my Blogroll. Instructions and the blank bottle image are posted at the Message in a Bottle links listed above.


(1) According to Lighthouse Legend, the ghost of a Light-keeper’s wife plays the same ghostly tune on her phantom piano which can be heard on the Kennebec River during foggy nights. In 1850, a Lighthouse Keeper bought his lonely bored depressed wife a piano to brighten her mood on the isolated island. Unfortunately, his newlywed wife played the same song over and over again for hours until her husband was driven insane. After destroying the piano, the Light-keeper murdered his wife with an axe and committed suicide. Perhaps, her husband was hearing “The Honeymoon was the Killer” tune?

According to folklore, Seguin Island Light Station is also haunted by the first Light-keeper who died penniless on the island. The ghost of Light-keeper John Polereczky, called the “Old Captain,” is seen climbing the staircase of the tower to tend the light.

After the Lighthouse was automated, William O. Thomson reported that the “Old Captain” ghost told the moving crew, “Don’t take the furniture. Please leave my home alone!” The boat loaded with the Keeper’s furniture mysteriously or coincidentally sank on the following day!

In the nearby haunted legends of Maine, John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem about a phantom ship that passes by Seguin Island Lighthouse. To read his poem, please visit “The Dead Ship of Harpswell,” 1866.

Lighthouse Background:

In 1795, President George Washington authorized the first offshore Lighthouse to mark Seguin Island and help navigation approaching the Kennebec River or the Sheepscot River.

On March 29, 1796, Major John Polereczky was appointed Light-keeper of the new 30-feet high wood Lighthouse. The Light exhibited a Fixed White Light illuminated by 6 oil lamps and reflectors 165-feet above sea level.

The current 53-foot high stone Lighthouse was built in 1857 and fitted with a First-order Fresnel Lens for the safety of shipping. Seguin Island Lighthouse is currently an Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation exhibiting a Fixed White Light illuminated by a First-order Fresnel Lens 180-feet above sea level to a visible range of 18 nautical miles.

On November 15, 1985, the Coast Guard de-manned and decommissioned the Light. A Coast Guard crew was ready to remove the 9-foot high Fresnel lens until Pat Moffatt, a Lobsterman, told the crew they needed an act of Congress. Thankfully, the Fresnel gem valued at $8 million, is still the eye of this ghostly Lighthouse Treasure!

The Friends of Seguin Island, Inc. was established in 1986 and the Preservation group received a 10 year lease from the Coast Guard on April 11, 1989. The Coast Guard transferred Seguin Island Light Station to the group under he Maine Lights Program in February 1998.

Since 1990, summer Caretakers have maintained the buildings and property, and greet visitors from Memorial Day through Labor Day. In 1993, Susie Wren established a museum which opened on August 31, 1993.

Seguin Island Lighthouse is best seen by boat or visiting the island. A distant view of the Lighthouse from Popham Beach requires binoculars. For Lighthouse Lovers into Lighthouse Lore and Piano Playing Ghost Hunters, Lighthouses cruises are provided by the Maine Maritime Museum and Long Reach Cruises.

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map location, please visit the Google Map of Seguin Island Lighthouse

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Minot’s Ledge I Love You Lighthouse, 143

minotsledge Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse winks and blinks “I Love You” to Lighthouse Lovers on Valentine’s Day and everyday! Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse is one of the most romantic Lighthouses in our country.

The distinctive Light Characteristic of Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse uses a 1-4-3 flashing sequence which is the same numerical count as the words “I love you.” Romantic Lighthouse Lovers on the shore of Minot Beach soon nicknamed the granite Lighthouse, the “Lover’s Light” or the “I Love You Light.”

Five months after the second Lighthouse was first lit on Nov 15, 1860, Fitz James O’Brien’s “Minot’s Ledge” poem was published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine.

On Aug 25, 1871, Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of his visit to Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse:

“…we find ourselves at the base of the lighthouse rising sheer out of the sea like a huge stone cannon, mouth upward. We are hoisted up forty feet in a chair, some of us; others go up by an iron ladder… The lighthouse rises out of the sea like a beautiful stone cannon, mouth upward, belching forth only friendly fires.” – Final Memorials of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1887

In 1901, Helen Keller romanticized her passing Minot’s Ledge Light on her way to Boston Harbor:
“…the colors warmed and deepened as we watched the beautiful, gold-tinted clouds peacefully take possession of the sky. Then came the sun, gathering the mist into silvery bands with which he wreathed the islands that lifted their heads out of the purple sea as it passed.

A mighty tide of life and joy followed in its track. The ocean awoke, ships and boats of every description sprang from the waves as if by magic; and as we sighted Minot’s Ledge Light, a great six-masted schooner with snowy sails passed us like a beautiful winged spirit, bound for some unknown haven beyond the bar.

How delightful it was to see Minot’s Ledge in the morning light. There one expects to see the ocean lashed into fury by the splendid resistance of the rocks; but as we passed the ‘light’ seemed to rise out of the tranquil water, like Venus from her morning bath. It seemed so near, I thought I could touch it; but I am rather glad I did not; for perhaps the lovely illusion would have been destroyed had I examined it more closely.” – Helen Keller

Ironically, the 1-4-3 numerical flash pattern was randomly selected after Lt. Frederick Mahan, U.S.N., a member of the Lighthouse Board, recommended all Lighthouses have a numerical flash sequence in 1890. Due to the high costs of these special lenses, only two Fresnel lenses were made and displayed at the Chicago Worlds Fair of 1893.

Cape Charles Light Station, located on Smith Island, Virginia, was First Lit on August 15, 1895 exhibiting 9 Flashes every 30 seconds using a 4-5 pattern (four quick flashes followed by a dark interval of three seconds, then five more flashes followed by sixteen seconds of darkness) illuminated by a First-order Fresnel lens.

Minot’s Ledge Light, located on Minot’s Ledge, a 25-foot-wide rock ledge that is part of the Cohasset Rocks located approximately one mile offshore from the town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, was refitted with Second-order Fresnel lens and re-lighted on May 1, 1894 exhibiting 8 Flashes every 45 seconds using a 1-4-3 pattern (one quick flash followed by a dark interval of five seconds, four flashes, and three flashes followed by 15.5 seconds of darkness).

According to Lighthouse Lore, Minot’s Ledge Light is haunted by two assistant Light-keepers, Joseph Wilson and Joseph Antoine, who lost their lives when the first iron-pile Lighthouse was destroyed by a severe storm on April 17, 1851. Several Light-keepers of the new dovetailed granite Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse reported seeing the two supernatural phantom Light-keepers in the Lantern Room in the middle of the night and the images of the two drowned keepers would appear in the doorway when they looked at the reflection of the tower in the water on calm sunny days. The ringing of a phantom bell and knocks were frequently heard at night.

Lighthouse Legend also claims the local fishermen and Light-keepers can hear the phantom of Joseph Antoine cry “Stay Away” in his native tongue of Portuguese and they also claim to see him clinging to ladder of the Tower. Perhaps the most bizarre legend was the mysterious polishing of the Fresnel lens and the mysterious cleaning of the windows of the Lantern Room before the human assistant Light-keepers could clean them!

Since spectral visions are a highly subjective surreal experience, please click on the photo of this post for more information about the human history of this Lighthouse, travel tips, and Lighthouse Cruises.

For a Map Location of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse

icon_heart Hopefully, you will not receive chocolates from a Secret Spectral Sweetheart!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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