Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cape Hatteras Light House

(My last vacation blog, best if read in reverse order that they are listed in)

The Cape Hatteras Light House was built in 1803. The Cape Hatteras light marked very dangerous shoals which extend from the cape for a distance of 10 nautical miles .The original tower was built of dark sandstone and retained its natural color. The original light consisted of 18 lamps; with 14-inch reflectors, and was 112 feet above sea level. It was visible in clear weather for a distance of 18 miles.

A new light house was built in 1871, costing $167,000.

Due to erosion of the shore, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse was moved (by Expert House Movers) from its original location at the edge of the ocean to safer ground 2,870 feet inland. The move was controversial at the time with speculation that the structure would not survive the move, resulting in lawsuits that were later dismissed. Despite some opposition, work progressed and the move was completed between 1999 and 2000 in a massive operation. Rededicated in 2000, the lighthouse is fully open to the public at its new location further inland.


Construction material: Approximately 1,250,000 bricks
Height above sea level: 210 feet (64 m)
Height of the structure: about 207½ feet (63.2 m) (from the bottom of the foundation footer to the top of the spire on the roof)
Daymark: black and white spiral stripes
Number of steps: 268 steps to reach the light
Brightness: 800 kilocandelas from each of two 1000-watt lamps
Flash pattern: Every 7.5 seconds a short flash is visible
Visibility: From 20 nautical miles (37 km) in clear conditions. In exceptional conditions, it has been seen from 51 miles (94 km) out

For those not very familiar with light houses, a couple of things you may not know. Every light house is different by color/design, and each one has a different light pattern.

Below, the Cape Hatteras Light House.

My nieces & nephews sitting on the steps of the light house. It is open to the public to climb, but we were there after hours.

My parents in front of the light house. To take the next few pictures, I was lying on the ground to get the whole light house in the picture. My sisters took pictures of me, so I was able to see I looked as silly as I felt. One picture showed everyone standing around me, giving the appearance that something had happened to me - and no, I won't be posting those pictures. :-)

Paul, Pam, and the boys in front of the light house. The shot that they were looking at me had Steve's hand and camera in the corner.

Steve, Vicki, and their girls.