Monday, September 28, 2009

Nubble Light on a Blustery Day

I shot this video of the Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse yesterday. It was extremely windy and the seas were churned up. The Nubble is always beautiful, regardless of the conditions.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Arts & Crafts Fair for Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse on Dec. 6

Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse will be holding a Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair on Sunday, December 6, from 9 to 3, at the Casey Function Center, 1950 Lafayette Road (Route 1) in Portsmouth, NH. You're invited to take part!

Are you an artist or photographer, or do you create some kind of craft items? If you have arts/crafts items you'd like to sell, we'd love to have you as a vendor for this event. The cost for a table will be $20, and a minimum of 25% of all proceeds must be donated to Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

If you're an artist or photographer, we encourage you to have plenty of low-cost items like small prints and note cards. If you bring larger paintings or photographic prints, they'll need to be kept to a small number and you'll need to bring easels, etc., to display them.

If you're interested in having a table, please email and describe what kind of merchandise you'll be selling. This event will be combined with Casey's usual Sunday flea market, which is generally very well attended during the Christmas season. We'll also be publicizing it in the local media and online.

This is a chance to help us in our mission to preserve our lighthouses, and to have fun and make some money at the same time.

We hope to hear from you soon -- space is limited!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More on Whaleback

You can see galleries of photos of Whaleback Lighthouse from two site visits on pages posted by architect Deane Rykerson:

Whaleback Aug. 09

Whaleback Sept. 09

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hurricane Damage at Mount Desert Rock

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Mount Desert Rock Lighthouse with some faculty and students from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. The light station is more than 20 miles from the nearest port on Mount Desert Island; it's nothing more than a stark pile of granite out in the ocean. When I was there, I felt like I was on another planet.

The light station was leased to the College of the Atlantic back in the late 1970s, after the light was automated and the Coast Guard removed its keepers. Under the Maine Lights Program coordinated by the Island Institute of Rockland, Mount Desert Rock Light, along with Great Duck Island Light, became the property of the College of the Atlantic in 1998. The college's Allied Whale program compiles and maintains catalogs for the North Atlantic populations of finback and humpback whales.

Mount Desert Rock suffered badly from the effects of Hurricane Bill in August 2009. The boathouse was mostly destroyed, and two walls of the generator shed were swept away. There was also water damage inside the keeper's house. This is a major setback for the College of the Atlantic's programs on the island. As Andrew Peterson, marine facilities superintendent for the college, aptly put it, "When it comes down to it, the ocean always wins."

You can read much more detail about the damage on this Facebook page.

If you would like to find out more about how you can help the whale research effort at Mount Desert Rock, please call Allied Whale at 207-288-5644.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Trip to Whaleback

Time is running out before the rough seas of fall and winter will make it difficult and dangerous to access Whaleback Lighthouse, located on a rocky ledge off Kittery, Maine, at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. Today, six of us visited the lighthouse -- Deane Rykerson, architect; Sara Wermiel, historic preservation consultant; John Wathne, president of Structures North Consulting Engineers, Inc.; Ivan Myjer, masonry consultant; William Marshall, board of directors member of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse; and me, in my role as operations manager of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. We were taken out to the ledge by Neil Odams of Captain & Patty's Cruises of Kittery Point, and we transfered to a rubber inflatable boat to land at the ledge.

Above, paddling to the lighthouse. Photo by William Marshall.

Deane Rykerson is principal of Rykerson Architecture of Kittery Point, Maine. He has been involved in building, environment, and design for more than 30 years. With the help of the other consultants, he is heading up the Historic Structure Report of Whaleback Lighthouse that will serve as a blueprint for the restoration of the 1872 lighthouse, which is now owned by the American Lighthouse Foundation and its local chapter, Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. With the guidance of the report, we will be prioritizing and pricing out the various aspects of restoration in the coming years.

Landing at the ledge:

A compilation of quick video clips from today's visit:


L to R: Deane Rykerson, John Wathne, Sara Wermiel, Ivan Myjer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Whaleback Lighthouse at dusk

Took this photo last night during our weekly cruise with Neil Odams of Captain & Patty's Cruises of Kittery, Maine. See for more on these cruises.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

American Lighthouse Foundation Interpretive Center

Earlier this summer, the American Lighthouse Foundation moved its headquarters to new digs at 464 Main Street in downtown Rockland, Maine. The new space includes interpretive exhibits and plenty of gifts for sale.

I finally made my first visit yesterday, and I'm tremendously impressed by all that's already been accomplished in the new space. If you're in Midcoast Maine, check it out!

Left: Bob Trapani, executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, and Ann-Marie Trapani, associate director.

Exhibits in the new space tell the story of the lighthouses maintained by the chapters of the American Lighthouse Foundation. Visit for more information.