Saturday, December 29, 2012

St. Augustine Lighthouse (Sat. Dec. 22nd) and Mikey's (Sun. Dec. 23rd)

It is Saturday, December 29th as I write this.  On the morning of last Saturday, the 22nd I was still in St. Augustine Florida.  I went to the lighthouse there before leaving for Michael's in South Carolina at noon.

At the entrance to the tower:

The tower and entrance (onetime fuel storage building):

A nice shot from outside the gift shop:

The lightkeeper's house:

Inside the base of the tower (their Christmas tree is set up on top of what was once the "weight well" for the clockwork's weights):

It says that the weight, similar to those in a grandfather clock, was about 270 lbs.  I have told visitors to Fire Island Lighthouse that I estimated the weights that used to be in our lighthouse weighed somewhere between 200 and 300 lbs.  Not a bad guess, eh?

They had at least four of these 'fuel buckets' at various places in the tower and keeper's house.  Tho many Fire Island lighthouse visitors ask me how the fuel - back in the days when the light was a lantern - was brought to the top of the tower, we don't have any of these buckets to show them.  It'd be nice if we could "borrow" one of their four, wouldn't it?

Their spiral, looking upward.  Nice that they have several wide landings along the way, and that some of the landings even have benches, so that you can take a rest if you want to.

I swear that some of the broken glass in our Fresnel Lens looks like it could have been broken by gunshots.  St. Augustine's definitely was.  This is one of the lenses that was broken by "a vandal" according to the newspaper article.  The bullets - 4 of them - were retrieved and are in the lower left corner of the display.  No mention of whether or not the perpetrator was ever caught.

The story of Smoky, the lightkeeper's daughter's cat.  Seems his son did an experiment. . . .  Made a parachute out of bedsheets and sent Smoky down from the tower top one day.  Smoky survived, but went missing in the nearby woods for a full month after his flight.  Understandable. . . .

At the top.  John, the vol on duty there, took this shot as we chatted:

Looking east:

I thought this was interesting in the lightkeeper's house.  The lightkeeper had a portable bookcase.  It is a narrow trunk - just the right width for books.

And on last Sunday, the 23rd, I was at son Michael's in Lexington, South Carolina.  Here's some photos of his backyard 'boatyard.'

On his van:

Car, van, 4 trailers, one raft, a lot of kayaks and "Freedom Hawk" kayaks. . .

 Mikey tonight tells me that one more boat was picked up by him from a fella in Duluth, Georgia who sold it to him just yesterday and it now sits atop the trailer in foreground.  He plans to buy an outboard motor for the new boat soon, too.

The existing raft, on its trailer:

Millie, namesake of the millstream near where Mikey found her last year:
She was beaten up and had a few battlescars for a kitten of only a few weeks' age.  She has recovered very well and is now fully in control of Mikey. . . .  but not of Max!
If you want to see how Mikey captured her, check this out:
Don't worry, he didn't use a hook in the lure and the action took place on a rarely-used 'service road' near the river.

One more photo of the kayaks and trailers, from back part of the backyard.  The Freedom Hawk kayaks are on the left.  They have 'outriggers' that flip outward when you are positioned where you want to be on the river, and a 'lean bar' that you can stand up next-to so that you can fish standing-up in midstream!

This has been a long posting.  I didn't think of that when I started.  But since it is a snowy night here in New York, I've hunkered down and decided to catch up on the blog while I've had the time.  Been back here at home now for 2 days.  Snow and cold weather seem so unreal based on my trip of this past 5 and a half weeks!

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