Villa Venezia

Back home in VV.

Great trip to Abacos and meet some fantastic people.

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See you all again next time when Salsera has some more adventures.

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Trip Home

The trip home was enjoyable, a little choppy to start, but afterwards comfortable and fast, up until the Gulf Stream, where the wind was just marginally out of favor, but still just fine.

Trip took 26hrs, and made even more enjoyable when these fellas decided to join us for dinner.

We had several double strikes, lost a few and took on more. And stil have fish in the freezer.

Last Evening

We met up with Martin and Sally from “Down Island”, for dinner that evening.

And we finished off over at Salsera for a Dark and Stormy, before saying our goodbyes. It was great to meet such a lovely couple on there first cruising adventure and we hope to see them again in the future.

Lighthouse

We also visited the lighthouse, and enjoyed the fantastic vistas.

It was built to keep vessels from grounding on the treacherous shoals of Elbow Reef and so it was christened the Elbow Reef Lightstation. When it was first built, the lighthouse showed a fixed light, that is, one that did not flash but shone a steady white light.

By 1936, the Imperial Lighthouse Service saw the need for a light which could be more easily identified by ships at sea. Thus the Elbow Reef Lighthouse was given a major refit, using the lens turning mechanism which had been at the gain Cay Lighthouse.  The fixed light was replaced by a rotating first-order Frensel lens (pronounced “Frenel”) with a unique character described on the nautical charts as,”GP FL W (5) EV 15 SEC 120FT 15M”. That translates to; a group of five white flashes every fifteen seconds, 120 feet above sea level with a visibility of fifteen miles.

We also saw it in action that evening.

The lens end and turning equipment in this Lighthouse, made in the early 1900s by Chance Brothers of Birmingham, England, is still in place today, working beautifully.  The lighting source is a 325,000 candlepower “Hood” petroleum vapor burner.  A hand pump is used to pressurize the petroleum (kerosene) which is in the heavy green iron containers below the lantern room.

The fuel travels up a tube to a vapourizer within the burner which sprays into a preheated mantle. Pressurized camping lanterns operate similarly.

The beautiful Frensel lens with its five “bull’s-eyes” concentrate the mantles light into piercing beams which shine straight out towards the horizon, instead of up and down and all around, as in a camp lantern.

The entire lens with its brass work, bull’s-eye lenses and additional prisms weighs about three to four tons and floats ina circular tub containing about 1200 pounds of mercury or “quicksilver”. This reduces the friction, which would otherwise be caused by wheels or rollers.

weights on long cables, when wound up to the top of the tower by hand winch, are able to, through a series of bronze gears, rotate the heavy apparatus, once every 15 seconds.  It works like a gigantic grandfather clock, and the keeper on duty has to wind up the weights every two hours.

This 19th century system operates totally without electrify and runs very smoothly.

Thanks to the dedicated keeper, the Elbow Reef Lighthouse continues to shine exactly as it has every night for almost 80 years.

In 1953, the Imperial Lighthouse Service determined that the cracks caused by lightening to the brick tower were threatening its integrity and anoth major rebuilding process began.  Engineers from England’s Trinity House poured concentric rings of concrete in steps around the previously smooth tapered brick tower, making it noticeably wider. The brick tower is 89 feet high and there are 101 steps to the lateen house.