Visit New England Lighthouses
Byline: Karen Leslie
Lighthouses are both beacons of warning and welcome. We’ve a long history of exploring the waters by boat. At some point, we must make our way back to the land. Lighthouses are set upon a mound of rocks, a high point on land along the coastline, on flat sandy shores, a harbor opening, or near a reef and have shown us the way home since ancient times. BNT will be visiting some of the most beautiful New England lighthouses in 2018, including the “Bar Harbor and Atlantic Coast Lighthouses” tour.
Would you believe the first lighthouses to guide sailors were active volcanoes? And, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was a lighthouse constructed in Egypt around 280 B.C., rising to the height of a 45-story skyscraper with an open fire atop! Oh, to be the keeper of that flame.
A Few Lighthouses BNT Has Visited In The Past
As lighthouses evolved from open flame to what we use today—a tower with a bright light—they still function as the ancient ones: to serve as a navigational aid and to warn boats of dangerous places where open water and coastline converge.
Not all lighthouses look alike, in fact, apart from being somewhat round in shape and having a light on top, each is unique to the waters and land it serves. Where the land is flat, the lighthouses are tall; and where the land is high and rocky, the lighthouses tend to be short and squat. Lighthouses can be conical, square, octagonal, cylindrical, or even shaped like a skeleton! Lighthouses can stand alone or have “keeper’s” quarters attached or beneath them.
In 1822, the “Fresnel Lens,” (pronounced “Frey Nel”), replaced the open fire and old lighting system. The Fresnel Lens is “made of hundreds of pieces of beautiful, specially cut glass,” intensifies the light, and allows “an unlimited number of flashing combinations.” It’s basically a big, beautiful prism splitting the light in many ways!
Country Living Magazine named Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine’s oldest lighthouse built in 1791, and Cape Neddick Lighthouse to their “31 of the Most Beautiful Lighthouses in America” list. BNT includes both of these lighthouses in their upcoming “Bar Harbor and Atlantic Coast Lighthouses” tour scheduled for July 2018. You’ll also get a bonus lighthouse with Owls Head on this tour. On our “Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard” tour, we’ll visit Eastham Windmill and offer a Whale Watching cruise where you can spot more lighthouses by boat, just like a sailor. We’ll visit The Portland Head Lighthouse on our “Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island Deluxe” tour, one of the most photographed of all lighthouses. We hope you’ll allow us to “take you there!”
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Psalm 43:3 ESV
Secure your seat today!
Bar Harbor and Atlantic Coast Lighthouses
Lighthouses we’ll visit:
Cape Neddick Lighthouse: 41-foot high lighthouse first illuminated in 1879
Owls Head Lighthouse: built in 1825
Portland Head Light: ”The Most Photographed Lighthouse”
Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard
Lighthouses we’ll visit:
Eastham Windmill: a Cape Cod Lighthouse
Whale Watching optional tour: boat trip to spot whales, birds, fish and lighthouses!
Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island Deluxe
Lighthouse we’ll visit:
The Portland Head Lighthouse: one of the most photographed of all lighthouses
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Photo credit: Copyright: sarawinter / 123RF Stock Photo