There’s something about the California Coast. The 199 down from Oregon deposits you in Crescent City, CA. A Breakwater hems in one side of Crescent Beach. After perusing the working harbor (full of fishing boats) and a couple guest tall ships in the marina, I made way to Battery Point to visit the sweet little Battery Point Lighthouse.
It was windy. The waves were active and impressive, swamping over the massive jetty which you see in the video below though in person it was much more impressive.
The tide was low, however, and the narrow isthmus one walks across to the lighthouse was free and clear.
I’ve visited this pretty little lighthouse before. I missed the last tour of the day. The woman exiting the building shared her excitement at the frantic waves. Apparently, it’s been a quiet winter without much big- wave-watching.
This was one of the first lighthouses on the California coast. In 1855 Congress appropriated $15,000 for its construction. The fourth-order Fresnel Lens was replaced by an automated, modern light in 1953. Despite most of the town being destroyed, the lighthouse survived the massive tsunami from the 1964 AK earthquake. Eventually, a flashing light at the end of a breakwater replaced the lighthouse’s beam. In 1982 the lighthouse was switched back on, managed as a “private aid” to navigation. This means, I believe, that it a group of volunteers and people that stay for periods of time maintain the light as it is on navigational charts and must be reliably lit.
Interesting bits and pieces:
Someday I’d like to be a volunteer lighthouse keeper.
Tours are available to the public, tide-permitting, daily from April to September. The last time I was there I had a wonderful docent who lived and breathed the history of the area and the lighthouse. They will take visitors up into the tower. I highly recommend this spot.