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front and rear range

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Postby jjeff1155 » Fri May 06, 2005 9:17 am


How does a front and rear range lighthouse work? :?:
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Postby Hersh » Fri May 06, 2005 10:30 am


Basically Jeff, they are used as an aiming point for boats entering a harbor or river.

They place a front range light in one spot, and a rear range light behind it, sometimes a long way behind it, and higher. They are placed so that when the boat approaches, they line the two lights up and that means they're on a safe course into the waterway. You can think of it like runway lights at an airport, the pilot has to use the lights to line up a straight approach so he can stay on concrete.

Range lights can be anything from a plastic lantern on a metal pole to a full house with a lantern room with just a single window or a regular lantern (not lantern room, I don't want to get back into that semantic argument).

The range lights also often have reflective daymark panels with vertical lines that help in aligning the two lights more precisely in the daytime.

I'm sure there will be a more verbose and detailed description posted as well, but this is the ten cent version, hope it helps. Here are a couple photos to show just a small sampling of the many variations that are out there.



Image

This shows the End of the Road range lights in Christmas, MI. The rear light is probably half to 3/4 of a mile behind the front, barely visible in this photo.


Image

This is the rear light by itself, as you can see it's quite a large structure.


Image

This is a more standard looking range light, which has been placed at the New Presque Isle light on Lake Huron for display. Just a light on a post, but a crucial aid to navigation.


Image

And this is the rear range light from Presque Isle, note the lantern room on top with just one front facing window for the light. Since it only needed to be visible in one direction, a full lantern room was not required.

There are many, many more examples of these and I'm sure others will post some of their photos as well. Good question Jeff, and welcome.
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Postby Grover1 » Fri May 06, 2005 11:04 am


Jeff ...

Here's a strange front range light in its latest incarnation. It marks one of the shipping channels in Sandy Hook Bay ...

<img src="http://img56.exs.cx/img56/7397/SHOOK0381.jpg" width=400>

As this light is pointing to the right, the rear light is a mile, maybe a mile and a half to the left and up a considerable hill. What you are seeing is the Conover Beach Beacon ... the rear light would be the Chappel Hill Lighthouse ...

This is a someones picture of it as it was. It is now a private residence.

<img src="http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/WEBLIGHTHOUSES/ChapelHillRear.JPG">

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Postby island » Fri May 06, 2005 11:25 am


The front and rear lights are spaced some distance apart and with the rear light higher than the front. The front light might be for example a flashing light and the rear light a steady light such that front can be distinguished from the rear.

At a distance when the two lights are lined up with the rear light showing directly over the front you would be properly lined up to proceed into the channel. You would continue on through on a heading at which the lights would continue to be in alignment. If the rear light is to the right of the front then you would be too far to the left side of the channel or if the rear light is to the left you would be too far to the right.

When entering a channel from the ocean the range lights are in front of you. When proceeding towards the ocean the lights would be directly behind you but serve equally well.

The attached web site navigation chart shows the Kennebec River Range Lights.
http://mapserver.maptech.com/homepage/index.cfm?lat=43.88119208531819&lon=-69.79570711414955&scale=40000&zoom=50&type=0&icon=0&searchscope=dom&
The rear light is marked Iso 33ft (this is a continuous on/off flashing light) and the front light is Q 18ft (a rapid flashing light). The range that is identified by these lights runs directly north/south. If you note on this chart the range line is positioned where the deepest water exists in this part of the river.
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Postby jjeff1155 » Fri May 06, 2005 1:07 pm


Thanks guys very helpful !!!
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Postby LeadingLight » Sat May 07, 2005 9:02 am


The combination of front and rear lighthouses is known as leading lights, and that is exactly what gave its name to our magazine. In the first issue I explained how it works, and since the first issue is on our website as a sample, the explanation of leading lights can be downloaded there. Click on the link below my name, or download directly the pdf file here: http://www.leadinglights.info/Samples/LLsample_page15-16.pdf
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Postby island » Sat May 07, 2005 11:13 am


This web site contains description and demonstration of leading lights, both combination range lights and single light with sectors.
http://www.sailtrain.co.uk/Buoyage/lead ... _marks.htm
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sat May 07, 2005 3:03 pm


Mike, it is interesting that you referred to the range you showed above near Christmas, Michigan, as the “End Of The Road” range.

Since they were established in 1868, when the original structures were identical to those at the Presque Isle, Copper Harbor and Eagle Harbor among others, they were referred to as the Grand Island Harbor Range by the USLHE, USLHS and USCG. The USCG continued to refer to them under the same name until 1969, when they began referring to the Rear Range as the Christmas Light and the front range as the Bay Furnace Light. In fact, they are still listed as such in the 2005 Great Lakes Light List, as you will see from the following:

Image

The first place that I ever saw them referred to as the End of the Road Range was in the Penrose’s “Traveler’s guide to 116 Michigan Lighthouses” in 1992. Since that time I have seen them referred to by this name in a number of other publications. Thus, while the name appears to have “legs,” I cannot see that it has any basis in history.

This misnaming supports my post in the “lantern semantics” thread, in which I stated:

I believe that if we are not precise in the terms we use in our writing we may end up contributing inadvertently to the loss of an important part of the very history we are trying so carefully and lovingly to preserve.


Mike, I believe we know each other well enough that you will not take offense at my pointing out this terminology shift, as absolutely no offense is intended.

I am merely pointing out that what appears to be inaccurate research and terminology used in one book has proven to have legs, and if unchecked, could eventually lead to the correct name of this range being lost to history.

If anyone has any idea where the name “End Of The Road” range may have originated, I would be very interested to learn of it. One possibility, as yet unsubstantiated, is that these lights were originally erected at the end of a road out of Munising, and they were thus known by that name to locals.
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Postby Hersh » Mon May 09, 2005 9:33 pm


It was indeed the Penrose book where I saw the "end of the road" name. And I believe that's the only place I've seen it. I have heard of them as the Christmas range lights, and the Bay Furnace lights, but I didn't know that each had it's own name... Huh.

I'm glad you pointed out that issue, I'll have to remember not to use that particular name anymore. As for offense, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to offend me.
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Postby island » Tue May 10, 2005 8:41 am


Observations from the Maine Coast.

It is apparent from the notations from the 2005 light list Terry posted that these lights are not now considered to be range lights. There is no range line identified on the navigation chart (link below) unlike the range in adjacent South Bay.

Looking at the chart on Maptech the alignment of the two lights does not line up with the center of the channel between Wood Island and Grand Island. Rather, these two lights appear to serve identify the in-shore end of the channel where one would turn to the east when leaving the lake or turn north if heading out towards the lake.

As for the name End of the Road, a nautical road is a passage way between islands or between islands and the main land. These two lights mark the end of that passage (end of the road) between Wood I. and Grand I. when entering from the lake. I wonder if this passage might have been known as Grand Island Road, Munsing Road or something similar and thus End of The Road Range Lights.

David

Map Link. http://mapserver.maptech.com/homepage/i ... N=27481899
Click on Advanced Search. Enter at bottom of page displayed in the Lat/Lon (Decimal Degrees): 46.44 in lat box and -86.69 in lon box. (must include minus sign for this entry)
When map page opens, click on Navigation tab above chart.
Last edited by island on Wed May 11, 2005 8:28 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby Hersh » Tue May 10, 2005 10:19 pm


David, is there any way you can use a shorter link? That last one has me scrolling 2-3 screen widths to read all the posts.

As for the water road idea, sounds plausible to me.....
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Postby island » Wed May 11, 2005 4:57 am


The link is way too long but it is the only link I found that would display the navigation chart page. I will see if I change it somehow. Maybe use small or tiny font for the link. I will test this.

My thinking as to the origin of the name comes from the use of that term in other places, Hampton Roads (Va) for example. Also, navigation rules for ships passing, display of lights at night, sound signals, etc. are known as Rules of the Road.

I do not understand why these lights were designated as range lights the way they currently line up. A person with maritime history knowledge of the are would probably know the origing of the name and the intent of these lights.

(Link fix did not work. So I go to plan 2 whatever that is. Any suggestions would be appreciated.)

Plan 2 implemented and it appears the link I had posted before was not the only reason this page displays too wide for viewing.

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