Distances from Shore

Forum to discuss all areas of lighthouse technology such as optics, fuels, fog signals, radiobeacons, daymarks, construction, etc.

Postby epona » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:32 am

This is the other posting I mentioned.

The Bowers Beach Lighthouse which is for sale said in some articles that it was located 3 miles off shore. In a follow up article it said that it was really 11 miles off shore.

So, how far off shore is this lighthouse?

Is it 3 miles or 11 miles or some other figure.

Is the mileage being measured as a nautical mile 6080 feet (1852 meters) or as a land mile 5280 or (1,609 meters).

Where or how is the place on land determined that one measures from?

It is a dock, town, port or closest land fall or something else.

Also what if their are several places of land near by. These could include islands and the like. If this is the case would not each one of these be measured as as well. This would then give you several different measurements.

Come on you experts - I want some discussion on this topic.

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:11 pm

I have a fairly extensive collection of Light Lists, Annual Reports, Coast Pilots, Lighthouse Board correspondence, etc. in my collection, and in none of these documents is the "distance from shore" of any lighthouse ever mentioned. The reason is simple - the distance at which a lighthouse was located from shore was of little concern to mariners.

What was important to mariners was:
1) The light's focal plane (height above water level)
2) The light's longitude and latitude.
3) The distance to other nearby lights.
4) The light's characteristic.

As such, all of the above are mentioned frequently - even in today's Light Lists and Coast Pilots.

Any reference to a light's distance from shore is almost surely something that the writer of the piece to which you are referring has determined in order to show a light's relative isolation. Your guess would be every bit as good as mine as to the specific metrics and reference points the author may have used to determine that distance.
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Postby epona » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:16 am


Thank you for the information and answers to my questions.

I think many us forget why lighthouses where built. In our concern for saving them we look at them differently than the reasons they where built.

Carole Aka Epona
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