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Cape Lookout Navigational Aids

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Postby vacastle » Wed Jan 05, 2005 2:29 pm


Cape Lookout Lighthouse in North Carolina is easily recognizable to the mariner by it's distinctive pattern of black and white diamonds. The sea captain could also be aware of his location by the light pattern.

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Photo by Ross Tracy

There was and is a third way that this famous tower helps the mariner establish his location. What is it?

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Postby Ross » Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:12 pm


The frightened and screaming imbecile at the top?

oh wait... that was me... ;)
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Postby island » Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:13 pm


A third way relates to a unique daymark function of this tower. It is similar to that provided by twin light light stations on islands but much more specific in the visual message to the mariner.
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Postby kinnakeet » Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:27 pm


I used to have a sweater and socks with that pattern :roll:
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Postby vacastle » Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:24 pm


The frightened and screaming imbecile at the top?

oh wait... that was me... :wink:

Gee, Ross, I seem to remember you standing next to me on the big yellow boat when you took this photo. Did we forget and leave you behind? :?

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Postby beachbum1616 » Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:18 pm


In searching for an answer, I ran across this page and I thought some of you might be interested in taking a look.

http://www.carolinalights.com/

Btw, I thought that the diamond pattern was originally suposed to be painted on Hatteras to mark Diamond Shoals?
Stephen

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Postby island » Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:31 pm


Stephen,
Check out Truths and Myths near the bottom of this page.
(the url above was opened via cached. it would not open from current page)
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:Jh ... uths&hl=en
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Postby vacastle » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:09 pm


Island has provided some mighty big clues to the answer of this trivia question :roll:

Judy :lol:
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Postby beachbum1616 » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:41 pm


So I would ventrue to say that you are looking for the fact that when you are on the north or south sides of the lighthouse and you see the back diamonds, you are in danger, and when you are facing the light from the east or west and see the white diamonds, you are in the clear.
Stephen

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Postby vacastle » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:58 pm


Yep, that's basically it.

When the design was first painted on, they were intended to be checkers. All the black checkers face north & south, and all the white checkers face east & west. Of course, the checkers really looked like diamonds.

So Cape Lookout's daymark carries two functions. It is recognizable by the pattern itself, and it readily gives the mariner a direction.

Pretty clever design, don't you think?

Thanks, Stephen!

Judy :D
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:45 pm


Hey, the view at the top of Cape Lookout was WORTH screaming for!!! :D
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Postby COTA » Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:14 pm


=)) I think somebody might've been doing more than that. :roll: :mrgreen:
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:27 am


Yeah, Beth, the sound could be heard across the entire island...... =))
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Postby island » Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:11 pm


Judy.

This was an interesting trivia question you posted. I wonder now if any other light towers were painted is such a way to identify hazards.

At some lighthouses the lights had red sectors to identify danger areas. Can anyone speculate why Cape Lookout light would not have had a red sector that aligned with the danger area of the hazardous Cape Lookout Shoals to the South of this lighthouse?

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Postby beachbum1616 » Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:21 pm


Island,

That is a good point. Eventhough the checkers help you identify the shoals during the day, there isn't a nightime assist unless you have a navigational chart, at leat that I am aware of.
Stephen

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