Point Pinos Lighthouse ~ Monterey Peninsula

Took a 3-day trip to Seaside and Monterey, California over Thanksgiving Holiday…visited the Point Pinos Lighthouse for the first time.

Point Pinos is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the western coast of the United States. It’s been in operation since 1 February 1855 ~ while Alcatraz Island Lighthouse preceded it by 8 months, it was replaced in 1909, therefore out of operation for a bit.

The lens is a third order Fresnel that was manufactured in France in 1853. A larger, second-order lens had been planned, but a delay in shipment caused the lens that was destined for Fort Point Lighthouse in San Francisco to be installed instead.

The first light source was a lantern of whale oil which was forced up from a tank by a gravity-operated piston. Whale oil was soon replaced by Lard oil which in turn was replaced by kerosene in 1880. During the turn of the century an incandescent vapor lamp was used followed by electric lights in 1919. A falling weight mechanism rotated a metal shield around the beam to cut off the light to seaward for 10 out of every 30 seconds from 1912 through 1940. Afterwards a timed flasher provided the signal.

The present light source is located 89 feet above sea level ~ it is a 1000 watt bulb which is then amplified by the lenses and prisms to produce a 50,000 candlepower beam visible under favorable conditions up to 17 miles. It’s permanently on now and it’s present signal is a simple 3-second on, 1-second off signature. Further navigational aid was added in a Class D radio beacon which was operated continuously and had a 20 mile range. The radio beacon and a foghorn, which was located below the lighthouse closer to the shore and manually operated by the Coast Guard, when needed, was deactivated in 1993 with the advent of global positioning satellite.

The name Punta de los Pinos, Point of the Pines, was named by Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602 during an exploration of the California coastline for the Count of Monterrey. Franciscan missionaries explored the area in 1769 where a Father Crespi mentions a freshwater pond in his diaries, now believed to be Crespi Pond, just past the lighthouse. In 1850, after the Mexican War and the American acquistion of Alta California, Congress appropriated funds for the construction of lighthouses on the west coast…one being Point Pinos, the dangerous southern entrance to Monterery Bay. Construction began in 1853, but with the difficulties in the delivery of the lenses and prisms from France the opening was delayed until 1855.

The stone building, lenses and prisms of the light are all orginial and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The lighthouse and grounds are open from 1-4 pm Thursday-Monday. You can call them at 831-648-5716. Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

Pictures taken by myself on 29 November 2008 and information taken from the Pacific Grove Museum lighthouse handout.

For Today ~ 1 December 2008 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 1 December 2008

Outside My Window… Sunny and cold with high clouds. Again…Big construction guys on their big tonka toys.

I am thinking… I’m back from Monterey…big sigh. Why can’t Reno/Sparks be as bike friendly as Seaside & Monterey? I need to get the outdoor Christmas lights up! And decorate the office.

I am thankful for… That I had a nice mini-vacation to the beach. That ocean is an awesome life-force.

From the kitchen… I haven’t been to the grocery store, so nothing. Probably will stop off and get a Papa Murphy’s take-n-bake pizza for dinner tonight…will take out chicken from the freezer for tomorrow.

I am wearing… blue jeans, tennies and a black turtleneck…same thing I wore last Monday, it seems.

I am creating… nothing much. Will be going through all of my pictures right soon though.

I am going… walk down and have lunch with my sister in her office.

I am reading… Been reading Lynn Kurland’s STAR OF THE MORNING
A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms #1.

I am hoping… that my husband’s temp job will call him in for December…no call over the weekend. 😦

I am hearing… Nothing. It’s nice and quiet.

Around the house… amazingly clean…I was able to put everything away from the trip. Just have to do laundry tonight.

One of my favorite things… sipping a Starbuck’s seasonal Steamer…ya see, I don’t like coffee…but I love their milk steamers with the special syrup. This morning it was Gingerbread with ginger candies and whipped cream. AIIIIEEEEEE!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Make cookies, peanut brittle, and put up outdoor Christmas lights.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you… Point Pinos Lighthouse…if you follow Oceanview from Monterey through Pacific Grove, it’s there surrounded by a golf course. Geez they have a lot of bloody golf courses there. The first was taken in the early morning…the second in the afternoon when they opened the property up.


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