Author Topic: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure  (Read 26971 times)

Offline playmofire

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2008, 14:47:05 »
After the big lunch, the walk from the village and all that information to take in, Fred and Maisie had a sit down before tackling the visit to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse dates back to 1806 the lamp was originally lit by oil and had three lenses, 2 white ones and one red one.  Nowadays, the light has four lenses, all white.  Electricity was introduced in 1940 for the light.  Originally, the light rotated by a clockwork mechanism which needed winding every 45 minutes, so during the hours of darkness two of the three lighthouse keepers worked 4 hours on and four hours off in rotation to keep the light rotating.  The lighthouse was automated in 1996 and is now unmanned.  It is 26.5 metres tall and the light is some 65 metres above mean high water mark.

The lighthouse is open for visitors (not on Tuesdays as that's maintenance day), so we went in side.
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Offline playmofire

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2008, 15:04:34 »
It's a steep climb up the lighthouse (we had an excellent lady guide to explain everything), so Fred and Maisie had a rest before going into the lamp room.

Here's a picture of the lamp itself, quite difficult to take with a digital camera because the camera "pauses" before the shutter fires and the lamp housing is turning all the time.  If it stopped, then the powerful lenses would act like giant magnifying glasses on a sunny day and set the place on fire!  On maintenance days, covers are put over the light when it is stopped.  The present housing for the lamp dates back to 1926 and weighs over three and a half tons and "floats" on mercury so there are no gears or guides to wear out.  The bulb is only 1 kilowatt and it's the lenses which give the light its range of 24 nautical miles.  (If you want to see the range on a map, find Flamborough Head and then look south along the coast to Spurn Point, the most southerly point of its range, and then look north and find Whitby, the most northerly point of its range.)  If you look at the picture of the bulb carefully you can see two bulbs, one vertical (the bulb which is lit at night) and one horizontal to the right (a spare which automatically flips up and comes into use if the other bulb fails).  If the second bulb fails or all the power fails, then there are two battery powered flashing lights outside which automatically come on; these have a range of 12 miles and were used in the late 1990s after a lightning strike destroyed the mains electricity connection and the standby generator cabling.  In the third picture, Fred and Maisie are looking out at one of the emergency lights.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 15:13:25 by playmofire »
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Offline playmofire

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2008, 15:17:28 »
After a rest and an ice-cream, we walked back along the cliff path to where we'd parked the car and, after a cup of tea, set off home after a grand day out.  The cliffs are chalk cliffs and so proned to be washed away, but also sculpted into strange shapes by the sea.  The cliffs at Bempton are famous for the quantity of birds nesting on them and here are two photos of the Bempton cliffs.  In the second, note the next right on the top.

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Offline Richard

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2008, 19:12:37 »



Perhaps we should call this Maisie and Fred's EXCITING Adventure ...


On Wednesday the 20th of August, Susan and I began what was supposed to be just another hurried business trip. Our plans were to fly from St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands to Fort Lauderdale and spend the night.

So far so good ...

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2008, 19:15:24 »


The next day we were to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Denver with a brief stop in Houston to change planes.

Again, so far so good ...

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2008, 19:16:55 »


A couple of days in Denver to meet with a client, a drive out to look at the Rocky Mountains and Buffalo Bill's final resting place, then a quick flight back to Houston.

Still, so far so good. Never enough time to take lots of photos, but that's quite typical with most quick business trips.

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2008, 19:19:10 »


In Houston, we visited Susan's corporate office, a Mexican restaurant, the Museum of Natural Science, the Rothko Chapel and Sam Houston's statue. Interesting, but not yet very "exciting" ...

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2008, 19:21:42 »


Continued ...

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2008, 19:23:32 »


Then the reports of Gustav were all over the news. "Killer hurricane approaching the Gulf Coast," read the headlines!

We were scheduled to drive back to Fort Lauderdale from Houston!

This would put us directly in the path of Hurricane Gustav!

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Re: Maisie and Fred's Excellent Adventure
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2008, 19:24:40 »


We had planned on a leisurely drive with a stop-over in New Orleans. We quickly changed our plans, packed up and prepared for our race with Gustav.

We knew that heading due west was our best chance to win the race. However, we also knew that we would be slowed by everyone evacuating ahead of the storm.

We made good time from Houston to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. But, just before Slidell, Louisiana, we started slowing down. When we crossed over Interstate 55, we saw bumper to bumper traffic heading north. Thousands upon thousands of people trying to escape the oncoming storm. (There are no photos of this part of our journey. We were too busy navigating our way through the traffic. And, anyway, Masie and Fred were hiding in the back of the vehicle.)

We pushed on through Biloxi, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama. Everywhere we looked there were people trying to get out of the way of Hurricane Gustav.

Automobiles and trucks overloaded with pets, personal belongings and treasures. Terrified families trying to save everything they could from the hurricane menace that was churning up the Gulf of Mexico.

Stalled and overheated vehicles littered the medians and shoulders of the highway. People were running out of fuel. The gasoline pumps at many of the service stations had been long emptied by the fleeing residents of the Gulf Coast.

We were in the middle of the largest evacuation in US history. Almost two million people were running from this terrifying monster called Gustav!

Miraculously, we made it to Pensacola, Florida where we spent the night.