Friday, March 8, 2013

3/8 Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

I rented a car today for the weekend and took a drive north along A1A to visit the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.  It was a sunny day and warmer than it has been, getting up to 70, but with the usual constant wind that there has been for the past 4 weeks when I have been camping near the ocean.  Here are some photos I took:

The lighthouse was built in 1887 and is 175 feet high--the tallest lighthouse in Florida.  It is 203 steps to the top, which I climbed with a few rest stops along the way.  Here's looking up from the bottom of the stairs.

And here is looking down from the top.  Made me a bit dizzy!

Terrific view from all around the top.  The first photo is looking south to Daytona Beach. The second is looking at the inlet itself.

One of the most interesting buildings in the complex was this one that had been converted into a museum showing Fresnel lenses.  Up on the balcony were some of the paraphrenalia used to maintain the lights.

This first photo shows the original first-order stationary Fresnel lens in the Ponce Inlet light.  It was replaced in 1933 with an electrified third-order Fresnel lens that had six flashes followed by a 15 second dark. 

These last two photos showed the original first-order Fresnel lens from the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse.  It was HUGE--at least 10' tall.  Very impressive.  It was apparently removed from the Cape when rocket launches were vibrating it and cracking the glass.


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