Monday, February 27, 2006

The Relief

"Though my soul may sit in darkness, it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."

-Sarah Williams

If you have been reading me for a while, you probably know all about my love of lighthouses, and that I am a history buff. Last autumn, I took a short trip down to Jack London Square, in Oakland, to satisfy my interest in both subjects. You see, docked at Jack London Square is not only the presidential yacht The Potomac, but so is the lightship, Relief 605. The Potomac was once dubbed, "The Floating White House," because it is said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, spent more time on his boat, then he did in the actual White House. Each of these ships possesses a unique and interesting past, but for this entry I am showing you only the lightship. I will save The Potomac for another day. :)

The story of America's lightships began in 1820 and they served our coasts for over 163 years, when the last one was retired in 1983. Between the years, 1820-1983, 116 Lightstations were established along America's three coasts. The first lightship was placed in Chesapeake Bay while the Nantucket station was the last one to be automated. Each of these floating lighthouses have an anchor which weighs 6,500 lbs, and allows the ships to anchor in place through all types of severe weather. Lightstation ships were named either BLUNTS or OVERFALLS. This particular ship was an OVERFALL, and was assigned to a lightstation off the Delaware coast in 1951.In 1960, she was transferred to Cape Mendocino BLUNTS, which was a reef station, along the Northern California coast. It wasn't until 1969 that she became a relief ship, aiding and relieving all of California's remaining lightships. The Relief 605 was decommissioned in 1975 and went through several owners before she was donated to the United States Lighthouse Society, by Mr. Alan Hosking of Woodside, California. The Relief 605 was designated a National Landmark, by the Secretary of the Interior in 1990. She is open to the public for tours, and she is a beautiful. :) If you come to must go and visit her. :)

"Relief In Sight"
Jack London Square
Oakland, California
October, 2005


Nancy said...

Love the photo and the quote...lots!


Karen Funk Blocher said...

I love the picture. I've never heard of there. Could you explain more about them sometime?


Karen Funk Blocher said...

Grr. Typos are the bane of my existence. I've never heard of these, I mean to seay, meaning lightships.