After our unsuccessful mission yesterday, due to it being closed, today we finally made it up to the top of the Elbow Cay Light house—the last manually operated kerosene lighthouse in the world. We’ve been anchored in front of it for a week now. We came over on New Year Eve, and have been just hanging around, getting some work done and relaxing in the beautiful bay.
We watched the dim yellow light from the top of this red and white candy cane looking light house spin past our boat every night, so when we heard we could climb to the top, we were quite excited.
There is a little dock on the east side of it, where you can tie up your dingy. Then walk up a long stepped concrete walkway and into the door at it’s base. To our surprise, there was no one there, no tourist, no tour guides, no care takers. We had the place to ourselves.
As we climbed the spiralling iron steps, we couldn’t help noticing the weathered walls, the past repairs, the layers of chipped paint. This light house had been here for quite a long time. At the top, we were in awe. All the gears and mechanisms keeping this giant light spinning constantly are exposed for the viewing. It was like being inside a giant clock. The whole mechanism floats on in a pool of liquid mercury and is almost frictionless. A light push with your finger and you can get the 8,000 lb lamp rotating slowly. What a marvellous piece of technology.
We then found out we could crawl through a tiny door and out onto the balcony. The view of Marsh Harbour and the Abaco Sea is breath taking. We highly recommend a visit if ever in the area. You can even see the Elbow Reef scattered to the east. The very reef this lighthouse was build to guard against.