Any good at French? Yep – they are the Blood Islands. Scary name, beautiful place, just off the South West coast of Corsica.
And their name has nothing to do with blood:
The name “Sanguinaires”, given to these islets, has several origins; either due to the purple light which bloodied the rocks, just before sunset over the sea, or to the color of Frankenias (Frankenia laevis), small plants with pink flowers whose leaves turn bright red in autumn, or to flowers snowflake roses.
Other hypotheses refer to the Gulf of Sagone . Old geographical maps mention the “Sagonnaires” islands (isule sagunarie) named by the bishopric of Sagone . Later makeshift settlements served as lazarets for coral fishermen nicknamed i sanguinari (black-blooded people), returning from Africa.
Basically, no-one knows.
Amazingly, despite all those towers on all those islands, only one of them is a lighthouse. The one nearest to us (actually on the island mainland) is a 16th century watchtower – an example of a Genoese Tower, and the two furthest on the far island are a small defensive tower built in the 18th century, and a semaphore – a marine signaling building:
And then, of course, because this is 6000 miles…, the lighthouse:
Constructed 1844, Automated 1984. Height 18.5m, Elevation 98m, Range 44km. 180W halogen lamp with Characteristic: Fl 3 W 15s
I’m heading down south today, so here’s one I wrote yesterday:
You know me. I like lighthouses.
Here’s a different one, from Pilsum in Germany.
Built in 1891 in the very North Western corner of Germany, it sits on a dyke, and guarded the entrance to the Ems?hörn channel. But then they moved the channel and so it was no longer required. It’s been just sitting there looking garish since 1915.
Well done to the Germans for keeping it. More defunct lighthouses as landmarks, please.
I didn’t think that the image below deserved Flickr status (that said, I think that the one of the cormorant probably shouldn’t be there either), but I still quite like it. So let’s preserve it for posterity right here.
Dassen Island sits about 9km off the coast at Yzerfontein. There’s not much there save for a lighthouse…
…a penguin colony and a lot of gannets, but a quick look at Google Maps does indicate a little infrastructure at the north end of the island – including that jetty.
And there’s even less to see at night. Because it’s dark, see?
However, if you grab the tripod, stick your short lens on, shelter your camera from the howling wind and time your longish exposure to pick out a flash from the 1.4Mcd light on the 29m tall tower, you can pick out all of the meagre detail: from that lighthouse in the south to the jetty lights in the north, through the evening heat haze. Like this:
Not amazing. But something different. And thinned. Thinned images are still very en vogue.
Fl(2) W 30s – two white flashes every 30 seconds. I needed to know this so I could time my shot correctly, but when I looked it up, that setup rang a bell with me. And yes, a quick check confirmed that that is exactly the same characteristic as the Langness Lighthouse at Dreswick Point in the Isle of Man. It scares me that I recognised this.
You know me. I like lighthouses.
So imagine my delight at being able to add another one to my list today.
Long story short, I was out helping with a risk assessment near Cape Town this morning, and was seriously privileged to be able to visit this particular lighthouse – one that not many people get to go to. Anyone able to place it?
18 metres worth of stocky masonry, flashing for 5 seconds, every 7 seconds.
Although… not when we were there… because… well… daytime. Obviously.
On my return trip later this month, I might even get to go up it.