Lighthouse Tour of Southern California 2013

Group photo aboard the Lightship Relief




Point San Luis Lighthouse provided a good opportunity for another group photo




Many arrived early to take advantage of an extra night aboard the Queen Mary




Here the group is boarding the Caroline for a cruise of LA and Long Beach Harbor




On the way out of Rainbow harbor we passed the Lions Lighthouse for Sight - a very good looking faux light




Things were a bit crowded on this harbor buoy




The Parker's Lighthouse restaurant is another faux light in Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor




The Angels Gate (Los Angeles Harbor) Lighthouse has undergone recent renovation giving it a fresh painted look




We were treated to many interesting sights in both Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor including the US Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell




Containerships and gantry cranes were every where. This Ever Strong container ship is capable of holding 6,600 twenty foot long containers




The Long Beach Harbor or "Robot" light is in dire need of a little attention




Point Fermin looked great with the flowers beginning to bloom




Jack, Lynda, Ann and Joe, pose with our favorite Point Fermin docent and Society tour regular, Mary Lou Fortane, who greeted us dressed in period costume




Always a great photo opportunity, Point Vicente was standing tall on a clear day




Norma, Ruth and Martha take a break while the group visited Point Vicente




The Point Vicente Interpretive Center was the scene of a Passport stamping frenzy as multiple stamps were made available




The wind was blowing hard, but most of us took the ½ mile walk out to the Port Hueneme Lighthouse




Bob, Linda, Pat, Norma and Ruth relax at the end of a long day of lighthousing




The Pacifica Suites manager's reception was a hit with Nina, Nancy, Mac and Dianne




Anita getting ready to enjoy a late afternoon refreshment




Joyce, Bob & Linda reliving the first full day of the tour at the Fishouse Restaurant in Santa Barbara




Greg Gorga, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, accepts a $1,000 USLHS check from Skip to help fund the move of the First Order lens from the Point Conception lighthouse to the museum




Our "substitute" cruise prompted by the fire which prevented our trip to Point Conception promised to be an exciting time for whale watching




As we left the dock, we saw the only creatures to be found within miles. No whales meant a free ticket for a future boat trip - not of much value to those from the East Coast!




The modern Santa Barbara light was the only lighthouse of the day. Not much to write home about!




Nancy, Karl and Barb waited patiently for the "missing whales" to make an appearance




Bill & Peggy looking pretty discouraged and thinking they saw a lot more whales in "Free Willy"




No lunch stop in Solvang is complete with Abelskivers. Dianne & Ken try to eat them without getting that jam on their shirts!




Al caught up with us in San Luis Obispo along with our new friend, James. Shown here with Mac they are the only three who have completed seven all stamp passport books - that is 420 stamps!




Cuing up for the tour to Hearst Castle




It is fun to consider who walked through the front entrance of Hearst Castle including Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, the Marx Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Bob Hope, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill




Among the statues at Hearst Castle is this white marble statue of the Three Graces, the daughters of Zeus. They were said to represent beauty, charm and joy and their names were, from left to right: Euphrosyne; Aglaia; Thalia




We tried to reserve the Castle dining rooms for our lunch, but were provided this dining area instead!




The elephant seal colony just north of San Simeon is home to more than 17,000 elephant seals




Not sure if these two young males are playing or fighting




Pat & Amy enjoy the ocean breezes at the Elephant Seal colony. Unfortunately, the breezes sometime bring in the pungent odor of thousands of seals




While the tower looks great, the missing lantern room and lens sill haunts Piedras Blancas Lighthouse




At the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse gift shop, Joe stands guard while Ann cleans the place out!




The lens from Piedras Blancas was one of four first order lenses we saw on the tour. Where were the other three?




This looks like it should be an ad for our bus company - SunDiego Charters!




Hendrik, who travelled all the way from the Netherlands for the tour, enjoying an afternoon break in the quaint coastal town of Cambria




Here, Bill contemplates buying Peggy her own ice cream store




All aboard the Point San Luis Lightkeeper's Trolley for a ride across the property of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power facility. We aren't glowing yet!




The wonderfully restored and maintained Point San Luis Lighthouse




Mary & Kevin contributed to the coffers of the Point San Luis gift shop




Mary Lee takes time out from her mother hen duties for an old fashion swing




Point Pinos is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast and still has the original lens in the tower




Nancy & Hendrik "steer" their way through the Museum of Monterey




Second of the four massive first order lenses views on this tour. This one is from the lighthouse at Point Sur




Peggy & Shirley enjoy relaxing in Monterey




Norma, Ruth, Mac, Roger, Martha or Nancy all agree that the best hotels have a "manager's reception!"




It was a wild and windy day when the group climbed the "rock" to visit the Point Sur Lighthouse




The Point Sur Lighthouse is only 40 feet tall, but stands 270 feet above the water




Al waves from the gallery at Point Sur while everyone else tries to stay warm




A view of the bus from the Point Sur lighthouse gives some perspective as to its height




The Point Sur lighthouse has had four different light sources during its history. First, it had an oil wick lamp, and then an oil vapor lamp. Later, two different kinds of electric lights were used, including the current rotating aero beacon




No one exceeded the 5 mph speed limit on their walk to the Santa Cruz Breakwater (Walton) light




Nina takes a photo of the Santa Cruz Breakwater as Joe, Karl and George look on




Pat & Nancy enjoy soaking up some of that famous Santa Cruz sunshine!




Hendrik gets another stamp on his way to becoming our first international member with an all stamp passport book. Way to go Hendrik!




The Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department opened the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum and Abbot Memorial Lighthouse just for us AND they brought the passport stamp with them!




Pigeon Point Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on the West coast, tied with Point Arena - both are 115 feet tall. Unfortunately, Pigeon Point has been closed for climbing




It was another windy day, but the group got great ocean views at one of the most picturesque locations on the Pacific Coast




The Pigeon Point lens was the third of the first order lenses we were fortunate enough to see on the tour




The restored lighthouse keepers' housing at Pigeon Point serves as a youth hostel operated by the Golden Gate Council of Hostelling International




A sign at Point Montera lets us know that it is only 4,446 miles to Tahiti where we were pretty sure it was warmer!




Lawrence & Virginia take a break at the Point Montera Lighthouse which, like Pigeon Point serves as a youth hostel




The Lightship Relief, formerly owned by the Society, was transferred to The Anchor Program, an Oakland-based maritime nonprofit that uses it as a floating classroom




Brian Deans, a member of the USLHS Board of Directors, provided some insight about the WLV 605 which became the Relief lightship for the west coast in 1969 and operated out of Astoria, OR




The Oakland Harbor Lighthouse now operates as Quinn's Restaurant & Pub and made a great place to have dinner on the harbor




The Statue of Liberty, the first lighthouse to use electricity, helps light up the night at Quinn's Restaurant




Our ride for the San Francisco Bay cruise was the Voyager. Nice boat, good captain, not so sure about the crew (remember the rough docking upon return?)!




Located near Richmond, California, the East Brother Lighthouse features a wonderful two-story Victorian dwelling




Stay over night here for about $350, but you have to stay two nights or you can't take a shower! However, it does include dinner, champagne and breakfast!




It was a beautiful day to be out in San Francisco Bay




"The Rock," was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963




Completed in 1854, the Alcatraz Lighthouse was the first one built on the West Coast




Graffiti from the 19 months of Native American occupation is still visible at many locations on the island




Jerry, Mary Lee, Kevin, Pat, Karl & Jack waiting for the boat to reach the next lighthouse




All that remains of the Lime Point light station is the fog signal building, which mostly goes unnoticed except by lighthouse enthusiasts




Point Diablo Light marks a point that protrudes 600 feet into the water which made it a significant navigational hazard for vessels entering San Francisco Bay in foggy weather




Initially, our captain was wary of venturing out to Point Bonita, but we convinced him that wickies do not let a little rocking and rolling prevent us from completing our journey




Not sure, but there cannot be too many lighthouses that are only accessible via a suspension bridge




Mile Rocks Lighthouse got its name because the rocks are one mile south of the main shipping channel leading into San Francisco Bay. All that remains is the base upon which the tower was built




Fort Point Light was built to define the southern flank of the narrow entrance to San Francisco Bay




Here we are engaging in one of our favorite tour pastimes




The views of the San Francisco skyline were spectacular




Even with the lights on the nearby bridge, the Yerba Buena Lighthouse remains operational to this day




Today the keepers' dwelling at Yerba Buena is home to a Coast Guard admiral, which is probably why it is in such excellent condition




Here are two things you always see together - Dianne & Diet Coke!




This observation tower built to look like a lighthouse is part of the privately built Forbes Island, which includes a restaurant




Could not pass up this photo - Roger claims he had this boat named after his wife!




The last of the four first order Fresnel lenses we saw on the tour was from the Farallon Islands Lighthouse and is on display at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park Visitor Center




At the end of the tour, everyone was happy and a bit tired, including our faithful mascot, Bosley!




We look forward to seeing all of you again on another USLHS tour in the near future!



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