Today’s mystery photo – any ideas?
Ok, I cropped it. I like cropping and in this case it showed up the rainbow prismatic effects nicely.
Oh all right then, have a bigger image.
I expect you are getting it by now but here’s another anyway
This is the light house at Portland Bill, built to protect seafarers from a particularly treacherous piece of coast which includes The Race, where two currents converge and where life afloat is always “interesting.”
Local fishermen brave The Race to catch seabass, who love the turbulent waters. They sail into it, cut the engines and allow the boats to drift, while netting the silvery beauties. Once they’ve drifted through, they power up the engines, motor back to where they started and repeat the experience.
When we visited Portland Bill at the weekend, there was a very stiff breeze and The Race was all chaotic white horses.
“They wouldn’t go out today,” said the guy who knew all about the lighthouse. “It’s a bit lumpy.” Masterly understatement.
It’s a lovely piece of engineering, the light. The optic (the glass) the frame and the platform it sits on weighs three and a half tons.
The optic revolves day and night, smoothly, silently, floating on a bed of mercury – three quarters of a ton of the stuff. I would like to have seen it, but it’s all enclosed, probably to prevent people like me trying to play with it.
Before this lighthouse was built, there were two other lighthouses that sailors used to take bearings from but curiously they were inland a bit, so not terribly reliable. They fixed that by constructing a big white stone obelisk sticking out over the rocks at the furthermost point which was a much safer object from which to take a bearing and avoid catastrophe.
Portland Bill lighthouse was built in 1869 and is unusual in that it gives one or four flashes, depending on where you are looking at it from.
Oh and the tea shop nearby serves very good fresh-baked scones served with a pot of proper, leaf tea and a strainer. A kind of bliss.