As the sun set last night after a few stormy days, I found myself contemplating lighthouse life from Porphyry Cove and the happenings of this summer. There were lessons learned and more to come I am sure.
In the distance I can see the Sleeping Giant and the “Turtle Head” on Pie Island and think to myself what a magic place that we live in, such beauty!
The last week has been about tying up loose ends at the Porphyry Island Lighthouse site, plus completing other works on other lighthouses in the immediate area. This week the lighthouse summer staff, and myself travelled to Number Ten and Trowbridge lights to do some work.
With the sun blazing upon us, we painted all four sides of the 1922 cedar shingled Number Ten light tower on the North Channel between the Nipigon Straights and Porphyry Island (13km to the west).
The Number Ten light has basic facilities for traveling kayakers. This includes; camping area, picnic table, trails, and an adaptation of an outhouse called a thunder box, which sits in the woods without a roof.
Looking back as we cruised west back towards Porphyry Island, we could see the outcome of our days work, now a glistening red and white tower slowly disappeared into the background. As we cruised along we managed to see two other sailing crafts and a fishing tug also enjoying the afternoon.
Our next day is spent preparing for our visit to Trowbridge Island Lighthouse. This site, at the feet of the Giant, is another gem in the string of lighthouses that stretches across the north shore that is operated by the group.
The Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior Board of Directors were consulting with Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials regarding the current state of the Trowbridge facilities. This lightstation includes; a semi-detached dwelling, a concrete light tower, a fog alarm building, and some outbuildings ideal for day visitors.
After the site review with board members and a member from the Friends of Battle Island Lighthouse Group, we all settled down to a wonderful lunch aboard the Tug, “Rugged” hosted by Vic Miller.
A common denominator to the groups’ work in the region falls most often on access to these stations along the coast. Due to the effects of previous decommissioning some of the facilities need to be repaired, replaced, or resurrected.
Traveling back to Porphyry we are met by Gus & Sandy Schmidt who had a mountain bike to donate for people who want to ride up to the light station, and also a couple of fishing rods. It’s through this kind of support that the group continues to build strength within the nautical community as a destination for everyone.
Later that evening we are met by Juzer Noman, who is a surveyor, he has come to offer his time to survey our lot lines and help interpret survey work that stretches back to 1872.
One lesson that we learn along the way is never underestimate the power of Superior. Even when you think you know the power of this body of water, it can surprise you. Sometimes it’s absolutely flat, while other times it can be a bubbling cauldron of frothing water.
Next week I’ll be sharing with you the reactions of the radio contest winners to an all expense paid trip to porphyry, including; hotel catered meals, lighthouse tours, sailing and fishing charters, and helicopter ride.