Rose Island Light

June 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport Rhode IslandRose Island Light From Battery Park, Rose Island looked very far away, especially from the perspective of the kayak I was paddling. There were a few swells, and it wasn’t particularly warm. Dark clouds hung overhead.

On my way out the door my wife said “Be careful! It only takes thirty seconds to submerge” I think she meant succumbing to hypothermia, but neither that or the idea of ‘submerging was especially pleasant.

I shoved off the beach anyway. No guts no glory right? I’d made some similar treks in the kayak before, especially my trip the previous fall to the Hog Island Light. That light was in an active shipping channel, but it was a calmer sea, and warmer too.

This run to the Rose was a warm up for other locations anyway I said to myself, and doggedly paddled on.

Some notes from Wikipedia:

The light was built in 1870. It is preserved, maintained and operated by The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation.

Built to an award-winning design by Vermont architect Albert Dow it has sisters at Sabin Point, Pomham Rocks, and Colchester Reef. The lighthouse stands atop a bastion of Fort Hamilton, which was built in 1798-1800.

The building was abandoned as a functioning lighthouse in 1970, when the Newport Bridge was built. In 1984, the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation was founded to restore it on behalf of the City of Newport, which had received it for free from the United States government.[5] In 1992 it was relit as a private aid to navigation.[1][2]

"The lighthouse is today a travel destination, reached only by boat. For a fee to the Foundation, visitors can spend a night as a guest or a week as the "lighthouse keeper," completing many of the chores required to keep the lighthouse in good condition"

I reached the lighthouse beach without incident, and it was actually a pretty easy paddle. Passing the Rose Island Wildlife Refuge offered some very close views of cormorants and gulls and was an excellent experience. I think I’d like to come back to photograph the wildlife by itself sometime.

The lighthouse itself was easy, and I shot both from the boat and the beach. The slight overcast was a perfect softbox, and made for some very nice images to work with. A limited number of signed and numbered prints are available. Check the lighhouse image gallery to choose your favorite, or click the above image.

My trip back to Newport was easy given the following sea. Reaching the beach, I was glad I’d made the trip, and may do it again in the summer. If you decide to go, visit the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation website for open times, fees, etc.


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