Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Ross Island Lighthouse

Ross Island Lighthouse at Fish Fluke Point

The lighthouse at Fish Fluke Point on Ross Island has been abandoned for 44 years, and as you can see, it is crumbling. It is highly endangered, and continues to deteriorate in the face of hostile weather. Unfortunately, the island is privately owned, and nothing is being done to preserve this dramatic and important landmark.

Getting to Ross Island is an adventure all on it's own. At low tide, and for a couple of hours on either side of low tide, you can walk to the island from the end of Thoroughfare Road in Grand Harbour -- there is still water flowing on the path, but with some carefully chosen hops, you can get across with dry feet. However, you have to keep careful track of the time, and not overstay. The tide returns quite quickly, and the path is dangerous if it's under water.

I wanted to visit the lighthouse close to sunset, so I picked a day where sunset corresponded with low tide, and hiked to the lighthouse with my daughter. The day was overcast, but the lighthouse is dramatic in any light. We arrived at 8:15pm after a 35 or 40 minute walk, and unfortunately only had a few minutes to photograph in the fading light. I didn't want to be walking on an unfamiliar trail in the dark, and with the tide returning!

I plan on returning to Ross Island the next time we visit Grand Manan, and photographing the lighthouse in different kinds of light. It may be the only way this lighthouse will be remembered.

For more photographs of Grand Manan Island, see

. . . Rob Williams