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Hunting Island Lighthouse
Historic South Carolina Lighthouse
On a visit to Beaufort, South Carolina with friends we decided to take a drive out to Hunting Island to visit the lighthouse. It is only about 15 miles out to the island and the drive is scenic and peaceful.
When we arrived at Hunting Island state park we decided to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Now, I love lighthouses and I have photographed more than 30 over the past four years, but I have never climbed all the way to the top. Once, in Jupiter, Florida, I climbed halfway up and took some photos from a window but I just couldn't make myself climb the rest of the way.
This time I was with two friends who encouraged me to make the climb and I will tell you I am really glad that I did. The view was beautiful and the climb was not really as scary as I thought it would be.
In this lens, I will share my climb with you in photographs.
photos by mbgphoto
Climbing Hunting Island Lighthouse - 167 steps to the top
The climb up to the top of the lighthouse was made easier by a series of landings. You climb 19 steps to reach each of the first eight landings and then 15 steps to reach the final landing.
The wide steps made of sturdy iron and the landing platforms made the climb seem easy. At each landing you could stop and read a plaque telling some of the history of the lighthouse. I have photographed each of the plaques and include them in this lens.
Lighthouse survived an Earthquake
It was interesting to read the plaques at each landing this one tells of surviving an earthquake at the lighthouse.
More than Halfway to the Top
Well I've made it more than halfway to the top and now I'm determined to climb all the way. I stop here to read some more history and catch my breath. The air gets a bit cooler as I make my climb.
History of Hunting Island Lighthouse
The lighthouse was needed to warn sailors to stay away from the waters of St. Helena Sound. This area is too shallow and contains too many sandbars for large vessels to come to close to the shore.
At this landing you read a some of the history of lights on Hunting Island.
Hunting Lighthouse Stairs
I've passed the halfway point to the top of the lighthouse when I took this photo. It seems like a long way down...but breaking up the climb with 9 different landings really helped to make the climb easier.
Hunting Lighthouse was Moved
At this landing I learn how the lighthouse was moved.
Disaster at Sea - lighthouse offered shelter
Some disasters cannot be prevented by the lighthouse as I learned at this landing.
The light at Hunting island could be seen 18-20 miles out at sea. It has a 30 second white flash pattern.
Nearly to the Lighthouse Galley
Only one more flight to reach the galley, where you can walk out and enjoy the view from the top. The next flight to the galley has only 15 steps but I found them to be a bit narrower and the handrail ended before the last two steps. It was a bit frightening, but I made it!!
The galley of the lighthouse is just below the lantern and has an iron rail that extends all the way around the lighthouse. This made it possible for the lighthouse keeper to keep the outside of the light clean. The keepers & their assistants only earned between $500 and $700 per year for their hard work.
View from the Top
View from the Top
Here is a photograph I took from the top of the lighthouse looking toward the north. You see one of the beaches on Hunting Island in the photo.