National Geographic : 1913 Jan
II, I A CROSS-SECTION THROUGH THE LAMP OF THE LENS SHOWN ON PRECEDING PAGE, SHOWING HOW THE LENS DIRECTS ALL THE LIGHT OUT IN FOUR BEAMS, IN TWO GROUPS tern, sometimes with a revolving lens supported like a pendulum to hang verti cally, so that the light beam will be kept near the horizon regardless of the mo tion of the vessel. An example is the recently completed Milwaukee light ves sel, which will show a double flash every 10 seconds. This vessel has a fog signal giving two blasts each minute, with in tervals of 7 and 46 seconds. LIFE ON THE LIGHT-SHIPS Life on a light-ship is somewhat dreary, but not without excitement. During ev ery fog the crew on Nantucket ship know that numerous vessels are headed directly for them, and in a storm, anchored as they are in the open sea, they may be far from comfortable. The men in turn are allowed liberal leave ashore. There are often serious difficulties in getting coal and provisions to the ships on ex posed stations, so that it is necessary that they carry sufficient supplies to last over stormy periods. In 1899 the Columbia River light vessel was stranded near Cape Disappointment, and as it could not be gotten off into the sea again, it was hauled 700 yards across the land through the woods and launched in the Columbia River. The light-ships, being necessarily near the channel ways, are frequently collided with. In January, 1912, a schooner ran into Diamond Shoal light vessel. The master, in his report, describes the dam age done and states that "the 6 seamen and also the cook worked manfully all night in trying to save the mainmast," and that "repairs having been made, the light having been kept burning as usual, and the ship kept in right position, unless very severe weather sets in the vessel will stay here until relieved." The directions of the Superintendent of Lights in 1829 to the master of a light vessel instruct him "not to slip or cut the cable, or suffer it to be done, in any event, and if the vessel should be likely to founder, to abandon her with his crew."