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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Exploring Boston: USS Constitution free sail, and Boston Light

I'd been planning to take the tour of Boston Light for some time. It's the oldest light station in America, first lit with beeswax candles in 1716, and funded by a penny-a-ton tax on shipping through Boston Harbor.

The light --- a major maritime asset --- was hotly contested during the Revolutionary War, and was ultimately blown up by the British when they were forced to evacuate Boston by the cannon placed on Dorchester and Roxbury Heights by General Washington. (See http://fredlanga.blogspot.com/2012/05/exploring-boston-roxbury-high-fort.html.)

Boston Light was rebuilt and relit in 1788. But in the meantime, a lighthouse at Sandy Hook, NJ, was built; so it claims the title of "oldest lighthouse" in America. That's why the Coast Guard refers to Boston Light as America's oldest "light station" --- the oldest location of a lighthouse --- and not the oldest "light house." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Light

But Aug 19 was the 200th anniversary, to the day, of a battle off Nova Scotia; part of the War of 1812; in which the USS Constitution earned it's nickname, "Old Ironsides." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constitution

In commemoration of the battle, the Navy decided to allow the 215-year-old Constitution to free sail --- sail unassisted --- for only the seond time in over 100 years, on Aug 19th 2012.

That made it a perfect day for an outing to Boston Light --- to visit (and climb) the historic lighthouse, and  to see the Constitution's free sail.

The photos, with captions and links for more info, are in this Photobucket album:

Sample pix:

Boston Light: Moving ship, on waves; I was happy to catch the flash.

1KW incandescent bulb

View, towards Boston, from the top.

USS Constitution Free sail:


Click over for the rest, if you wish: