Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Splitty Goes Sightseeing

One thing is for certain when it comes to Splitty the Maul. He's not shy about getting out and seeing the world.

Last year we passed by the Finns Point Lighthouse while enroute to another South Jersey historical site.

Splitty is a huge fan of lighthouses.

It was blazing hot. Fortunately I have a really cold air conditioning system in the AirTrafficMobile and mauls are generally immune to the effects of heat.

It's a distinct advantage of being forged I suppose.

Heat be damned, we headed out to the lighthouse.

The Finns Point Rear Range Light.

"What's a range light?", you ask?

It is a set of lights that provide visual navigation signals to ships operating in bodies of water. For those readers who are pilots, they are extremely similar to VASI lights. The front light was lower than the back light. Depending on the alignment of the lights, you would know if you were centered in, left, or right of the channel.

Here's a diagram of how they worked:

Like a standard lighthouse, it was equipped with a Fresnel lens. Unlike a standard lighthouse the light did not rotate. The beacon was fixed and projected out a single pane of glass.

See? Only one pane of glass.

Splitty was eager to get inside and climb the stairs.

Sadly, this was as close as Splitty could get.

The lighthouse is currently not open for the public to enter.

The lighthouse was constructed in Buffalo, NY in 1876. It was transported to Pennsville, NJ and began operating in 1877.

Having been restricted from entering the lighthouse, Splitty ran over to the information board to read up on the history of the lighthouse.

Splitty is an avid reader.

He thought it would be a good idea to take pictures of the brochures.

I'm not above taking advice from Splitty.

It was a nice visit. Splitty had a good time despite not being able to get inside the structure.

I had a good time because I used to ride my bicycle past here often as a child.

It was nice to see the lighthouse still in good repair. It was almost lost to history. Fortunately some local residents banded together to save the lighthouse. It was restored in 1983.

I was heading back to the AirTrafficMobile when Splitty got my attention.

He wanted to do a public service announcement.

Who am I to deny a well meaning hand tool the opportunity to do so?

Remember kids, Splitty the Maul says, "Kids, don't smoke next to fuel storage tanks!"

Thanks Splitty.

We'll work on the whole "Kids, don't smoke." thingy at a later time.

Tune in next time, when we hear Rhondo the Wonder Idiot say:

"Mike, do you think I'm going to need these nuts?"

I didn't have the heart to tell him he's going to be "the end of the line".

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

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