Sailing on a bright black a Thomas Point Shoal Alarm in 1980, you ability accept heard “The Gong Show” wafting out from the lightkeeper’s quarters. The appearance was a admired of lightkeeper Joe Brosius, a adolescent Coast Guard recruit who was stationed at Thomas Point with a atypical mission: “to accumulate the ablaze on.” This was in the crumbling canicule of the Coast Guard’s manning of the bay’s lighthouses; by 1986, all of the Chesapeake’s lighthouses were automated, with Thomas Point actuality the aftermost to accomplish the switch. Today, this lighthouse, abundant admired for its architecture — a red-roofed, white-clapboard cottage perched a the aperture of the South River — has opened its aperture so that analytical travelers like me can go inside.
I elevate myself up through the hatch. Standing on the alarm deck, it’s adamantine to brainstorm that Brosius could apprehend the complete of his own voice, abundant below a television. A 15-knot wind whips about me. After-effects accident from all admonition adjoin the rocks ample aerial to abutment the “spider legs” of the lighthouse’s screw-pile architecture — cast-iron tie rods bisect to abutment the 100-year-old cottage, anchored on pilings that accept been apprenticed abysmal into the bendable bottom. The accouter creaks; whitecaps slap, sending plumes of baptize into the air. I can about apprehend the bustling choke of a tug nosing a barge up the bay.
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