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Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I met up with one of the photography groups I belong to at Santa Cruz’s Walton Light Station for sunrise this week-end.  We hoped for more clouds, but the weather changed from cloudy to clear late in the week so we knew it wouldn’t be very colorful, and yet there was some warm color, and a lovely glow low on the horizon as the sun was approaching.

Walton Light Station Dawn

But turning to my left looking northeast across the channel  there were clouds and some color.

Harbor Channel Santa Cruz Dawn

For the history buffs:

Located at the northern end of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz Harbor is a haven for fishing craft and vessels. A harbor light, located at the west jetty, has marked its entrance for forty years. The original light was a box light structure which served from 1964 – 1996. It was replaced by a cylinder nicknamed “the water heater” which was used from 1996 – 1999. From 1999 until May 2002, a simple pipe structure held the light which marked the way into the harbor.

In 1998, the Santa Cruz community, under the leadership of Bill Simpkins and Jim Thoits, proposed replacing the unsightly harbor light with a lighthouse of classic design, adding a little more character to a community renowned for its characters. Fundraising efforts began in earnest, and with the contributions of many people, including a major donation from Charles Walton of Los Gatos, enough money was raised to begin construction of the new lighthouse in 2001.

The lighthouse, designed by Mark Mesiti-Miller and constructed by Devcon Construction, Inc., stands 41 ½ feet tall above the level of the west jetty, and 59 ½ feet above the mean low water mark. It weighs 350,000 pounds and is built to withstand a quarter million pounds of wave energy.

The construction began with a cylindrical inner core which houses electrical equipment and a circular staircase of forty-two steps which lead to the top of the lighthouse. Surrounding the inner core is a network of reinforcement rods, onto which “shotcrete” was blown and then hand-troweled to form the conical shape. These shotcrete walls are 4 ½ feet thick at the base. Finally, a durable weatherproof white finish was applied to the exterior of the lighthouse and a copper roofed lantern room topped it all off.

On June 9, 2002, the new harbor lighthouse was dedicated, and the signal, a green light flashing every four seconds at a focal plane of thirty-six feet, was activated. It is named the Walton Lighthouse, in honor of Mr. Charles Walton’s late brother, Derek, who served in the merchant marines and was lost at sea during World War II.” ~lighthousefriends.com

It was worth the O’Dark Thirty wake up alarm, and drive over the hill I thought.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017 & On1

More to come…

 

 

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37 Comments

  1. Byoooooootiful!! 🙏

  2. Simply stunning in both photographs shared, Deborah. I have always been fascinated by the sea, lighthouses and natural elements found by it. Your early rising to share this was most gracious of you!
    This was a beautiful setting and I feel bad I missed this when you first posted it.

    • I’m so happy you found now and liked the images!

      Thank you so much Robin!

      • You and I almost seem like we are calling each other. I liked that the community gathered together to create a much more beautiful lighthouse than the described plain ones previously there. You’re most welcome.

  3. Beautiful pictures Deborah! I love the lighthouse with that beautiful backdrop.

  4. Beautiful images, Deborah! 🙂

  5. I always love the warm glowing colors on the horizon that sometimes show up on a cloudless sky. Beautiful captures! 🙂

  6. Beautiful photos. I love lighthouses! The idea that a group would set out to build a beautiful lighthouse makes me feel better about people. thanks for getting up early and thanks for sharing. Of course, thanks for the history and construction details. this post has everything 🙂

    • Thank you so much Dan! It is pretty great that these people made this Lighthouse happen isn’t it.

      Thanks for looking and commenting. I’m you enjoyed the images, and history.

  7. Beautiful! Those delicate colors, and the pricks of light from the lighthouse windows…. Enchanting!

  8. You know I’m going to love a lighthouse and this one is no exception!! 🙂

  9. That is just lovely 🙂

  10. Lovely shots, Deborah.

    janet

  11. Beautiful photos and story of the lighthouse. Very seldom do we hear of new ones built in the classic way.

  12. Both shots are just so beautiful, Deborah! Thank you for sharing them as well as the lovely historic snippets – I adore lighthouses 🙂

  13. That first photo is stunning. It would make a beautiful postcard. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment Judy!

      So, since you’re online I hope this means Steve and you survived the storm! 🙂

  14. A beautiful shot Deborah! Lighthouses are so picture perfect.

  15. Poor Derek but a lovely commemoration and beautifully captured Deborah. And well done for keeping the ‘O Dark Thirty wake up alarm’ reference free of profanity 😉

    • LOL! I did swear when I woke up an hour before my alarm! 🙂 Don’t you hate that.

      Thank you so much Phil! Yes, Charles honored his brother’s sacrifice very well with this lovely light station.
      It’s been my muse and subject many times and will be as long as I’m able to get over the hill.


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