Digest>Archives> August 2003

No Refuge for Volunteers at Harbor of Refuge

By Jeremy D'Entremont


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Volunteers Greg Ositko, Bob Trapani and Tom Craft ...
Photo by: Barbara Moulinier

Lighthouse preservation can be fun — and it can be brutal. At 6:30 a.m. on June 7, a group of intrepid volunteers of the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation (DRBLHF) departed in a small boat from Slaughter Beach, soon arriving at Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. The lighthouse is being opened to the public for the first time ever on selected days this summer. Repair work on the dock at the lighthouse couldn’t wait, despite a forecast calling for major rainfall.

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Bob Trapani makes his way underneath the dock as ...
Photo by: Barbara Moulinier

The forecast proved true, but the rain arrived much earlier than predicted. A half hour after the group arrived at the lighthouse, the skies let loose. “All of a sudden, a southeast wind started blowing, the seas started frothing and torrential rain began blowing horizontally. The rain was being driven so hard by the wind that it actually hurt as it pelted you,” said Bob Trapani, president of the DRBLHF. Soaked but undaunted, the hearty band worked all day through the deluge.

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Volunteers enjoy coffee and a kerosene heater ...
Photo by: Barbara Moulinier

“The trip was a good one,” reported Trapani. “We accomplished all of our pre-trip goals. The DRBLHF volunteers — ten of them on this trip — once again showed why they are so special. Most of the crew busied themselves inside the light building wood cabinets, stripping paint and making sure the basement was once again ready for tours. I was very proud of everyone and proud to have the opportunity to participate in lighthouse preservation under such terrible conditions.”

The tour dates for 2003 at Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse are already sold out, but be sure to watch for next year’s dates. You can learn more about the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation by visiting their web site at


This story appeared in the August 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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