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Mail Boat


Dear Tim,

My wife and I recently spent 12 days traveling in Spain with some good friends. After a few days in Barcelona, we rented a car and traveled north into Andorra and then headed west through a small portion of France and on to San Sebastian and Bilbao — home to the famous Guggenheim Museum designed by the noted architect, Frank Gehry. Along the way, we stayed at some beautiful Paradores for which Spain is famous. Just west of Bilbao we entered the Cantabria region of Spain. Spain is divided into 17 regions, and Cantabria is one of the smaller areas along the northern coast. After visiting the famous caves of Altamira where one can see 15,000 year old paintings and engravings that were discovered around 1876, we motored on to the nearby city of Santillana which has quaint, old cobblestone streets and ancient buildings to explore. After a light lunch in the courtyard of an old hotel, we continued our walk around the village and then decided to continue on to the small village of Suances situated along the coast. It was a beautiful sunny day, and, as we approached the village, we saw a sign indicating the direction to the Faro (lighthouse) of Suances. I could not pass up such an unexpected opportunity. My wife is well aware of my interest in lighthouses and has spent many hours traveling to them and climbing the stairs of some of them with me. Our friends haven’t developed this same passion but were happy to come along (they had little choice since I was driving!). After winding around narrow roads for several miles, I spotted it above the rocky coast. We soon arrived and were treated to beautiful panoramic views of crashing waves sending ocean spray 50 or 60 feet into the air. A wall surrounded the lighthouse, and we were unable to approach it since the quarters were inhabited. There was laundry out on a clothesline. However, the surrounding grounds were open, and I did get a few pictures. The lighthouse and quarters were built in 1863, and it is still active and used as a navigational aid. It has a focal plain 115 ft. above the sea, but the tower stands only 30 feet. The light has a 22-mile range.

I had not planned to visit any lighthouses on this trip, so this turned out to be an unexpected reward. My interest in lighthouses began when my wife and I were spending a few days in Door County, Wisconsin about 15 years ago. We saw a sign for the Cana Island lighthouse and ended up driving out to the point where we had to park the car and wade across the narrow rocky isthmus to reach it. I was bitten by the lighthouse bug that very moment! I love to read about lighthouses and the people who dedicated much of their lives to operating them and the stories they have shared with us. The Lighthouse Digest is my favorite magazine to which I subscribe, and I look forward to each issue. Living in Colorado makes it difficult to visit these sentinels, but we have managed to see several dozen over the years, and I hope to visit many more in the future.

Roger Williams

Castle Rock, Colorado

Dear Tim,

The Board of Directors and Membership of the Delaware Bay Lighthouse Keepers and Friends Association cannot thank you enough for the beautiful tribute you paid Carole F. Reily, “The Lighthouse Day,” in the September issue of Lighthouse Digest.

Carole had a fond affection for you and Lighthouse Digest and constantly inquired of members and friends if they saw issue 'such and such' and then put the onus on those who were not readers or subscribers.

Starting with the fall issue of our newsletter we will include reasons why everyone should be a subscriber to Lighthouse Digest and look at the money we can make for Carole's Scholarship Fund.

We have had the good fortune or meeting you on several occasions and have always enjoyed your hospitable and knowledgeable presentations on your lighthouse and maritime subjects.

Thanks you for everything you do for lighthouse preservation and as Carole would say, “Keep those Beacons Bright.”


For all our members,

James S. Moffatt

Delaware Bay Lighthouse Keepers

and Friends Association Newsletter Editor

Editor's Note: The above letter was condensed for space. We are appreciative of the kind words. Although it is never possible to fill anyone's shoes, we know there will be many fine people who will step up and carry on where Carole left off, and I'm sure Carole would have been proud of them, knowing the legacy she started will be carried forward with such a fine group of dedicated volunteers.

This story appeared in the November 2007 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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