My afternoon peace and quiet was shattered today by the noise of an approaching helicopter. I watched it hover over the field at the back of my house and eventually land by the lighthouse. It would seem some work is to be done to the lighthouse – the helicopter also transferred several boxes which had been delivered to the pier earlier by the Graemsay ferry. Don’t know if the work is rewiring of the lighthouse or maybe some work to the generator shed – we shall have to wait and see.
The lighthouse has been fully automated for many years, with a back-up generator if power should fail. The Northern Lighthouse Board send over engineers and contractors to paint the lighthouse at regular intervals.
The lighthouses are actually “leading lights” and were designed to guide the herring fleet into Hoy Sound and the shelter of Stromness Harbour back in the late 1800s. Nowadays with even small boats using GPS their usefulness is reduced, but they are still kept in tip top order.