About Me

My photo
I worked as a tour guide for two summers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon. This opportunity enabled me to learn more about that lighthouse than any of the others I've seen. Although I have personally visited and photographed over 300 lighthouses in the United States and three Provinces in Canada, the Umpqua River Lighthouse has special meaning for me. All pictures posted in this blog were taken by me, unless noted otherwise. The Umpqua River Lighthouse is where I was inspired to write my book titled, "The Wickie."

Book Info.

I invite you to read my book, "THE WICKIE." Preview the book's cover and watch the trailer below.
(Wickie was a nickname used by the early lighthouse keepers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in OR.)

This 1860's story about the lighthouse keepers and their families at the Umpqua River Lighthouse will warm your heart. Discover the challenges they met but never expected, and their determination to maintain navigational aid to mariners on the Oregon coast.

To order your signed copy of "The Wickie", send me an e-mail: awbates1955@gmail.com. The Book is $15 plus tax and shipping.

My book is also available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Use the Tabs below for links to these websites. At their website, click on books - In the Search area enter The Wickie.

20 October 2016

The Wrath Of A Hurricane

The Harbor Town Lighthouse is located on the southern tip of Hilton Head Island, SC on the Sea Pines Plantation. Built in 1970 as part of the island's Heritage Golf Tournament, it was the first lighthouse since 1827 to be privately financed. Its red and white tower is 93-feet high with 110-steps leading to the top. Although it’s not recognized as an official lighthouse, the Harbor Town Light serves as a private navigational aid for boat travelers. At the time of my visit there in 2000, the lighthouse was open daily to the public. Officials charged a small admission fee to enter gates to the private Sea Pines Plantation Resort.

This lighthouse survived the wrath of Hurricane Matthew and is a credit to its strong construction. Smaller structures and objects in the area that were not well built or protected, did not survive. I saw a picture of the destruction and debris surrounding the lighthouse post hurricane. It was a reminder of the wrath this hurricane inflicted on people and property in its path. When I compared said picture to the picture below, only the one large boat in the foreground remained with the lighthouse and the building. (Due to copyright, referenced picture not shown.)

06 October 2016

A Rare Occasion

For the last couple of days, I’ve been watching TV and following reports on Hurricane Matthew.  The projected route of the hurricane grabbed my concern because I have family who live in both Tampa and the Miami areas of FL. After communication with most of the family, I’m confident they are prepared for the storm and plan to evacuate if needed
Thinking about my family and the hurricane, suddenly I realized the storm’s projected path will probably impact at least fifteen lighthouses along the east coast of FL.The impact will include lighthouses from Sombrero Key Lighthouse, south of FL, all the way north to Amelia Island Lighthouse close to border of FL. I have visited ten of the fifteen lighthouses. I believe this to be a rare occasion when one hurricane will strike this many lighthouses in one storm in one state. (Reference FL map. Click on picture for enlarged view.)

At the time of this writing, projections I saw on TV have the hurricane making landfall a little north of Miami. If that should occur, the eye of the storm may see the “Fowey Rocks Lighthouse” and the “Cape Florida Lighthouse, pictured below. They are located about ten miles from each other.
Fowey Rocks Lighthouse
Cape Florida Lighthouse

29 September 2016

One I Didn't Visit

Traveling for several years after retirement, my late wife and I decided to settle in Texas. While conversing with an uninformed acquaintance about our decision, he mentioned Texas didn’t have any lighthouses. I knew his statement was incorrect because of having visited the Port Isabel Lighthouse. At the time I didn't know the number of TX lighthouses. Later I learned that over time TX had seven operating lighthouses providing navigational aid to mariners along its shores.

Although I’ve not had opportunity to visit the other six lighthouses, my friends (R. Barnett and his wife) did visit one of them, The Aransas Pass Lighthouse. They provided me copies of their pictures, one of which is shared in the post below.
The Aransas Pass Lighthouse, nicknamed Lydia Ann, was built in 1857. It is located on Harbor Island, TX. Its octagonal tower stands 55-feet tall and originally the lantern room housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens. After the beginning of the Civil War, the lens was removed for safekeeping. During the war, the upper portion of the tower was damaged from kegs of powder being exploded inside the tower. After the war, repairs were not completed on this lighthouse until the spring of 1867 due to very severe winter weather. 

Over time, hurricanes and other weather damaged the adjacent buildings and generated need for constant repairs. In 1928, electricity was brought to the station in the form of diesel generators to power a newly installed radio beacon.

Due to erosion over years, Aransas Pass had inched over one mile south of the lighthouse. In 1952, a new light was established at the Port Aransas Coast Guard Station, and the Aransas Pass Lighthouse deactivated. It had operated for almost 100 years.

The lighthouse was sold in 1955 and is now privately owned.

22 September 2016

What’s In A Title?

Most people enjoy looking at lighthouse pictures, and when possible some may visit a lighthouse. However fewer of those who enjoy the pictures will take time to read a book about lighthouses. I recall talking to an editor about my manuscript and learned the book would be considered a "nitch book." He defined it as meaning only a small portion of the population would be interested in reading about a lighthouse. When I first heard this statement I was very discouraged. However, I quickly realized even the remainder of the population doesn’t all like reading love or mystery books. Knowing readers like different types of stories, I knew my book would still add to the many options readers have today.

Regardless of the genre someone might like reading; I know a book’s title can grab the shopper’s attention unless he or she is looking for a specific book. When designing the cover for my book, I chose the title knowing it would grab attention and hopefully spark peoples interest to read it. However, some folk have misinterpreted the book title and think it has to do with witches or evil doers.

Most readers can’t know from a book title exactly what the book is about until they read the book. Until then, their guessing and their comments can deter others from reading a good book. I chose The Wickie as the title for my book because “Wickie"  was a nickname the lighthouse keepers called each other in the old days. This name derived because keepers had to trim the wicks of the lantern to maintain a bright light. This book has nothing to do with Witches, but a lot to do with the lighthouse keepers, their families, and the challenges they all encountered but didn't expect.

If you like reading historical fiction, I hope you’ll enjoy reading “The Wickie.” This book is also written for young readers to enjoy.