Digest>Archives> July 2007

Business and Lightships - A Great Mix!!

By Randy C. Hemstad


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My wife and I are avid lighthouse people from Minnesota, home of eight lighthouses (can you tell we're proud!). As ALF members and subscribers to Lighthouse Digest we were very surprised and pleased to see the Ambrose Lightship (LV 87/WAL 512) in New York City!! This ship, built in 1908, was given to the Seaport Museum by the Coast Guard in 1968.

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We were in New York participating in a Business Conference (BPA, Business Professionals of America) when we had a break from meetings to go see the Statue of Liberty (yet another American Lighthouse). We bussed from Manhattan to the Seaport Museum area to board the ferry to Liberty. Upon getting off the bus and walking around the South Street/Seaport area we were very surprised to see the Ambrose, docked nearby. We had not planned to see or even anticipated seeing this lightship, so it was one of life's great little surprises. Upon quizzing the bus driver about the Ambrose I also learned of the nearby Frying Pan Lightship (Pier 63 in Manhattan's Chelsea Water Park area), now used as a place to rent out for private parties.

Lightships of America are certainly a dying breed and we need to remember and work on saving them, like our lighthouses. It was terrible to read about the loss of the New Bedford Lightship in Massachusetts, which we also saw on a vacation before it turned and sank. The Relief and Nantucket II are two other ships we've had a chance to see on recent trips.

The Lighthouse Digest serves it purpose well. However, I certainly enjoy the occasional break from the ever important history and preservation when you print stories on the lighter side of things about lighthouses and lightships from travelers like my wife and I. We need to continue our support and work on lighthouses in America, but we need to stop occasionally to enjoy them as well-even while on business!

This story appeared in the July 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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