Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2020

Stranded for a Year


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A vintage post card image of the Stonington ...

Before Joseph J. Fuller became the lighthouse keeper of Connecticut’s Stonington Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse, he had been a whaling ship captain who sailed out of nearby New London.

In 1880, his ship was wrecked at the Kergulen Islands, also known as Desolation Islands, in the southern Indian Ocean. The Kergulen Islands are a group of isolated islands in the Antarctic constituting one of the two exposed parts of the Kerguelen Plateau, a large igneous province that is mostly submerged by the ocean. They are among the most isolated places on Earth, located more than 2,100 miles from Madagascar, the nearest permanently populated location.

Fuller and his crew spent an entire year on the remote islands before being rescued. Perhaps this was one of the reasons he finally decided to become a lighthouse keeper.

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2020 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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