Graves Light Station and Graves Ledge are privately owned. There are no public facilities on the property. The rocks are dangerous to boats and people. Unauthorized visitors are NOT permitted to use Graves Light moorings. Those who land on Graves Ledge without permission will be considered trespassers.
Graves is within the boundaries of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, a part of the US National Parks Service. It is illegal to fly drones within the boundaries of US National Parks. The operation of drones over or around Graves Light is prohibited.
Two friends alerted us that a certain cribbage board was for sale on eBay, and being the only bidders, we are happy to say that after 77 years, this beautifully hand-crafted game is returned to the watch room on the 5th floor.
Made by (or for) USCG Keeper Peter Rondeau during the war in 1943, the finely made wooden board just needed pegs and cards, which were thoughtfully provided by our pal Lango.
What a wonderful way to spend a quiet hour surrounded by heavy fog this morning!
When first built, Graves Light included a substantial wharf, built of huge granite blocks.
The sea has swept away all but four of the original massive stones. For years, divers have searched the bottom of the harbor around Graves Ledge and never found any of them.
So we rebuilt the wharf with 2-1/2 ton granite blocks recycled from an old New Hampshire railroad bridge. It was a complicated job.
With ACK Marine, we set three courses of granite blocks extending below most of the elevated wooden dock and a bit further into the harbor.
Guiding the blocks into place with precision required calm seas and a dead low tide. ACK set the first of the three courses of granite in a day.
The blocks were set in place in wet concrete with large holes bored through them.
To slow the inevitable destruction by the sea, the blocks were doubly held into place with massive steel pins that run through holes drilled through the entire thickness of each block and down into the ledge itself. Each pin was attached to the stone beneath the sea with high-tech, environmentally friendly epoxy.
ACK Marine then installed the wooden forms and poured a massive concrete slab behind the blocks to try and prevent heavy winter storms from knocking the whole thing to pieces.
Never know until you try!
Extra thanks to Mike S from King Pine for the helicopter photos and Michael B for the breathtaking overhead picture.
We had the good fortune to bring in the talents of master rigger José Hernandez Juviel and his wife Becky to weave and knot a traditional rope railing for the oil house.
Few are skilled in his maritime trade, and it was a privilege for him to design and build it out of sturdy hemp, with a pine tar finish. So many able hands have touched Graves Light to make it shine. A hearty “Three Bells” to José and Becky!
Dramatic sea rescue! Proof that no matter how well you know Graves Ledge, the area is always treacherous.
Saturday’s calm seas beckoned us to the lighthouse for a maintenance check. Within an hour, a bit of wind sprang up and pulled Miss Cuddy II off her mooring to be thrown mercilessly onto the ledge, roiling in the surf and battering her hull.
These former Coast Guard Defender-class boats are built to take a wicked beating. Their work on Graves Light put them through the toughest tests..
So on Saturday, March 28, 2018, the seas broke Miss Cuddy II from her mooring and slammed her viciously into the basalt ledge.
But just as quickly as bad luck strikes, good luck came our way. The mighty men of Boston Scuba, passing by after work on their trusty dive boat Keep-ah, noticed our plight. Using their expert seamanship they threw us a line and towed us off the rocks to the safety of deeper water.
The culprit: The new mooring had been chewed down to a thread below water, a grim reminder of the relentless power of the North Atlantic.
We raise a glass to our rescuers Cap’t Jim and Master Diver Luigi! Thank you for saving Miss Cuddy II!