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!
Miss Cuddy I, her hull damaged beyond repair, is sent to the scrap yard in Everett.
Not everything at Graves Light is happy and fun. Our trusty Miss Cuddy I went to the scrap yard. The former Coast Guard Defender-class boat ferried us all back and forth from the lighthouse until bad seas dragged her on her moorings to a terrible beating on Graves Ledge.
We removed Miss Cuddy‘s pilot house and turned her into a service barge. She spent all of 2019 doing the drudge work for the Oil House and footbridge.
This week we took her to a scrap yard in Everett. We gave the pilot house to a local tugboat operator and one of the engines to our roofer, and salvaged a bunch of small parts for her replacement, Miss Cuddy II. We had to strip the two big orange flotation collars off her hull.
At the scrap yard, she weighed in at 5,200 pounds of aluminum hull and other metal parts, including the old Coast Guard gun mounts.
It was a sad sight indeed to see her crunched up and tossed onto the scrap heap like an old toy. Afterward we saw Toy Story 4.
Miss Cuddy I sure did give us years of great service. Using her hull as a barge worked out great for ferrying the stone, copper, and steel parts for the reconstructed Oil House and footbridge.
“Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crost the bar.”
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Miss Cuddy, in her prime, readies to go
Miss Cuddy awash on Grave Ledge as her moorings dragged
Miss Cuddy II tows Miss Cuddy I on the hour-long haul from Winthrop to Graves.
Winthrop Harbormaster Larry and his crew on Miss Cuddy I, now a barge.
Billy and Chris install the last railing section, November 4, 2019.
We’re very excited to share the news that our two-year restoration and reconstruction of the historical Oil House and footbridge are now complete.
The original Graves footbridge, a steel structure that spanned the channel in Graves Ledge to link the lighthouse to the granite Oil House more than 100 feet away, was partially destroyed in the Great Blizzard of ’78 and demolished by the “No Name” storm of 1991.
The original wooden roof of the Oil House became unsalvageable after years of heavy storms and neglect.
Graves Light is a historic landmark. At the outermost entrance to Boston Harbor and the tallest lighthouse in the Boston area, Graves Light is privately owned but continues to serve as a navigation aid run by the US Coast Guard.
The new owners welcome the adventurous public to enjoy the sights of Graves Light, but warn that there are no electrical, water, sanitary, first aid, or other facilities of any kind available to the public at the lighthouse or on Graves Ledge.
Graves Ledge is dangerous. Submerged rocks present a navigation hazard. We insist that visitors enjoy the ledge and lighthouse from the safety of their boat or kayak.
Meanwhile, follow us through this website, Facebook, and on Twitter @GravesLight.