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An original pen and ink watercolor by artist James Williamson recreated as a fine art image and greeting card by Fine Art America.
The first lightship to serve the Swiftsure Bank, northwest of the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, at the southwest tip of Vancouver Island in the great Pacific Northwest. She took up her position in 1909. The steam powered No. 93 was equipped with sail for emergencies. With new aids to navigation taking her place, the lightship was withdrawn July 1, 1961.
Many tempest tossed souls were saved by the presence of �Swiftsure 93�. Located at the entrance of a vital navigation area, the Strait of Juan de Fuca separates Vancouver Island, in the Canadian Province of British Columbia to the north and The Olympic Peninsula, in the state of Washington, U. S.A. to the south.
Lightships are no longer positioned at perilous spots along the west coast, but before the electronic revolution in navigation aids, they played a vital role in guiding seagoing vessels.
Duty aboard a lightship was the most dangerous and uncomfortable in the lighthouse service. Pitching and rolling, the lightship was designed for its purpose, which was sea-keeping ability, to stay on station when the sea got rough. Lightships took fearful poundings and the greatest danger were storms or collision with another vessel, usually these rammings were not too serious and damage was slight.
Serving as a warning to navigators of a dangerous hazard the �Swiftsure 93� served well through the years - whether as a haven of refuge or as an aid to navigation - and has been a most useful instrument. Lightships could be placed where no lighthouses could be built or where no buoys would remain. The sun has set on all the lightships as an aid to navigation. Stationary towers or improved buoys have replaced all the country�s lightship stations. It was a nostalgic day when that era ended.
Copyright James Williamson all rights reserved
January 3rd, 2012
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