Monday, June 4, 2012

The Full Moon Climb (Cape May Lighthouse)

The Cape May Point Lighthouse at dusk
If your calendar is the kind that shows the phases of the moon, you will see that tonight the moon is full. The full moon has been romanticized over the years, but what does it really mean to you? Maybe it explains odd behavior of coworkers, customers, and offensive drivers on this day, but can you think of anything else? Wolfmen, maybe? Well, if you are in Cape May, NJ, during this summer season the full moon signals an opportunity to climb the Cape May Lighthouse at night by the light of the moon!

Steps, steps, and more steps (199 to be exact)

Porthole window
I couldn't resist the opportunity this evening even though the skies were cloudy and the moon did not actually make an appearance. It was a fun climb, though I suspect an extra fifty or so cast-iron steps were added to the original 199 since I climbed last year. (Is that possible?) I stopped off at each window along the way to shoot pictures and breathe a little. Did you know that windows were placed facing different directions to catch the sun at various times of the year? It's more obvious in the Cape May Light than some others that the thickness between the inner and outer walls gradually gets smaller closer to the top. It's easiest to see this at the windows. There's about six feet between the inner and outer brick walls at the base, and up where the round porthole style windows are the walls come together (almost--the wall is about twelve inches thick there).

I'm pleased with the shots I got from the windy deck at the top of the light tonight, experimenting with various settings and buttons on my camera for nighttime shooting.Check them out:

That's St. Mary's retreat for nuns with the Delaware Bay behind. Rumor has it civilians can retreat there, too. Who's in?

This is the town of Cape May Point under a tempestuous sky. That's the Delaware Bay back there.
That's the bird sanctuary in the center, the WWII bunker to the right on the beach, the City of Cape May in the background, and the Atlantic Ocean to the right in back.

This one is a little blurry, but I like it anyway. I was using the roof of my car to steady the camera, but it didn't work as well as my tripod would have...if I had thought to bring it.

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