On September 14, 1716, Boston Light became the first lighthouse established in Colonial America. With many ships floundering in the treacherous waters of the Massachusetts harbor, there was a great need for navigational aid. At night and during storms, it was difficult to discern the entrance to the main shipping channel of Nantasket Roads, situated between the Brewster islands and the town of Hull. The ledges had become a graveyard for ships, resulting in great loss to human life and cargo--a deterrent to European colonization efforts. Ship captains and merchants petitioned the colonial government for a lighthouse to be erected on Little Brewster Island as a way of safe passage to the inner harbor. Three hundred years later, Boston Light continues to serve its purpose. Today, the lighthouse is protected by an ever-present Coast Guard civilian keeper and a cadre of specially trained Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer assistant keepers.
Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Brilliant Beacons traces the evolution of America's lighthouse system from its earliest days, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines. Beginning with "Boston Light," America's first lighthouse, Dolin shows how the story of America, from colony to regional backwater, to fledging nation, and eventually to global industrial power, can be illustrated through its lighthouses.
Even in the colonial era, the question of how best to solve the collective problem of lighting our ports, reefs, and coasts through a patchwork of private interests and independent localities telegraphed the great American debate over federalism and the role of a centralized government. As the nation expanded, throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so too did the coastlines in need of illumination, from New England to the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Pacific Coast all the way to Alaska. In Dolin's hands we see how each of these beacons tell its own story of political squabbling, technological advancement, engineering marvel, and individual derring-do.
In rollicking detail, Dolin treats readers to a memorable cast of characters, from the penny-pinching Treasury official Stephen Pleasonton, who hamstrung the country's efforts to adopt the revolutionary Fresnel lens, to the indomitable Katherine Walker, who presided so heroically over New York Harbor as keeper at Robbins Reef Lighthouse that she was hailed as a genuine New York City folk hero upon her death in 1931. He also animates American military history from the Revolution to the Civil War and presents tales both humorous and harrowing of soldiers, saboteurs, Civil War battles, ruthless egg collectors, and, most important, the lighthouse keepers themselves, men and women who often performed astonishing acts of heroism in carrying out their duties.
In the modern world of GPS and satellite-monitored shipping lanes, Brilliant Beacons forms a poignant elegy for the bygone days of the lighthouse, a symbol of American ingenuity that served as both a warning and a sign of hope for generations of mariners; and it also shows how these sentinels have endured, retaining their vibrancy to the present day. Containing over 150 photographs and illustrations, Brilliant Beacons vividly reframes America's history.
In this "magnificent compendium" (New Republic), best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin presents the definitive history of American lighthouses, and in so doing "illuminate s] the history of America itself" (Entertainment Weekly). Treating readers to a memorable cast of characters and "fascinating anecdotes" (New York Review of Books), Dolin shows how the story of the nation, from a regional backwater colony to global industrial power, can be illustrated through its lighthouses--from New England to the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Pacific Coast, and all the way to Alaska and Hawaii.
A Captain and Classic Boat Best Nautical Book of 2016
Successful Canadians write about failure, and how it got them where they are today.
What does it mean to fail? To some of the most successful Canadians, it was a rite of passage, a stepping stone to greater things, or even a brilliant source of inspiration. Olympic golds, successful businesses, pioneering medical advances -- all came about after a series of missteps and countless attempts.
Canadian Failures gathers ten experts from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors and academia, all of whom have grappled with failures and success throughout their lives. Their powerful argument: that Canada, and Canadians, must be willing to learn from failure if we hope to succeed.
With Chapters By ...
- astronaut Robert Thirsk
- Olympic gold medalist, wrestler Erica Wiebe
- Chair of OpenText and of the National Research Council, Tom Jenkins
- co-founder of the Just for Laughs comedy festival, Andy Nulman
- ... and others at the top of their fields.
Don't leave shore without this easy-to-use celestial favorite navigation primer--it could save your life
Huge advances in electronic navigation since the original publication of Celestial Navigation have transported offshore navigators to a world of press-button convenience. Traditional navigation skills--and technology-free position finding--are still vital, though, especially when things go wrong, as they will: batteries fail, antennas go overboard, and electronics get wet. Knowledge of celestial navigation is a life-saving emergency skill; it is also a rite of initiation and its practice still a favorite pastime among serious cruisers.
A bestseller for over 65 years, Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen is a model of simplicity and clarity. The only mathematics involved are addition and subtraction, which explains why this book has truly earned its reputation for admirable conciseness and for making a tricky subject easy to understand. This edition has been thoroughly revised by Andy Du Port, the highly respected past editor of Reeds Almanacs.
This book provides an overview of current topics in intelligent and green transportation on land, sea and in flight, with contributions from an international team of leading experts. A wide range of chapters discuss: the importance of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); ICT for intelligent public transport systems; ITS and freight transport; energy-efficient and real-time database management techniques for wireless sensor networks; proactive safety - cooperative collision warning for vehicles; electronic toll collection systems; business models and solutions for user-centered intelligent transport systems; digital infrastructures for increased safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability in shipping logistics; integrated visual information for maritime surveillance; automatic identification system (AIS) AIS signal radiolocation, tracking and verification; the impact of satellite AIS to the environmental challenges of modern shipping; how green is e-Navigation?; optimal ship operation: monitoring technology of ship overall heat balance; regulation of ship-source pollution through international convention regimes; foresight application for the transport sector; and trends in aeronautical air ground communications.
This book is essential reading for researchers, developers and students of ITS and clean and smart mobility.
The definitive, official illustrated book on the U.S. Coast Guard, published in a fully updated and revised edition. Since September 11, the Coast Guard's motto--Semper Paratus, "Always Ready"--has taken on new meaning. From protecting our coastlines to drug interdiction, combat missions, and guarding against terrorism as part of the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Coast Guard maintains a constant vigil in the safeguarding of Americans. Written by an outstanding team of historians and distinguished officers, including the current Commandant USCG Admiral Thad Allen, The Coast Guard has more than 350 pages that tell the story from its origins as both the Revenue Cutter Service and U.S. Lifesaving Service to lighthouses, ice breakers, and the heroes of Hurricane Katrina. Essays on history, search and rescue, and aviation all have one common focus: the incredibly trained and highly motivated people that make up the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard s deepest roots run through Massachusetts, the ancestral home to three of the five predecessor agencies that make up the service today. The Coast Guard formed in 1915 and since that time has served the citizens of the Bay State at lifeboat stations, air stations, lighthouses, LORAN stations, and radio stations, as well as on lightships and cutters of all sizes. They have protected the Massachusetts coastline during numerous wars, performing some of the most dramatic rescues in American history from the Pendleton to the Argo Merchant to the Etrusco and more. The story of the Coast Guard in Massachusetts is one of heroism, honor, respect, and devotion to duty."
In this fully revised and up-to-date 9th edition of The Complete Yachtmaster, Tom Cunliffe brings together all the essentials of modern offshore cruising in one volume, including the characteristics of a good captain, the theory and practice of sailing and sail trim, the art of seamanship, practicing accurate navigation (including all digital forms), comprehending ocean meteorology, heavy weather preparation and survival, understanding sailboat stability, and dealing swiftly and competently with emergencies.
The Complete Yachtmaster builds knowledge as it builds sailing confidence, guiding sailors as authoritatively and reassuringly as a sea pilot bringing a ship safely to harbor. Required reading for all sailors and budding captains, both on board and in the classroom.