Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to tell if it's foggy

I know lighthouses each have their own distinctive flash sequence but I don't know if the same applies to foghorn noises. I tried googling but the only thing I could discover is that the foghorn at Mumbles lighthouse (installed in 1908) is known as Jasper's baby. I have no idea why.

The other interesting thing I found out is that all lighthouses are controlled from a central point in Harwich. (Central to what I'm not sure.) Coastguards at St. Ann's in Pembrokeshire were recently contacted by Harwich who asked, 'Where has your lighthouse gone?' Apparently it had disappeared from their screens. According to the St. Ann's website, 'the culprit turned out to be one of the local cows who had leant up against the control box in the adjacent field and disconnected all the electrics!'

High tech is no match for a lazy Freisian.


nick said...

So the next time the internet's playing up I'd better look out of the window for stray cows? Actually I can imagine BT saying exactly that - "Sorry, sir, it's a stray cow in the South Belfast area. We'll soon have it rounded up".

NitWit1 said...

Where I live, I have to rely on looking out the window. No lighthouse or foghorn within a 1000 miles of me.

I should ask my Navy sailor husband
what you do.

I non-techy cow can cause lots of problems!

jmb said...

You've got to love that story Liz.

Where's your lighthouse gone? Searching for better weather. What a question.

It is now your job to find out why yours is called Jasper's Baby. There has to be a good story there.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Where's your lighthouse gone??? If that question was asked of me, I would have thought the questioner a brick short of a load.

As for knowing how it's foggy. I usually open the back door...

Furtheron said...

I'm sure they are different but like you can't find anything on the web about it. no doubt too foggy on the web today

Gallimaufry said...

Foghorns can be identified with particular lighthouses by the number of booms emitted per minute. This page from the Trinity House website gives a history and spec of their lights. Click on the pics. When I tried, several pages were unavailable (cow in the server room? ;-) ).
Jasper Williams was the head keeper there 1902-1914
Trinity House lighthouses were automated in the 1980s and are monitored from the Trinity House Central Planning Unit in Harwich.
Hope this helps.

Jane said...

I wasn't aware it was called "Jaspers Baby" but yes Foghorns have a distinctive sequence pattern and some are of different frequency also-here this one is a high frequency tone ( 800 hz) giving 3 beeps( blasts) every minute. LOL on the cow story:)

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