Lighthouses of the Bahamas

The Bahamas are an archipelago of several thousand islands and cays stretching southeast from Florida, north of Cuba. Settled by the British in the 17th century, the islands were a British colony until they became independent in 1973. At the far southeastern end of the archipelago, the Turks and Caicos Islands were separated from the Bahamas in 1874 and remain a British colony today.

All the islands are low and sandy; their beautiful beaches have made them a mecca for vacationers from the U.S.and many other countries. The most heavily developed islands are at the northern end of the archipelago, closest to the U.S. The capital, Nassau, occupies New Providence Island and has more than 70% of the population of the country.

Lighthouse preservation is a matter of some concern in the Bahamas. Some of the lighthouses are well-known tourist attractions and seem well maintained, but others are isolated, rarely visited, and in poor condition. The active lighthouses are operated by the Bahamas Port Department.

Photos and current accounts of visits to many of these lighthouses are scarce on the Internet. I'd be happy to receive information or photos you'd like to share.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from Volume J of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 110.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Bahamas
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Bahamian Lighthouses in History
An article by Hannah Solo and Neil Aberle traces the history of lighthouse building and preservation in the Bahamas.
Lighthouses in the Bahamas
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Bahamas
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses in Bahamas
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Leuchttürme Mittelamerikas und der Karibik auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Lighthouses of the Bahamas and the West Indies
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.

Elbow Cay Light
Elbow Cay Light, Hopetown, June 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by colombiano

Abaco Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Abaco Islands are at the northern end of the Bahamas archipelago. The narrow island chain is about 200 km (125 mi) long and has a permanent population of aboout 13,000. Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island is the largest town. The Abacos are accessible by air, and cruise ships often call there.
**** Elbow Cay (Elbow Reef, Hope Town, Great Abaco)
1864. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); five white flashes every 15 s. 27 m (89 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted with horizontal red and white bands; lantern painted white with a gray metallic dome. Revolving 1st order Fresnel lens (transferred from Gun Cay in 1936). A photo is above, an excellent closeup and a view from the harbor are available, Bruce Tuten has a good view of the entire station, Trabas has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. This is probably the most-visited lighthouse of the Bahamas. The light is fueled by kerosene, and the keeper still hand-winds the clockwork mechanism. The Bahamas Lighthouse Preservation Society works for the maintenance of this historic light station. In 2012, BLPS members replaced several broken windows in the lantern. Located on Elbow Cay on the west side of the harbor at Hope Town. The island is accessible by ferry from Marsh Harbour. Site and tower open. Site manager: Bahamas Port Department. ARLHS BAH-010; Admiralty J4572; NGA 11800.
* [Little Harbour (1-2)]
Date unknown (station established 1889). Inactive. Ruins of a 1-story concrete keeper's quarters, known locally as the "old lighthouse." A modern steel framework tower carried an active light until it was blown over by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012; Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's photo of the toppled light. A photo and a very distant view are available, and Bing has a satellite view. In an aerial view of the harbor, the light is on the peninsula at upper right (click on the photo for magnification). Located at the entrance to Little Harbour, about 25 km (15 mi) south of Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island. Accessible by a short walk to the end of the peninsula sheltering the harbor. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS BAH-021; Admiralty J4576; NGA 11808.
* Abaco (Hole-in-the-Wall)
1836. Active; focal plane 51 m (168 ft); white flash every 10 s. 28 m (92 ft) round British old-style stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to keeper's quarters buildings. Upper 2/3 of tower painted red, lower third white. Dexter Russell's photo is at right, Craig Nash has a 2010 photo, Marinas.com has fine aerial photos, Trabas has Capt. Peter Mosselberger's distant view from the sea, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse, built in 1836 to mark the entrance to the Northeast Providence Channel, is one of the best examples of old-style British lighthouse architecture in the New World. It is not the oldest lighthouse in the country (the 1817 Paradise Island Light in Nassau has that honor), but it was the first lighthouse built in the Bahamas by the Imperial Lighthouse Service. As late as 1995, it was still fueled by kerosene and lit every night by resident keepers. Today the light station is leased to the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization as a marine research facility. The lighthouse itself was modernized and automated in 1995; the Center for Whale Research has a closeup photo (halfway down the page) taken before the restoration. In 1994, a large area surrounding the light station was set aside as the Abaco National Park. The name "Hole-in-the-Wall" referred to a limestone arch at land's end near the lighthouse; Peter Brind has a good photo of the "hole." Unfortunately, the arch collapsed in October 2012 as Hurricane Sandy raged over the island. Located at the southern tip of Great Abaco Island. Accessible by boat or over a rugged road by 4WD vehicles. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization. ARLHS BAH-004; Admiralty J4580; NGA 11816.
Hole in the Wall Light
Hole in the Wall Light, South Abaco, January 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Dexter Russell; used by permission

Grand Bahama Island Lighthouse
Note: Among the major islands of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama is the closest to the U.S., lying about 90 km (55 mi) east of Florida. The island is nearly 160 km (100 mi) long west to east and has a population of about 75,000. It has numerous resorts very popular with Americans. Tourists often photograph the Lucaya lighthouse at Freeport and the High Rock lighthouse at High Rock, but these are faux lighthouses, not aids to navigation.
* Pinder's Point (2)
Around 1960 (station establishment date unknown). Reactivated (inactive ca. 2006-2009); focal plane 16.5 m (54 ft); red light, light pattern unknown. 12 m (40 ft) round cinder block tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Larry Myhre contributed the photo at right, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. The tower is dwarfed by a modern industrial chimney. According to a historical marker at the site, there was a 19th century lighthouse at or near this location; older Admiralty lists describe a short skeletal tower listed as Eight Mile Rock Light. The historical marker also says the current tower was built in the "mid 1900s." Probably this was in connection with the development of Freeport Harbour, which began in the late 1950s. Sometime before 2007, the light was removed from the lighthouse, and during 2007 its traditional red and white bands were covered by white paint, as seen in a November 2007 photo by Andrew John Conway. The lighthouse had this same appearance as late as September 2008, as seen by another photo. In early 2009 the tower was restored and relit, and benches and the historical marker were installed. In 2013 the lighthouse was designated a Grand Bahama Heritage Site. Located on a prominent cape on the southwestern coast of the island, about 2 km (1.25 mi) southeast of the entrance to Freeport Harbour. Site status unknown. ARLHS BAH-024; Admiralty J4594; NGA 11848.

Pinder's Point Light, Freeport, March 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Bimini Lighthouses

Note: The Bimini Islands are a group of small islands barely 80 km (50 mi) due east of Miami, Florida.
Great Isaac
1859. Reactivated (inactive ca. 2000-2009?). 46 m (151 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. 1-story keeper's house, abandoned and falling into ruin, and other buildings. Anthony Rue's 2007 photo is at right, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's aerial photo, a 2009 photo is available, and Marinas.com has aerial photos showing the sad state of the station, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the cay. Marking the entrance to the Northwest Providence Channel, this lighthouse is a familiar landmark for cruise ship passengers en route to Nassau from Florida. Great Isaac is the scene of a famous lighthouse mystery: on 4 August 1969, the light station was discovered undisturbed but abandoned. Its two missing keepers were never found. The lighthouse appeared to be gravely endangered in recent years: in 2005, Doug Nevitt visited the lighthouse and found it abandoned and rusting. The photo at right and a photo taken on New Years Eve 2007 show similar troubling conditions. Apparently, the lighthouse was repainted and relit sometime in 2008-09, although the lantern remains in poor condition with most of its panes missing. Located on Great Isaac Cay at the north end of the Bimini archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Bahamas Port Department. ARLHS BAH-002; Admiralty J4620; NGA 11900.
Gun Cay
1836. Active; focal plane 24 m (80 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (50 ft) round old-style stone tower surmounted by a short square pyramidal skeletal tower; upper half of tower painted red, lower half white. Two 1-story keeper's houses are abandoned and falling into ruins. The original lantern was transferred to Elbow Cay in 1936. Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's aerial photo, Matt Lepkowski's photo shows the lighthouse freshly painted in 2003, a 2009 photo shows the ruined keeper's houses, and Marinas.com has aerial photos, but Google's distant satellite view does not show the station. Located at the south end of the cay, one of the smaller islands in the Bimini group. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BAH-009; Admiralty J4610; NGA 11916.
* North Cat Cay Breakwater
1933. Active; focal plane 6 m (10 ft); white flash every 2 s. 6 m (20 ft) round old-style masonry tower with a small open lantern. Lighthouse painted white with a black cat on the seaward side, lantern painted gold. M.B. Stephens has a closeup photo, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's aerial photo, and Marinas.com has aerial photos of the harbor; the light can be seen in the third photo. Google has a very distant satellite view of the harbor. Built by Capt. Leroy Smith for the owners of the island, the lighthouse is now owned by the Cat Cay Club. The original rubblestone breakwater has been replaced by a broad artificial peninsula that includes a landing strip for small planes. The island is just south of Gun Cay in the Bimini Group. It is privately owned, but the marina area is open to all boaters. Located at the east entrance to the harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BAH-023; Admiralty J4608; NGA 11920.
Great Isaac Light
Great Isaac Light, Bimini, September 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Anthony Rue

Berry Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Berry Islands are a chain of small islands in the central northern part of the Bahamas, roughly 100 km (60 mi) northwest of Nassau and the same distance southwest of Great Abaco Island. The permanent population is only about 700, but there are a number of resorts in the islands.
Great Stirrup Cay
1863. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 17 m (56 ft) round stone or brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. An aerial photo (misidentified as "Great Harbor Light") shows two 1-story keeper's quarters and an oil house, apparently in poor repair. Kate Webster's photo is at right, David Smith has a 2009 closeup, Ken Cobb has a February 2007 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's aerial photo, and Google has a good satellite view. The cay is a regular stop for Norwegian Cruise Lines ships, so perhaps the cruise line has helped keep this lighthouse in good condition. Located at the northern end of the Berry Islands. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Bahamas Port Department. ARLHS BAH-008; Admiralty J4624; NGA 11940.
Whale Point (Whale Cay)
1920. Clearly inactive, although still listed as active by NGA. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) 3-story masonry tower attached to a 1-story keeper's house. The tower has been freshly painted white. A closeup photo and a view from the sea are available, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's aerial photo, WhaleCay.com has an aerial photo, and Google has a satellite view. The island is a privately owned resort. The lighthouse was restored in the 1930s by the founder of the resort. Located at the southwestern tip of Little Whale Cay at the extreme southern end of the Berry Islands. Site and tower private but open to resort guests. Site manager: Little Whale Cay Resort. ARLHS BAH-022; Admiralty J4626; NGA 11952.

Andros Island Lighthouse
Note: Located southwest of Nassau, Andros is the largest island of the Bahamas, over 160 km (100 mi) long and as much as 65 km (40 mi wide). However, it is thinly populated and not well known to tourists.
*** Coakley Town (Andros)
1892. Inactive. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square masonry tower with a crenellated top. Tower painted white, except for several narrow red bands on a short tower at the top. Dale Johnston has a June 2005 photo, Jesper Jurcenoks has a 2007 photo, a closeup shows that the date 1892 is carved above the door of the tower, and the tower is centered in a Google satellite view. No information on the history of this odd stucture is available. According to one source, the short tower painted with red horizontal bands was added to the top of the tower in 1952. Located on the south side of the entrance to Fresh Creek in Coakley Town, about 5 km (3 mi) north of Andros Town on the east side of the island. Site and tower open. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS BAH-017.

Great Stirrup Cay Light, Berry Islands, January 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Kate Webster

Nassau Lighthouses
Note: Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, has a population of more than 250,000 -- 80% of the population of the country. The metropolitan area encompasses all of New Providence Island. Nassau has several well known faux lighthouses, including Solomons and Crystal Cay.
Goulding Cay
1922. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 2 s. 15 m (49 ft) triangular skeletal mast. Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's photo, and there is a faint shadow of the tower in Google's satellite view. Goulding Cay, a well known scuba diving site, is about 2 km (1.25 mi) west of the western end of New Providence Island. Located at the west end of the cay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J4650; NGA 12076.
* Paradise Island (Hog Island, Nassau Harbour)
1817. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); flash every 5 s, generally white, but the light changes to red when conditions are dangerous for entry. 19 m (63 ft) round old-style brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Alex Merwin's 2012 photo is at right, Colin Thomas's 2007 photo shows how the lantern was formerly painted white with a red roof, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's 2013 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Michel Forand has another postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This is the oldest and best known lighthouse in the Bahamas and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. Located at the western end of Paradise Island (formerly Hog Island) marking the northwest entrance to Nassau Harbor. Site status unknown. Good view from cruise ships entering the harbor. Site manager: Bahamas Port Department (?). ARLHS BAH-014; Admiralty J4655; NGA 12084.
* Government House
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (122 ft); red flash every 3 s. Light displayed from the cupola of Government House in downtown Nassau. The building is painted pink with white trim. Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's 2013 photo, Natalie Wilkie has another photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on Hill Street, about 3 blocks south of the waterfront in Nassau. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Government of the Bahamas. ARLHS BAH-019; Admiralty J4658; NGA 12096.
* Fort Fincastle (?)
1928. Active (?); focal plane 67 m (220 ft); white flash every 5 s. 40 m (131 ft) round concrete water tower with a flat roof used as an observation platform. Entire tower is white. Owen Smith has a photo, Deral Carson has a closeup and a view of the inside of the tower, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. An elevator formerly carried tourists to the roof of this historic tower for a panoramic view of Nassau. The light is more for aircraft than for ships, although it may serve as a landfall light for the city. Recent visitors have reported this light is not operating. Located on Bennet's Hill, the highest point of New Providence Island, sharing the hilltop with Fort Fincastle (1793). Site open, tower reported closed (April 2013). ARLHS BAH-012; Admiralty J4654; NGA 12080.

Hog Island Light
Paradise Island (Hog Island) Light, Nassau, May 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alex Merwin

* East End Point
1909. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) 2-story square concrete building; the light is shown from a mast atop the structure. An enclosure projecting from the roof may have held a range light or directional light, but it is not in use at present. Trabas has Tom Chisholm's photo, Forand has posted a postcard photo, and the light is probably centered in this Google satellite view. Located off Yamacraw Hill Road at the eastern end of New Providence Island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J4669; NGA 12112.

Eleuthera and Exumas Lighthouses
Note: Eleuthera is a very long, thin island that traces the northeastern end of the Great Bahama Bank in the central Bahamas. The island has numerous resorts and is a very popular vacation destination. The Exumas are a long line of cays south of Eleuthera.
Egg Island
Date unknown (station established 1891). Inactive as of 2013, although still listed with focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 3 s. 18 m (59 ft) skeletal tower. Trabas has Tom Chisholms's photo, and a Google satellite view may show station buildings. The Chisholms visited the island in 2013 and reported that the light was not active. A developer has plans to build a golf resort on the island. Located at the highest point of the island, off the northwestern tip of Eleuthera. Site status unknown. ARLHS BAH-006; Admiralty J4678; NGA 12200.
Man Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 18 m (59 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and Google's satellite view does not reveal the tower. Located on an uninhabited, privately owned island at the north end of Eleuthera. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty J4682; NGA 12204.
** North Palmetto Point
1992. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); continuous white light with a more intense flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical wood tower with lantern and gallery rising from the roof of a three-bedroom house. Building available for vacation rentals. Trabas has Tom Chisholm's photo, Ron Weiss has a photo, a 2007 closeup photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was built privately by David Steigelman; Lighthouse Digest has a short article describing its construction. Located 4 miles south of Governor's Harbor on the easternmost point of Eleuthera Island. Site open, tower open to paying guests. Site manager: Palmetto Point Lighthouse. ARLHS BAH-013; Admiralty J4705; NGA 12158.
[Eleuthera Point (Lighthouse Point) (2)]
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 4.6 s. 7.5 m (25 ft) post light adjacent to a 1-story square keeper's house. House painted white. A photo is at right, Bill Furry has a 2009 photo, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's closeup photo, Beth Bullock has a more distant view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view of this remote location. The keeper's house was in ruins until recently, but the recent photos show that it has been restored. Older light lists show the station originally had two lights on skeletal towers. Located atop a bluff on Lighthouse Point, at the southern tip of Eleuthera. Accessible by 4WD plus a hike of about 3 km (2 mi) round trip. Site open. Admiralty J4704; NGA 12208.
Eleuthera Point Light
Eleuthera Point Light, Eleuthera, November 2008
Panoramio photo copyright jpotratz; permission requested
Little Pipe Cay
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 7 m (23 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) conical rubblestone tower, unpainted. A commercial photo is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. This appears to be a historic daybeacon with a recently added light. The light guides vessels through a narrow passage into Exuma Sound. Little Pipe Cay is privately owned, but there is a resort on Fowl Cay to the southeast. Located on a reef off Little Pipe Cay, about 12 km (7.5 mi) northwest of Staniel Cay in the Exumas. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Not listed by the international light lists.

San Salvador Island Lighthouse
Note: San Salvador is an isolated island of the southeastern Bahamas, about 50 km (30 mi) to the east of the other islands. Traditionally it is identified as the location of the first landing by Columbus in America on 12 October 1492, although recently some historians have questioned this identification. For many years the island was also known as Watling Island, but San Salvador has been its name officially since 1925.
**** San Salvador (Dixon Hill, Watling Island)
1887 (station established 1856). Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 22 m (72 ft) round tapered brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Erin Cate has a 2008 photo of the station, Steve Nerat has a 2006 closeup, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The two original 1-story keeper's houses are still occupied by keepers, who also conduct tours of the tower. Located on the highest point of the island of San Salvador, on the northeastern side of the island. Site and tower open. Site manager: Government of the Bahamas. ARLHS BAH-015; Admiralty J4738; NGA 12288.

Southeastern Bahamas Lighthouses
Note: Crooked Island and Acklins Island together form a "fishhook" enclosing a shallow lagoon called Acklins Bight in the southeastern Bahamas. The permanent population of the two islands is less than 1000, but there are several resorts. Mayaguana, the easternmost island of the Bahamas, lies about 65 km (40 mi) east of Acklins and has a population of about 300.
Bird Rock
1876. Reactivated (?) (inactive ca. 1980-1999; perhaps inactive again); focal plane 34 m (112 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 30.5 m (100 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, centered on round 1-story keeper's quarters. A 2009 photo is available, Trabas has a good photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was being privately restored by the owners of the Pittstown Point Resort on Crooked Island, and for a time four vacation suites in the light station were available for rental. The resort has been sold, and we need information on the current status of the lighthouse. Located on a small island, hardly more than a sandbar, off the northwestern tip of Crooked Island in the southern Bahamas. Site open, and the lighthouse is open to tours managed by the resort. Owner/site manager: Crooked Island Lodge. ARLHS BAH-005; Admiralty J4792; NGA 12296.
Castle Island
1868. Active (solar-powered); focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 34 m (112 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; 1st order Fresnel lens (1934). The two keeper's cottages and other station buildings are abandoned. Trabas has a good photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs (also seen at right), Marinas.com has good aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Geoff Schultz has posted 2007 photos; at that time the lighthouse was freshly painted on the outside but appeared deteriorated inside. Until recent years this lighthouse was painted with red and white horizontal bands. Located on a small island off the southwest tip of Acklins Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open; Schultz found the tower open. Site manager: Bahamas Port Department. ARLHS BAH-001; Admiralty J4782; NGA 12324.
* [Mayaguana Northwest Point (2)]
Date unknown (station established 1925). Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) post light mounted on a round stone base. A square 1-story keeper's cottage stands in ruins nearby. A photo is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. The original light here was a 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower. Located on a bluff at the northwestern point of Mayaguana (not at the northeast point, as stated on the photo caption). Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J4798; NGA 12352.
Castle Island Light
Castle Island Light, Acklins
photo copyright Capt. Theo Hinrichs; used by permission

Southern Channels Lighthouses
Cay Sal
1839. Inactive since the 1940s. Approx. 18 m (60 ft) ruined round stone tower with lantern and gallery. This abandoned lighthouse formerly marked the southern entrance to the Florida Straits from the Gulf of Mexico. It was briefly reactivated during the 1970s, when Bahamas police had a post on the island to watch for drug smugglers. The tower is badly deteriorated. Gregory Gulik has a report from his visit in 2001, a 2009 photo is available, and another photo shows the ruined keeper's house, but Google's satellite view has no detail on the cay. Located on North Elbow Cay, at the western end of the Cay Sal Bank about 80 km (50 mi) off the Cuban coast and 130 km (80 mi) southeast of Key West, Florida. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower open but extremely hazardous. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS BAH-018.
Cay Lobos
1869. Active; focal plane 44 m (145 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 45 m (148 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Timothy Wildey has a photo, and another photo of the cay and lighthouse is available, but the cay is barely visible in Google's satellite view. The tiny cay, a famous hazard to navigation, is located only a short distance off the north coast of Cuba, but it is owned by the Bahamas. Cruise ships pass by the cay regularly, and their passengers are usually astonished by the lighthouse as it seems to rise directly out of the ocean ahead of or beside the ship. The lighthouse was ordered by British colonial authorities and completed in 1869. For lighthouse keepers, it was the most isolated posting in the Bahamas. Today the light is automated and solar-powered. Located on a cay in the Old Bahama Channel only 50 km (30 mi) from Cuba. Site and tower closed. Site manager: Bahamas Port Department. ARLHS BAH-011; Admiralty J4774; NGA 12344.

Inagua Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Inagua Islands are the southernmost island group of the Bahamas. The largest island, Great Inagua, is the third largest island of the archipelago, roughly 90 km (55 mi) long and 30 km (19 mi) wide. The permanent population is only about 1000, most of them in Matthew Town on Great Inagua.
Hogsty Reef (1)
Date unknown. Inactive. 4 m (13 ft) round stone tower on a square base. The modern light, a 7 m (23 ft) post light (focal plane 9 m (29 ft); white flash every 4 s), stands next to the old beacon. A 2007 photo is available, and Trabas has Tom Chisholm's aerial photo, but the reef is barely visible in Google's satellite view. Located on Northwest Cay, the largest island of the reef, which is halfway between Acklin's Island and Great Inagua Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS BAH-020; Admiralty J4802; NGA 12356
*** Great Inagua (Southwest Point)
1870. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 34 m (112 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Two octagonal keeper's houses occupied by keepers. Patrick Wilson's photo is at right, a 2008 closeup photo is available, Trabas has Tom Chisholm's aerial photo, a University of Florida archaeological report also contains a photo of the lighthouse (nearly halfway down the page), Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the southwestern tip of Great Inagua Island near Matthew Town. This location is about 100 km (60 mi) northeast of Punta Maisí, the eastern tip of Cuba. Site and tower open (free, donations requested). Site manager: Bahamas Port Department. ARLHS BAH-007; Admiralty J4804; NGA 12360.
Great Inagua Light
Great Inagua Light, 2007
photo copyright Patrick Wilson; used by permission

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Coco Cay, Berry Islands west of Great Stirrup Cay. This light was built by Royal Caribbean Cruises, which owns the island. It may be active, but it is not recognized as an aid to navigation. Bing has a satellite view.
  • Crystal Cay, off Long Cay near the entrance to Nassau, is not listed as an aid to navigation. Agustin Mantilla has a closeup, and Bing has a satellite view.
  • High Rock (1998), Grand Bahama, was built by Rev. Cecil Kemp of the nearby Lighthouse Chapel; it is not an aid to navigation. A closeup is available, but the tower is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view.
  • Lucaya, also on Grand Bahama, is purely decorative and not an aid to navigation. Bill Estes has a nice view, and Bing has a satellite view.
  • Pearl Island, Nassau, is not an active lighthouse. John Dawson has a photo, a closeup is available, and Bing has a satellite view.
  • Solomons, at the northeastern point of New Providence Island, Nassau, is not listed as an aid to navigation. Bing has a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: East: Turks and Caicos Islands | South: Cuba | West: Eastern Florida

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index

Posted May 2005. Checked and revised October 4, 2013. Lighthouses: 25. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.