Lighthouses of the Bahamas
The Bahamas is an archipelago of several thousand islands and cays
stretching southeast from Florida, north of Cuba. Settled by the British
as early in 1648, the islands became a notorious pirate hangout in the early 1700s. Britain cleaned out the pirates and re-established a colony in 1718. The islands then remained under British sovereignty 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. A few
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
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.
- Lighthouses in the Bahamas
- Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
- World of Lighthouses - Bahamas
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
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, Hopetown, June 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
- Abaco Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Abaco Islands
are at the northeastern corner 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 often visited lighthouse of the Bahamas. The
light is fueled by kerosene, and keepers still hand-wind the clockwork
mechanism evry two hours throughout the night. The Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society (formerly The Bahamas Lighthouse Preservation Society) works for the restoration and maintenance
of this historic light station. In 2015 volunteers restored the lantern roof, and in 2016 the lantern glass was replaced. The 150th anniversary of the lighthouse was celebrated in June 2014. 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, and Bing has a satellite view. 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
- 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 a view from the sea by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google 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" taken in 2001. 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, 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.
- Around 1960 (station establishment date unknown). Inactive
ca. 2006-2009 and since 2014. 12 m (40 ft) round cinder block tower, painted with red
and white horizontal bands. Larry Myhre contributed the photo at
right, 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
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
by Andrew 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. However, the Admiralty reported in April 2014 that the light has been deactivated once again. 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; ex-Admiralty J4594; ex-NGA 11848.
Pinder's Point Light, Freeport, March 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre
Note: The Bimini Islands
are a group of small islands barely 80 km (50 mi) due east of Miami, Florida.
- 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 Capt. Peter Mosselberger's 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.
- 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 Capt. Peter Mosselberger's photo, a 2011 photo shows one of 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 (privately maintained); 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, 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.
- 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 a distant view by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a 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, and Google has a satellite view. The island is a privately owned resort. The lighthouse
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
- 1895. Inactive. Approx. 9 m (30 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
Jesper Jurcenoks has a 2007 photo,
Sherrine Thompson's photo
shows that the date 1892 is carved above the door of the tower, and
the tower is centered in a Google satellite
view. Very little information on the history of this odd stucture is available, but it is listed as active in the Jenkins 1904 light list.
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
Note: Nassau, the
capital of the Bahamas, has a population of more than 250,000 -- 70% of the
population of the country. The metropolitan area encompasses all of New Providence
Island. In addition to the official lights, Nassau has several well known faux lighthouses, including Solomons
- 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,
- 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,
a 2009 photo shows the light freshly painted, Trabas has Darlene Chisholm's 2013 photo, Marinas.com has aerial
photos, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a satellite
view. This is the oldest and best known lighthouse in the Bahamas
and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. Sadly, it is endangered. The lighthouse was in "deplorable" condition by spring 2015, with government agencies blaming each other for its neglect. 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
- 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 Google 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. Ivan Curra has a photo,
a 2013 closeup is available, Trabas has Tom Chisholm's photo, and Google 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
Site open, tower reported closed (April 2013). ARLHS BAH-012;
Admiralty J4654; NGA 12080.
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, 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, narrow 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, J. Maly has a view from the sea, 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
- 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,
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.
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 cottage. 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, November 2008
Panoramio photo copyright jpotratz; permission requested
- Beacon Cay (2)
- Date unknown (station established 1893). Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); flash every 3 s, white or red depending on direction. 9 m (30 ft) skeletal mast adjacent to the original 1-story octagonal keeper's cottage. The station buildings are unroofed and falling into ruin. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The light marks a break in the Exuma reefs that provides an approach route to Nassau from the southeast. Located on a tiny cay about 50 km ( 30 mi) east southeast of New Providence Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J4722; NGA 12116.
- 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
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; probably 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.
- 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
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, Acklins
photo copyright Capt. Theo Hinrichs; used by permission
Southern Channels Lighthouses
- 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 and closeup are available, another photo shows the ruined keeper's house, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. 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 Trabas has a view from the sea by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, 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 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;
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. Jeremy Waters has a closeup photo, a
2007 photo is
available, Trabas has Tom Chisholm's aerial photo, and Google has a 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, 2007
photo copyright Patrick Wilson; used by permission
Information available on lost lighthouses:
- Athol Island (1875-?), northeast side of New Providence Island. The light was in a cupola atop the quarantine office. Google's satellite view shows there are no structures on the island today.
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.
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.
at the northeastern point of New Providence Island, Nassau, is not listed
as an aid to navigation. Bing has a satellite view.
- Sun Cay, Nassau, off the northeast side of New Providence Island, is not active. John Dawson has a photo and Google has a satellite view.
Adjoining pages: East: Turks and Caicos Islands | South: Cuba | West: Eastern Florida
Return to the Lighthouse Directory
Posted May 2005. Checked and revised October 16, 2016. Lighthouses:
27. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill.