Lighthouses of Saint Lucia

St. Lucia is an island nation located south of Martinique and north of St. Vincent in the Windward Islands of the West Indies. With a population of about 175,000, St. Lucia has become a popular tourist destination, although it may not be quite as well known as its neighbors Martinique and Barbados. The capital of the country is Castries, on the northwest coast of the island.

Originally colonized by France, the island seesawed back and forth between France and Britain throughout the 18th century before becoming British for good in 1814. As a result, a French-based Creole language is commonly spoken and most of the place names are French. St. Lucia became independent in 1979.

Aids to navigation in St. Lucia are owned and operated by the St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA). Sadly, SLASPA allowed the island's two historic lighthouses to deteriorate. In 2008, private interests came forward to help restore one of them, the Cap Moule à Chique Light seen at right.

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
Lighthouses in the Caribbean
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Online List of Lights - Saint Lucia
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. Currently the St. Lucia photos are all by Arno Siering.
World of Lighthouses - Saint Lucia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Leuchttürme Mittelamerikas und der Karibik auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Cap Moule à Chique Light
Cap Moule à Chique Light, Vieux-Fort, February 2012
photo copyright Denise Caron; used by permission
Lighthouses
* Cap Moule à Chique (Vieux-Fort)
1912. Inactive. 9 m (29 ft) concrete or stucco-clad cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern red. A short concrete block post near the lighthouse carries the active light (focal plane 227 m (745 ft); white flash every 5 s). Denise Caron's photo is above, Geoff Schultz has another photo, Lightphotos.net has a view of the mountaintop, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard image, and Google has a satellite view. In October 2005 Bob Taylor found the lighthouse "being used as a junction for the wiring for all of the radio and signal towers" nearby. A 2008 photo shows continuing deterioration of the lighthouse. Later in 2008 the owners of the Coconut Bay Resort came forward to fund restoration of the lighthouse; in return, the resort is advertising the station as a location for weddings. The restoration was delayed but finally occurred in 2011, and not a moment too soon: the lighthouse was in terrible condition at the time of Tom Willett's August 2010 photo. We don't know if the light has been or will be moved back into the lighthouse. Meanwhile, the view is just as spectacular as advertised on many tourist websites. Located above Vieux-Fort on the southernmost tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS STL-001; Admiralty J5798; NGA 15048.
Tapion Rock
Date unknown (station established 1843). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); quick-flashing white light. 3 m (10 ft) steel post mounted atop a 1-story concrete building. The post is painted red; the building is painted in a black and white checkerboard pattern. Trabas has a photo by Arno Siering, and a view from the sea is available, but clouds hide the lighthouse in a Google satellite view. Inaccessible, but there are good views from ships arriving or leaving. Site and tower closed. Admiralty J5792; NGA 15004.
* Castries West Wharf Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (111 ft); continuous red light. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. The tower carries a triangular slatted daymark painted white with an orange vertical stripe. Trabas has Siering's distant view, but the tower has not been found in Bing's satellite view. The front light is on a mast attached to a waterfront building. Located on a hillside southeast of Castries harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J5793.1; NGA 15020.
** Vigie (2)
1914 (Chance Brothers). Station established 1883. Active; focal plane 97.5 m (320 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with red trim; lantern painted red. Bob Taylor's photo is at right, Trabas has a good photo by Arno Siering, a 2007 photo by D. Flavien and a 1996 photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a postcard view of the original lighthouse shortly before the present one was built. In October 2005 Taylor found the lighthouse in poor condition, with no glass in the lantern. That's still true in a February 2011 photo, but the tower has been repainted. The adjoining keeper's house was in use as office space for the Air and Sea Ports Authority. Located on the Vigie peninsula, the north side of the harbor of Castries, near the airport. Site and tower open daily. ARLHS STL-004; Admiralty J5791; NGA 15000.
Vigie Light
Vigie Light, Castries, October 2005
photo copyright Bob Taylor; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Martinique | South: St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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Posted December 8, 2005. Checked and revised December 7, 2013. Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.