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 for many years. In 2008 private interests
came forward to help repair one of them, the Cap Moule à Chique Light seen at right., and in 2014-15 SLASPA restored the Vigie Light at Castries.
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 - Saint Lucia
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. Currently the St. Lucia photos are by Arno Siering and Rainer Arndt.
- World of Lighthouses - Saint Lucia
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
in the Caribbean
- Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Mittelamerikas und der Karibik auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Cap Moule à Chique Light, Vieux-Fort, February 2012
photo copyright Denise Caron;
used by permission
- * 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. Richard Burt's September 2015 photo sphere provides a panoramic 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. In 2013, however, the lantern either fell or was removed; fragments of it lie on the ground in Gary Reid's July 2013 photo. We don't know if it has been or will be rebuilt. 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 Rainer Arndt, a view from
the sea is available, and Google has an indistinct 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 Arno Siering's distant view, and the tower is centered 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
- 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, a distant view, 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. In 2014-15 SLASPA finally restored the lighthouse; the results are seen in Woody Wade's June 2015 photo at right. Located
on the Vigie peninsula, the north side of the harbor of Castries, near
the airport. Site and tower reported to be open daily. ARLHS STL-004; Admiralty J5791;
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Vigie Light, Castries, June 2015
Flickr photo copyright and courtesy of Woody Wade;
used by permission
Adjoining pages: North: Martinique | South: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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Posted December 8, 2005. Checked and revised December 23, 2015.
Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2015 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.