Saturday, 3 October 2015

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 116

Oh dear! Poor old Ena has had it – it’s a death sentence!  Regular readers will recall Simon reporting a neighbouring vessel in the marina was having trouble staying afloat when the tide came in. She is/was an interesting sailing barge built in 1906 and a registered Dunkirk little ship. Well the owner has thrown in the towel and she is doomed. Once a proud working barge (Photo 1161); restored as recently as 2002; and for sale (starting price £85,000) in 2011.


She is being extensively stripped to lighten her as much as possible prior to loading on a floating ‘dock’ for transportation to her grave. This will probably be a site further down the estuary where there are already numerous skeletons rotting away (Photo 1162).  Sad.

   On a brighter note, Tony Lane has been digging in his archives and he found some interesting stuff about Cormorant. In a document dated 1934 there is a description of the lightships owned by the Commissioners for Irish Lights. These vessels used incandescent oil burners, with a candle power of 70,000 white or 28,000 red.  They were fitted with submarine bells (Photo 1163) and firing jibs (explosive fog warnings).


In this document there is no mention of a diaphone foghorn and the first reference Tony has to diaphones Tony has is in the Admiralty List of Lights for 1951, where the initial diaphone signal is referred to as 1943. Certainly the 1943 blueprints I have show the revamped Cormorant as having a diaphone. Tony’s document states that the light at this time is 2,000 c.p, fl. 15 secs, so obviously all the high-powered IOB installation with its compressed air and oil cylinders had been disposed of.

David