Bruny Island Lighthouse

2 September 2017, Bruny Island, Tasmania

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

The last time I was in Bruny Island was when I photographed it in 1987 using large format film equipment for the Bicentennial history From Dusk Till Dawn.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

I took a similar photography in 1987, using a tripod but also lying on my back on the floor.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Cape Bruny lighthouse commenced service in 1838, the third lighthouse in Tasmania and the fourth in Australia.  This followed the nearby wreck of the convict ship George III in 1835, which hit an uncharted rock in D’Entrecasteau Channel and 133 died out of 292.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

The light mechanism you see features Chance Brothers turntable and lenses which replaced the original mechanism in 1901 to 1903.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

In 1901-03 the light came from kerosene lamps.  There were replaced with electric lights in 1959.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Trave
The brass vents on the wall under the walkway were to regulate the breeze so that the kerosene lamp operated optimally and did not go out.  The turntable would have been driven by a clockwork mechanism such as at Double Island Point (last image).  A weight would have slowly descended the tower and then needed to be wound back up.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

The original lights in 1838 burned sperm whale oil.  This was expensive and each lamp burned 600ml per hour.  There were fifteen of these lamps and the light was focused with mirrors rather than lenses.

 

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

The original lamps were very fragile and needed to be replaced every three days.  There are two of the electric bulbs here just to provide a spare.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Far out on the distant horizon and barely visible to the naked eye is Pedra Branca Rock.  This is rock is 250 metres long,  100 metres wide and 60 metres high.  In 2003 a scientific team visited here as part of a program to preserve the endemic Pedra Branca skink and conserve the habitat of birds, especially albatrosses.  The weather deteriorated so that they could not leave the rock and a freak wave washed away a young oceanographer, Hamish Saunders, who was at the time 45 metres above sea level.  His body was never recovered.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Coutts Island, below the lighthouse.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Rocks below the lighthouse, evidently favoured by seabirds.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Looking across D’Entrecasteau Channel to the Tasmanian mainland.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel Beach to the north of the lighthouse, near the cottages.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

A view from the lighthouse balcony showing the cottages, beach and coastline.  Families were permitted after 1878.  There then would have been three cottages for three keepers working eight hour shifts.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Another view looking up as I leave the lighthouse.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

The original keeper in 1838 had three convict assistants and relations between the keeper and the convicts were very formal.

.

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

These days radar and GPS has replaced the need for lighthouses except for small vessels such as fishing boats.  The lights are in any case automated and the keepers gone.  The light here was replaced by a smaller one further out on the point and the lighthouse has not been turned on since 1996.

.

Cape Bruny

I visited Cape Bruny lighthouse on 23rd April 1987.

Cape Bruny lighthouse stairs from floor 10:00am 3 April 1987 Nagaoka Field Camera 5x4" 65mm Schneider super Angulon,  f45 65 seconds, Fujichrome 50.

Cape Bruny lighthouse stairs from floor
10:00am 23 April 1987
Nagaoka Field Camera 5×4″
65mm Schneider Super Angulon,
f45 65 seconds,
Fujichrome 50.

Here we are looking directly up as the lighthouse pretends to be a nautilus.  The cast iron staircase was manufactured in Britain and assembled on site.  While it is bolted to the wall, it largely supports its own weight.

Although I used a tripod, I was lying on my back on the middle of the floor when I took this shot.

Cape Bruny lighthouse 1:00pm 3 April 1987 Nagaoka Field Camera 5x4" 65mm Schneider super Angulon f16 1/4 second + polariser,  Fujichrome 50.

Cape Bruny lighthouse
1:00pm 23 April 1987
Nagaoka Field Camera 5×4″
65mm Schneider Super Angulon
f16 1/4 second + polariser,
Fujichrome 50.

The Cape Bruny lighthouse is on the southern tip of Bruny island and commands the D’Entrecasteau Passage on the south-western approach to Hobart.  Governor Arthur recommended a lighthouse as early as 1825 but nothing was done at that time. Then three ships went down in 1835.  One hundred and thirty-four drowned with the convict transport George III (and probably many in chains), seventeen drowned with the Enchantress and no lives were lost when the Wallace went down.  This led to the construction of the lighthouse in 1838, which was built with convict labour.

Cape Bruny lighthouse and houses 1:00pm 3 April 1987 Nagaoka Field Camera 5x4" 65mm Schneider super Angulon f16 1/4 second + polariser,  Fujichrome 50.

Cape Bruny lighthouse and houses
1:00pm 23 April 1987
Nagaoka Field Camera 5×4″
65mm Schneider Super Angulon
f16 1/4 second + polariser,
Fujichrome 50.

It is not possible to combine the two preceding images into a panorama because they were not taken precisely at the same places and the perspective is different. The second image shows the lighthouse cottages as well as the lighthouse.

One lighthouse keeper, William John Hawkins, stayed at Cape Bruny lighthouse for thirty-seven years, from 1877 to 1914, the longest duration of any lighthouse keeper.