Beavertail Light, RI
Standing as a proud sentinel at the south end of Conanicut Island, Beavertail Light marks the fork in the road that sends you to either the East or West Passage. The East goes to Newport and Jamestown. The West Passage takes you to Dutch Harbor and Narragansett Bay.
At night, from seaward, we would pick out her flashing, six second white light from fifteen miles away that would direct us past Castle Hill Light and then on to beautiful Newport. The tower is only forty-five feet high but her light is sixty-eight feet above sea level.
A favorite sailboat race in Newport is the “Around the (Conanicut) Island” Race. We have done it a number of times and it is a great race and very scenic indeed; but there were times, when there was so much fog, that we would go the entire race without seeing the island - and maybe only seeing the bottom of the Jamestown Bridge as we crossed under the span. We relied heavily on the mighty Beavertail Light horn – listening closely for her one blast every thirty seconds, that would guide us safely around the southern end of the island.
The lighthouse is part of the Beavertail State Park and there is a museum in the keeper’s house. It is a worthwhile visit!
Alfred LaBanca Sailor/Artist Darien, CT