Block Island SE Light, RI


Southeast Light, Block Island Rhode Island

This popular lighthouse is the highest light in New England.  Standing 201 feet above sea level, she shows a flashing green light every five seconds that can be seen from twenty-four miles away.  In fog, she sounds a very welcome horn that guide many a mariner to safety, including myself!

Built in 1875, on the southeast end of the island, this lighthouse, like many others, had to be moved – or chance falling into the sea; unrelenting cliff erosion finally endangering this beautiful structure. 

While this light enjoys celebrity status with commercial shipping in the New England area, Southeast Light is also well known to ocean fishermen and racing sailors.

Block Island Race Week, a huge annual regatta held in June, includes and “Around the Island” race.  One of the turning marks is a buoy located just below the southeast cliffs, close to shore and directly under the lighthouse.  Because of the prevailing winds, the racing fleet is usually flying spinnakers when sailing past this point.

So, if you can imagine a couple of hundred sailboats on parade, with huge colorful sails filled by the wind, you will quickly conclude that it it one of the most memorable sights you will ever see. 

And, there’s no better place to observe this magnificent spectacle than from Southeast Light.

Alfred La Banca    Sailor/Artist   Darien, CT


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