Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
Post Number 67
At the end of the Rocky Bay Harbour Wall and also on the Rocky Bay Headland, there is something called a beacon.
You may not know what these things are.
A beacon is basically an enormous, bucket-shaped receptacle on a pole for lighting fires in.
These fires throughout history were used to send signals to people a distance away.
They could be used for navigation so that ships would know where the harbours were situated along the coast, or they could be used to warn soldiers and sailors and all of the people in the towns and villages that an enemy had been sighted coming to invade.
The beacons would be lit in a relay. This means that when someone saw a beacon lit a distance away, they would light theirs and then the person up the coast would see it and light theirs and so on. ln this way a string of fires would be lit and the message of the danger of invasion would spread quite quickly.
Sometimes naughty pirates or smugglers would light beacons to lure ships towards the coast. But instead of finding a safe harbour, the ships would be dashed against rocks and the pirates or smugglers would take the cargo as booty.
Nowadays, these beacons are used to mark occasions and celebrate events.
They were lit during the celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Beacons can be found all over the world. There were ones along the Great Wall of China, for example.
lf you know of a hill near you called Beacon Hill, then you know that there was one such signal on it at one time.
ln modern times, beacons are used at airports or at sea. They are electric lights and they give information to aeroplanes about places to fly towards or avoid, or they can be used to mark sandbanks so ships can avoid them.
These lights can tell people about bad weather or warn aeroplanes about the tops of very tall buildings so they can avoid them in misty conditions.
Electric beacons are very often positioned on buoys which means they can then be put in water as well as on land.
A lighthouse is also a beacon.
We light our beacons at Rocky Bay when we have something to celebrate on special occasions.
Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bill: What did the firefly say when his light went out?
Bob: l don’t know. What did he say?
Bill: Give me a push, my battery’s dead!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2008
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
A beacon alight
The beacons on the coast would be lit as a signal
An electric beacon
The Great Wall of China
The tallest building at Canary Wharf has a flashing beacon on the top to warn aeroplanes of its presence
Lights on ships would signal their presence at night or in the fog – this one is red for port side (on the left)
Green is on the starboard side which is on the ride hand side of a ship
Herbert’s patent floating buoy from about 1845
It was made of iron which would be more robust than the previous wooden ones (that were built in the same way as barrels) – it was also more upright and therefore more visible
And behind it is an acetylene buoy lantern which shone out a light fuelled by gas cylinders kept inside the buoy body – these lanterns were used for most of the 20th century – now solar-powered buoy lanterns can be used
This is a box of model buoys from about 1936 – it was used for training purposes
(The IALA system was introduced in 1977)
Buoys are anchored with chains and weights (called sinkers) to the sea bed so that they don’t drift off in sea currents
Their moorings are chosen according to type of buoy and where they are positioned, the depth of the water and the strength of the tide
An enormous buoy – they don’t look so big when they are floating on the ocean
Buoys can have bells or gongs on them as well as lights; the bell rings as the sea rocks the buoy so that you know they are there in darkness or in fog
This buoy has black and white markings which is a code to mean ‘starboard hand’
Buoys identify sandbanks, rocks, wreck positions and safe passages to ships
They come in various sizes and have coloured markings to convey a message
These are from the mid 20th century
This may have been the first Trinity House vessel the Trinity Sloop built in 1741
It used to maintain buoys and keep watch on the movements of sandbanks (sandbanks change shape as the sea washes over the sand and moves it around)
Trinity House is an organization started by Henry VIII that works to keep mariners as safe as possible
Most buoys are inspected every year – they are lifted onto ships
They are washed to remove sea creatures and mud, their electronics are checked – many of them are 50-70 years old
Trinity House maintains around 500 buoys and inspects many more for commercial companies
Every six years the buoys are taken to Harwich or Swansea to have a complete overhaul – they are freshly painted with their markings
No this isn’t something from Thunderbirds
This is a model of a large automatic navigation buoy from 1969 – Lanby for short
They were radio controlled from stations on shore and were intended to replace lightvessels – lightvessels are manned ships with huge lights on them
Lanbys were 12 metres high and had a beacon and a foghorn
This is the model of a class 1 data buoy – class 1 buoys are the biggest buoys
A data buoy does not aid navigation but is positioned out to sea to send information back to shore about the weather and environment
These buoys can measure sea and air temperature, wind speed and wave height
A buoy at sea
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
We went to see The Hobbit in the Rocky Bay Cinema the other day. Our cinema is very old and we don’t get the latest releases very quickly. In fact, the cinema is so old the only ‘surround sound’ we have is the rustling of sweet papers.
The film was very good but I didn’t like the way the dwarves and elves walked around on very high gantries without any safety rails along the sides though.
I think this was clearly in breach of ‘Elfin Safety Regulations’!
We once saw Snakes on a Plane there, and we have also seen the British version called Wasp on a Bus.
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
People Care lnstructions
lt is very important to have at least one smoke alarm in your house. Check the battery regularly to make sure it still works.
Never remove the battery because the fumes from cooking keep setting the alarm off.
lf the alarm is beeping, it is because it needs a new battery.
lf you make a den, never use matches or a cigarette lighter or candles in it, only use an electric/battery torch/flashlight.
BLOW MY FOGHORN!!!
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE TABLE PLACE LABELS
For each person, cut out two pieces of card in the shape of a Christmas tree with a star at the top. (Make a template with a star at the top first so that all the shapes are the same size.)
When you want to cut a shape out, it is best to cut around it roughly, then work your way into it each time you want to cut a line – this will give you neater edges.
Decorate the tree with drawings of baubles and gifts.
Cut a slot half way up one tree and halfway down on the other tree.
Slot the two together. Secure with sticky tape at the top and bottom if you need to.
Tie a label with a person’s name on it. Place it in the middle of their plate so that they can find their place at the dinner table.
You can just draw a triangle or something more elaborate or cut out pictures that you find.
And of course you can swap the labels around when you have different people to dinner.
Or instead of trees, you can use different shapes for other celebrations: baskets of eggs, pumpkins, etc.
The designs must have flat bottoms so that they will sit upright.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2008
You could also use shapes from the Internet