Sunday, April 26, 2015

Raffles Lighthouse (Singapore Maritime Week 2015) Part II

After an eventful 1 hour journey from Marina South Pier, we finally reached Raffles Lighthouse. As shared in my earlier blog post, Raffles Lighthouse (Singapore Maritime Week 2015) Part I, this trip was made possible in conjunction with the 10th Singapore Maritime Week. As shared previously, Raffles Lighthouse is usually out of bounds to the general public except during this week.

Built in 1854, the naming of the lighthouse was dedicated to the memory of the founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. The foundation stone itself was laid in May 24, 1854 (in conjunction with the anniversary of Queen Victoria's birthday), by Colonel William J. Butterworth, C.B., Governor of the Straits Settlements and it began operations in 1855. In short, Raffles Lighthouse is now 160 years old ! It is not the oldest lighthouse in Singapore though. Honor of that goes to the Horsbourgh Lighthouse. There are a total of 5 lighthouses (4 of them offshore) that are in used today. They are: Horsbourgh Lighthouse (1851), Raffles Lighthouse (1855), Pulau Pisang (1886) , Sultan Shoal (1895) and Bedok (1978).  There was also the Fullerton Lighthouse which ceased its operation in November 1979 having been in operation for 19 years. It was replaced by the Bedok Lighthouse which stands on top the 25th storey Lagoon View block.

Raffles Lighthouse (from the jetty) 
Diagram Plan of the Raffles Lighthouse
The survey diagrams gives insight of how the lighthouse was erected on Pulau Satumu or known by the Colonial British as Coney. Its only source of water was rain water amounting to 5,527 gallons stored in a water tank.



Up the Raffles Lighthouse 

Let me go straight to the view from the lighthouse first ! It was amazing and the gentle breeze took away all tiredness i felt of waking up early on a Saturday morning for this trip.
Overlooking Pulau Senang and exposed reefs 

Crystal clear waters and coconut trees 

The lovely view of the sea

View of the Jetty and the boat that brought us here
Getting up to the top of the lighthouse is via a spiral staircase made up of 90 granite steps and 16 metal steps for a total of 106 steps. (at least that's what the guide told us !) The lighthouse beams utilised LED lights now and are much smaller and less bulky as compared to the old days.
Spiral Granite steps  

Spiral staircase and the old petrol tanks that were once used

The lights and the top of the lighthouse 

Cast iron spiral staircase at the top 


Rich Marine life 

My story has not ended yet as when i was walking at jetty, it was low tide. Visible at the corals, sea anemone and marine life.
Sea cucumber 






Acknowledgment

The organisers of the event prepared for us light refreshments and bottled water that ensured that we did not go hungry or thirsty. Thank you ! I am impressed by their efforts to increase awareness of the importance of Singapore as a maritime center although this event is only held for only a short period once a year. Look out for their next public tours for a visit to Pulau Satumu and the Raffles Lighthouse. Who knows, one day we can visit the other lighthouses as well, especially Sultan Shoal.

Last look at the Raffles Lighthouse 

Satumu Buoy 

References

Untitled. (1854, May 23). The Straits Times
Untitled. (1855, July 3). The Straits Times
New light at Raffles Lighthouse. (1906, October 10). The Straits Times
Advertisement.  (1948, August 15). The Straits Times
Raffles Lighthouse. (website). Infopedia

1 comment:

Tienyin Lo said...

Beautiful. Any vacancy there for a lighthouse keeper?