Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Kilauea Lighthouse

Have you ever been to one of those small towns in the middle of nowhere that claim to have the “World’s Largest Chipmunk” or the “World’s Largest Wooden Porcupine”? If not, you are not missing out. Small towns love to have these obscure artifacts and Kauai seems to have fallen into this trap.

Enter the Kilauea Lighthouse, home of the world’s largest clamshell lens. I don’t even know what a clamshell lens is but I now know that it is no longer in use and that you can’t see it up close and personal on the tour. Jessica and I each paid 3 big ones (that’s right, 3 dollars) to see what many people see on their first trip to the island. The lighthouse has over 500,000 visitors a year and we have lived here for 7 months and it finally occurred to us that we might want to check it out.

The best part of the tour was the view of the ocean as there really isn’t anything special about the grounds. Sure there were a lot of birds, but our feathered friend, the Laysan Albatross, left the island last month so all I saw in my head was a bunch of white pigeons.

Jessica and I will be building our next home here

If you don’t catch my drift, let me spell it out for you. Unless you like to see tons of birds sitting around and hanging out, the lighthouse probably isn’t for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A clamshell lens is also called a "bivalve" lens -- think of a mussel shell as a model. They are flatter than other types of lighthouse lens.

I'm not sure how this lighthouse gets by with its "world's largest" claim.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lens is a "second order" lens and
first-order clamshells were even larger. Must be "world's largest still in place" or "world's largest on an island" or?
Your pictures are beautiful.