New Point Comfort Lighthouse (September 15th, 2017)

Here's a page about how my wife and I took my canoe out to an abandoned lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay. This lighthouse was built in 1805 and the land has gradually eroded away leaving it on a tiny island half a mile from the shore. I didn't expect to be able to climb it, but the door was broken open when we got there so I went for it.

New Point Comfort Lighthouse
1885


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
1910


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
1928


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
~1950s


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
Over the years, hurricanes and gales have eroded the shore leaving the lighthouse on a tiny 150' x 150' island.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
My wife and I parked at the end of Route 600 and we rowed out to the lighthouse in my canoe. The trip was right at 1.4 miles, but only half a mile was open water. We waited for a calm day, but I could really feel the swells coming off the bay. Actually, the waves have a straight shot right in from the Atlantic.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
Rowing my trusty 14' Old Town Osprey canoe.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
Approaching the dock to the island.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
There were probably 50 pelicans perched on the lighthouse when we arrived. The dock was painted white with bird poop and everywhere there was an abominable rotting fish smell. Thankfully, after awhile the pelicans flew off.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
The dock and walkway were built in 2016, so they were in excellent condition, aside from the coating of bird poop.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
The lighthouse itself is in pretty bad shape. The windows are broken, the wood is rotting, paint is peeling off the tower, the metal is rusty...


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
I didn't think I'd be able to climb this one, but lo and behold someone had ripped the lock out of the door frame! I didn't see any no trespassing signs, so I started for the top!


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
The condition of the inside of the lighthouse is not much better than the outside. There's no handrail and the sandstone steps were pretty narrow.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
After 50 steps you reach a wooden landing.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
From the wooden landing there's a metal ladder made from angle iron. One of the rungs had rusted through on the top, so I kept my feet close to the ends and tried not to put much weight on it.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
After 7 steps, there's a small hole into the lantern room. The door to the balcony was wide open when I got there.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
The door to the balcony is about 3' tall and 2' wide. Of course there was a thick layer of bird poop on the floor of the lantern room. The railing was pretty wiggly and felt like it could break off with a good push.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
Looking back to the mainland. It's hard to believe that the land used to came out to the lighthouse.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
Starting back down. The tower is getting crumbly in places.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
A lot of the crumbly masonry has fallen onto the steps making them a bit slippery. In other places there was a lot of grass and twigs on the steps, presumably birds brought them in.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
Looking down the staircase.


New Point Comfort Lighthouse
Victory!