There is something soulful about a lighthouse, standing as a sentinel to guide lost ships in search of refuge or in avoidance of danger. Even today, when lighthouses seem supplanted by such innovations as GPS and satellite navigation, the now-automated lights are a reminder that there are still those on the sea counting on seemingly outmoded implements to find their way on the water.
California is blessed with some of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world, and most of them have both significant history and pleasing architecture. It is a testament to the nation that we put so much thought and care into the design and upkeep of whate are, basically, maritime aids to navigation. In some sense, then, lighthouses are baubles in America’s love affair with the sea.
Our local favorite here on the Strawberry Coast is the Port Hueneme (wah-NEE-mee) lighthouse, the now-automated sentinel that marks the entrance to Southern California’s other other deepwater port. The structure itself is a nicely done example of the Art Deco Moderne style that characterized so many of the public structures built in the early 20th Century in Southern California. Volunteers of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have created a little museum at the base of the light, and it is open to the public from 10-3 on the third Saturday of each month. The link above will give you the details.
If you are in the area, it is worth a trip, and if you combine it with breakfast at Mrs. Olsen’s Coffee Hut nearby, you’ve got a superb beginning to a summer Saturday, even if Coastal Eddy is having his way with the weather.