This year is the international year of light, so in class we were learning about light. We learnt about lasers, how light works and about lighthouses. This is my report on the Cape Otway lighthouse;
Cape Otway Lighthouse.
The Cape Otway Lighthouse, owned by Paul Thompson started being built in 1846 and opened in 1848. It is made of beautiful sand stone and 20 metres tall. It is also the oldest light house in mainland Australia that actually works. It is located between Victoria and Tasmania where lots of wreaks occur giving it the name of “Threading the needle.”
They decided to build it after two ship wrecks occurred along the coast of Cape Otway (Given the name, Cape Otway light house.) The worst shipwreck along the coast was actually Australia’s worst. It was called the “Cataraqui shipwreck.” The “Cataraqui” was a British barque that sank off the south – west coast of King Island in September 1845. 414 people died. The ship was launched in 1840 full of convicts off the coast of Liverpool. Unfortunately the light house wasn’t built yet but it has still managed to save many lives.
This particular light house uses Fresnel lens, named after the French physicist Augustin Jean Fresnel (1788 – 1827). The lens are hand polished and would cost 5 million in brass alone. The reason they chose Fresnel is that traditional lens would be convex and would be a lot heavier. The light flashes 3 times in 18 seconds. All light houses have their own unique code, which most of the time doesn’t actually flash, it just looks like it from the sailors point of view.
There are a few pictures… if you would like to see them click this link: Cape Otway Lighthouse