The Sixth Light Keeper of Point Pinos, Her First Twelve Months: 1893-1894
short night / fog beats against / the lighthouse beam
June 30, 1893: Wind Fresh NW Foggy. In charge of station at Midnight.
as a teen / sailing alone to Shanghai / dense night fog
July 30: Steamer passed slowly, whistling at intervals, from ten to 11:30 at night.
autumn solitude / she learns the lamp’s mechanics / in fading light
Sept. 22: Changed service lamp at 8:30 p.m. Duplex burner shown until 9:45 p.m. Service Lamp showed a reservoir supply pipe clogged.
storm-ripped kelp wrack / blanketing the shore / the winter stars
Jan. 7, 1894: Whale off the Point; seals on the rocks.
the Chinese servant / weeding a vegetable patch / glances homeward
April 22: Steamer Eureka brought survivors of the Steamer Los Angeles which was wrecked on a sunken rock two miles below Point Sur.
weathered hands / braiding coastal iris / into a wreath
April 23: Five bodies were brought to Monterey from Point Sur. Coroner’s inquest gave verdict of manslaughter against third mate (of steamer Los Angeles).
a reason / to keep working / summer fog
Note: The prose (idiosyncrasies retained) quotes portions of the Lighthouse Keeper log by Emily Fish, the sixth principal keeper (1893-1914), as reported in Jerry McCaffery’s Lighthouse: Point Pinos, Pacific Grove, California (2001).