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July 2016, vol 12 no 2

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J. Zimmerman

The Sixth Light Keeper of Point Pinos Observes Creatures of the Sea: 1895-1896


long twilight / the line of planets / guiding us to port

June 4, 1895: Wind Light SW Foggy. Salmon running very plentiful.

Orion / pursuing an immortal / through the darkness

March 3, 1896: Otter hunting schooner with 300 fur seal skins aboard caught while cruising between this bay and Halfmoon Bay.

spring cleaning / the brightness of the sharpened / harpoon

March 24: Wind Light SW. Fog at night. Whale boat out after whales from new whaling stations.

some escape / before we catch them / departing geese

April 6: Haze at night. Two whales killed, one sank, one towed to whaling station.

plum and peach blossoms / the silver and pink / of moonlight

May 17: Salmon fishing began at night. 3 tons shipped.

spring thunder / emptying / the nets

May 18: 7 tons of salmon shipped.

is it only blossoms / that are staining / the surf?


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).


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