Woman in bosun’s chair
How do you get to work? Do you drive a car? Ride a bus? A train? A boat? Or do you walk? Ride a bicycle? Motorcycle? What about a helicopter?
There are many different ways to get to our jobs, but some lighthouse keepers had more challenging conditions to conquer before they could get to their posts.
At places like Tillamook Rock Lighthouse in Oregon, Saddleback Ledge in Maine, and St. George Reef in California, a boatswain’s (bosun’s} chair was used to transport people from boats to the top of the island. A swinging crane erected on land was connected by cable to the mast of a ship. Suspended from this cable was a board on which a person sat as he or she was lifted up to travel between the ship and the island.
This type of transportation was not for the weak of heart, especially for those afraid of heights. Chances were also good that the person being transported would get wet, splashed by waves, if not dipped into the water.
Nubble Light in Maine and South Solitary Light in Australia used baskets to haul people and goods from ships to the lighthouse. Maneuvering these baskets required great skill to lift the occupants high enough to protect them from danger of being dropped onto rocky cliffs or into deep water.