Thacher Island Twin Lights
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Location: Off east coast of Cape Ann
North Light: 42 38 24 N, 70 34 30 W
South Light: 42 38 12 N, 70 34 30 W
Managed by the Town of Rockport and the Thacher Island Association.
Accessibility: The public may visit the island on Saturday mornings at 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 a.m. from June through the summer (weather permitting) aboard the Thacher Island launch. There's also a trip on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. It's a 15-minute ride to the island. The launch leaves from the town dock next to the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. You must make reservations in advance by calling 617-599-2590. The Thacher Island launch accommodates 6 passengers. Visitors taking part in the tours are invited to climb the north tower.
You can also visit using your own boat or kayak, but keep in mind that there is no dock on the island, only the ramp used for the Association's launch. Only small rowboats and kayaks are allowed to land on the ramp. Two guest moorings are available about 50 yards offshore. If you'd like to use one of these moorings, you must call in advance at 617-599-2590. Bring a dinghy to land on the ramp.
For more information about visiting the island, visit the Thacher Island Association site. A small campground (July to mid-September, small nightly fee) is available on the island. You must reserve by calling 617-599-2590. Click here for details.
Station established: 1771
Present lighthouses built: 1861
North light deactivated 1932, relighted as a private aid in 1989
South light automated 1980
Construction material: Granite
Height of both towers: 124 feet
Height of focal plane: 166 feet
Earlier optics: First-order Fresnel lenses (1861) (The first-order lens from the south tower is now on display at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester.)
Present optics (left):VRB-25, solar powered (south light), 200 mm (north light)
Characteristics: South light - Red flash every 5 seconds. North light - Fixed yellow.
Fog signal: Two blasts every 60 seconds.