A job I could never have. Lighthouse keeper in Uruguay.

Those that know me would probably agree that there is no job that I would be more ill suited for than that of a lighthouse keeper.  By definition, lighthouses are located in remote, hard to get to areas and while most have been automated, some still require the constant attention of someone who lives on site to be sure that everything is in working order.  And, any mariner would agree that it’s a really good thing when lighthouses are working as they are supposed to.

To that point, the Bahamas are famous or lights on charts that haven’t worked, often for decades.  Not so, it seems, in Uruguay.

I subscribe to a daily (I think I get it daily) e-mail newsletter from Soundings, a terrific boating publication that I worked for as a sales rep for short time years ago.  However, that was a long time ago and is a story for another time perhaps.

Anyway, this newsletter titled “Soundings Dispatches” is free and is worth signing up for.  Of course, some of the videos that they feature, and they send a lot out in the course of a year.  Yes, some are pretty lame but once in a while a real gem shows up in my inbox and today was one of those days.   To be fair, it’s probably not too easy to come up with really good daily videos.  Trust me on that as it sometimes takes me hours to wade through many clips to find something worth sharing.

So, back to my story…  The joke in our family, well at least I think it’s pretty funny, is that “dad doesn’t EVER want to be alone, except perhaps when he’s going in the bathroom, and that assumes that it’s a quick trip”.  Ok, ok, perhaps it’s my joke but it’s pretty much true.

So, today’s piece from Soundings, and it’s only a bit longer than 3 minutes, is a real gem.   The editor of the newsletter describes the short documentary…

“To the south of Brazil is Uruguay, a relatively small country on South America’s eastern coast that experiences heavy ship traffic along its 410-mile shoreline.

Twenty-three active lighthouses protect ships along Uruguay’s ocean borders, all built between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. They are owned and operated by Uruguay’s navy, the Armada Nacional.

Cabo Polonio Faro (faro is the Spanish word for lighthouse) was built in 1881 on a remote peninsula on Uruguay’s eastern shore. Leonardo da Costa is one of two keepers who alternate two-week-long shifts manning the lighthouse.

Like any lighthouse, Cabo Polonio Faro requires daily maintenance. When Costa is on duty he is solely responsible for repairs and for operating the lighthouse manually if it loses power.

Costa’s neighbors are few. Seal colonies live on nearby islands, and the remote village of Cabo Polonio, about a half-mile away to the west, is home to fewer than 100 people. Solar panels and wind turbines power their homes, and they lack running water.

Cabo Polonio can only be reached by walking or by using four-wheel-drive trucks to cross dunes of sand to the road nearest the village; no public roads reach the lighthouse or the village. Life on the secluded cape is quiet and solitary.”

There isn’t a single word spoken in the documentary which I suppose is the point, actually.For sure, I just can’t imagine a job that I would be more ill-suited for. However, I thought that the piece was just mesmerizing and hope that you agree.

The group that produced this video has a number of other short documentaries on YouTube including this charming piece about bikes in Cuba.   It’s in Spanish but it has subtitles.

We visited Cuba for two months aboard Pandora last winter I am compelled to share this one too.  It provides a very good feel for the resourcefulness of the Cuban people and the story would be pretty much the same with regards to cars as well as bikes.  Make do with what you have.  That’s the rule in Cuba.   Amazon Prime?  Not likely. So, there you have it, two really nice short pieces that made my day.  I hope you enjoyed them too.

I guess that it’s time to move along with my day and get something done or Brenda will ship me off to some remote lighthouse.

The “honey do list” isn’t getting any shorter.

One response to “A job I could never have. Lighthouse keeper in Uruguay.

  1. Greetings from Cuttyhunk!
    I was in Uruguay for a few days aboard the USS Hammerberg DE-1015 in 1966. We were on Montivideo, the urbane capital, rather than the remote coastal lighthouse. The cup of “tea” he was drinking is called mate, as I recall. We will be back in NY before the end of the month.
    Roger

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