Bird Rock Lighthouse – Crooked Island, Bahamas

Bird Rock Lighthouse Crooked Island Bahamas

The southern Out Islands of the Bahamas are about as off the grid as you can get. Rocky flat islands, some big some small, all wrapped by dazzling blue water. With a sparse population, islands like Crooked may leave you feeling as if you’re the only person on the Earth. But signs of human ingenuity do make themselves very visible. Welcome to Bird Rock Lighthouse.

This magnificent structure stands 112 feet above sea level and is situated on a cay just off Pittstown Point. It is the northwestern point of Crooked Island, separated from the mainland by a narrow waterway, and serves as a beacon at the northern entrance of the much traveled Crooked Island passage. Construction of the lighthouse started in 1866, and it became operational in 1876.

Crooked Island Map Bahamas

Bird rock lighthouse Bahamas

Bird Rock Lighthouse – Photo by Authentic Bahamas

Bird Rock Lighthouse

Bird Rock Lighthouse – Photo by Authentic Bahamas

Bird Rock Lighthouse - Photo by Sailfreespirit.blogspot.com

I know I have a lot of sailing people who ready this site, has anyone sailed by or walked the grounds of Bird Rock Lighthouse? If so I would love to hear your story.

Welcome to the real Bahamas.

(Thank you Authentic Bahamas, sailfreespirit and bjornmoerman.com for the fantastic photos.)

Cheers,

RumShopRyan

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Comments

  1. My family, girlfriend, and I were on a cruise last week. On our way home, sitting on the balcony, enjoying the salty spray, we spotted a random lighthouse. We were somewhere in between Cuba and the The Bahamas. The lighthouse we saw very closely resembled this one. However, the one I saw would have had to have been on the southern tip on Ragged Island to make any sense. When I looked up pictures of the Ragged Island Lighthouse, they keep showing this particular one. Do you have any insight into the lighthouse we may have spotted?

  2. Hi Michael, I don’t know of any Ragged Island lighthouse, but let me do some checking with my Bahamian friends to see if they know anything. Cheers.

  3. First of all the lighthouse Michael asks about must be the Castle Island Lighthouse which sits on the eastern side of the Mira Por Vos Passage.

    Secondly, here is an excerpt from my recently published book “Last Chance to be a Cowboy” in which the lighthouse in question is spoken about:

    Captain’s log

    After relieving R…at the end of another two hour shift I eased the sails a bit as we were now sailing more off the wind. I also took the reefs out of the mainsail, increasing the sail area and had a high speed sail while regaining my composure from the tensions of the previous day. I was expecting to spot Great Inagua Island before dark and plot a careful course for the light on Castle Island.

    If we messed up and failed to make it safely through the Mira Por Vos Passage, we would not be the first vessel to go crashing headlong into the nasty mine field of rocks and small unlit cays which lay in wait about seven miles west of the Castle Island Light. The light is 13 feet high and according to our chart visible for 22 miles. Our guide book cautions about making night passages or putting too much faith in the navigational lights in these islands, but the Mira Por Vos shoals are an important hazard and the light should be lit.

    The night was perfect as we steered our new course and slackened our sheets as we were now on a broad reach. The wind was pleasant, the seas moderate and a clear starry night beckoned us to sail on. C’mon and take a free ride, just don’t forget about those Mira Por Vos Cays!

    Our navigation was flawless, the light on Castle Island was impeccable and around 1:00 AM we slipped triumphantly through the passage which we shared with a gaily lit coughing, chugging, clanking little steamer heading in the opposite direction.

  4. Thanks Roger. Your book excerpt has me interested in the rest. Available in print or for iPad? Thanks for the comment. Cheers!

  5. Ryan, Thanks for your interest. The book is available on my website http://www.LastChancetobeaCowboy.com or anyplace else that sells eBooks; Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple store

    I love the pictures in this blog of yours and will post another excerpt that I posted in the blog section of my website in your Exumas section. Actually, quite a lot of the book takes place in the Bahamas and I think you would enjoy reading it.

    BTW I’m new to all this digital stuff and Social Media Marketing and would appreciate any advice. I’m trying to find ways of bringing my book to the attention of Parrotheads and anyone who loves the islands and the lifestyle.

  6. While this is officially called Castle Island, to the locals it has been, and continues to be Bird Rock. My grandmother was conceived in that lighthouse to the lighthouse keeper (Scavalla). And my mother was born on Crooked Island. I hope to one day SOON return my mother to her birthplace (the house still stands), and to become acquainted with my ancestral land.

  7. Correction. THIS lighthouse is on Bird Rock on the northern tip of Crooked Island just beyond Landrill Point (northwest of the landing strip). Castle Island is on the southern tip of Acklins Island.

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