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20 May 2015

Cape St George Lighthouse


Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 22 October 1861.

The navigational details  below,  gave Mariners the necessary information to safely sail past Jervis Bay and Wreck Bay. It also outlines some of the  dangers of the Jervis Bay, Wreck Bay area. Most interesting of all, it gives us some clues into why this lighthouse,  positioned where it was, eventually proved to be such a failure.


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Alternating Light near Cape St. George. 
The Pilot and Steam Navigation Board of Sydney have given notice  that on and after the 1st day of October 1860,  a light would be exhibited from the lighthouse recently erected on a prominent headland,  situated about 1 3/4 mile northward of Cape St George,  and 2 1/2 miles southward of the same point of entrance to Jervis Bay,  East coast Australia. 
The light is an alternating light,  showing consecutively a red, green,  and white light at intervals of thirty seconds.  It is elevated 224 feet above the level of high water and is visible seaward when bearing between S.S.W. 1/2 W, and North.
It is seen as far as N. by E. 3/4 E. over a sloping hill situated south of the lighthouse;  But then a vessel must be a considerable distance to the southward of it.   In entering Jervis Bay the light will be eclipsed by Bowen Island,  forming the south point of the entrance,  when bearing S.1/2 W.;  and it will only be visible from a portion of the bay,  between the bearings of S.S.E. 1/2 E.  and S.E.  The white light will be seen in clear weather at a distance of about 19 miles,  and the green and red lights at 14 miles, 
The illuminating apparatus is catoptrics,  or by reflectors,  of the third order.  The light tower is 61 feet high,  built of white stone,  and stands in the latitude of 35 : 9 : 16 : S.,  Longitude 150 : 47 :8 : East of Greenwich.

Vessels approaching Cape St. George from the southwards should always endeavour to make this light to avoid being embayed in Wreck Bay,  the deep indentation westward of the cape.   The light will first open over the sloping hill to the southward of it bearing N, by E 3/4 E.;  caution must, however, be observed in nearing the Cape,  which is low,  dangerous, a rocky point on which sea breaks.  When within distance of about eight miles,  the light should not be brought to the northward of N by W. ;  for if the vessel should be near the land,  to the southwestward of this bearing,  the light will be partially,  if not wholly obscured,  but by standing to the eastward it will gradually open out,  and when bearing N.N.W 3/4 W.  it may be passed with safety at a distance of from one to two miles.
In approaching from the northward the light will open of Crocodile Head,  bearing S.S.W. 1/2 W., and by keeping it in sight a vessel will pass the Head in safety at a distance of from one to two miles,  Jervis Bay affords good and safe anchorage in all winds.

The bearings are magnetic.  Variation, 101/4 E. east in 1860.

By command of their warships, JOHN WASHINGTON, Hydrographer.
Hydrographic Office,  Admiralty,  London,  23rd October, 1860

This notice effects the following Admiralty Charts:- Australia, General, No 1042; East Coast, sheet 2,  No. 2142.  Also Australia Lights List,  No, 116 ; and Australia Directory,  vol. 1, Page 212.

The old lighthouse ruins.  A fascinating story of, endurance, hardship and endeavour.
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