Power of the Storm: 44 Ferocious Waves Attacking Lighthouses

April 25th, 2011 Permalink

When you don’t live close to a coastline or a major body of water, seeing the waves when you visit is exciting. But there are times when the waves turn into churning monsters of nature that attack man-made objects like lighthouses. Those exciting huge waves are then terrifyingly ferocious. Yet some people are held spellbound by nature’s fury. And some are amazingly brave and talented photographers who capture that perfect split second to share with us. Lighthouses are found worldwide, marking dangerous coastlines and lighting the way to safe harbor. Can you imagine being inside a lighthouse while nature is doing her stormy best to chew it up and destroy it with punishing waves? In this collection of fantastic photos, it’s nature vs man-made lighthouses and landmarks. It’s a struggle; the power of the storm’s ferocious waves are attacking the architecture of man. Which do you think will win? We love these pics! [44 Photos]

Stormy weather and rough seas at Roker Lighthouse © Gail Johnson

The photographer described this awesome shot as, “Stormy weather and rough seas at Roker Lighthouse.” Photo #1 by © Gail Johnson

Grand Haven Lighthouse

Grand Haven Lighthouse. The photographer described, “In this picture is the outer and inner light. The outer light is 36′ tall and the inner light is 51′ tall. I was able to venture out safely about 150′ with out getting washed into the water. Twice I got a bath from the waist down. As the remnants of the record low pressure moved on this past weekend the waves on Lake Michigan were pretty rough. When we got the beach in the early afternoon winds were topping out at 50 mph making for some huge waves breaking on the end of the pier by the outer light. Some of the breaks were reaching 40′ tall.” Photo #2 by © Luke Hertzfeld


Blizzard Rams New England

Blizzard Rams New England. 1978 Pulitzer Prize, Feature Photography, Staff Photographers of Boston Herald American. The lighthouse is 114 feet high, which means that foam is spraying 100 feet into the air, propelled upward by a raging sea that sinks ships and floods towns up and down the coast.
It is Feb. 8, 1978. A blizzard has rammed New England, shutting down roads, businesses and schools. Snow buries everything. Nothing moves. Kevin Cole, chief photographer at The Boston Herald American, is stuck in Plymouth, Mass. “The snow was over the house. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Determined to cover the storm, Cole heads for the Hyannis airport. “I found this place called Discover Flying School. The wind was blowing. The pilot said ‘You’re crazy, nobody’s going up.’”
Before long, they are airborne. “It was this little, tiny plane. We took off. The whole coastline was gone, houses in the water, houses floating, waves crashing inside them. About two miles out, I saw Minot Light.”
In the raging wind, they circle the lighthouse. The pilot tells Cole, “We can’t stay out here any longer.’ Just as he started to turn, I saw a huge wave. That’s when I got that shot, and that’s the same time I threw up.”
Other Herald American photographers fan out around the region, photographing the blizzard’s destruction: Villages buried in freezing flood waters, commuters trapped in snow-covered cars. The newspaper publishes a special section, which chronicles the worst New England storm in 200 years—54 dead, 10,000 homeless and evacuated. Photo #3 by Staff Photographers of Boston Herald American via cliff

The hard life of the lighthouse

The hard life of the lighthouse. Photo #4 by Juan José Aza

Rough weather for lighthouse keepers - Monster waves

Monster waves: Rough weather for lighthouse keepers. Photo #5 by Mariners Weather Log/NOAA

Aftermath of the Winter Storm - huges turned to ice

Aftermath of the Winter Storm: The photographer described this photo as, “30 foot tall outer light of the St. Joseph, Michigan after a severe winter storm. Waves on Lake Michigan were said to be over 20 feet high, which pounded the lighthouse and covered it in ice feet thick in places. Workers were just finishing up a paint job when the storm hit. The scaffold was demolished and is also covered in a thick layer of ice.”
“The walk to the lighthouse was treacherous- the pier is also covered in a layer of ice. Most of the way was slow going, but the walk next to the inner light was the most difficult. There is only a path about 20 inches wide with the lighthouse to your left, and the frigid lake to your right. I managed to carefully negotiate the path and make it out to the outer light. In hindsight, I’m lucky I didn’t go for an unexpected winter swim.” Photo #6 by Tom Gill

Ice Drapery after 20ft waves

Ice Drapery: Ice formed on the St. Joseph, Michigan lighthouse and catwalk during a winter storm that churned up Lake Michigan and created 20 foot waves. The ice apparently broke the “hand rail” cables on the catwalk, and they are now drooping down with tons of ice. Photo #7 by Tom Gill

The Oswego Lighthouse is awash with waves during a November 2003 storm with 80 mph winds

The Oswego Lighthouse is awash with waves during a November 2003 storm with 80 mph winds. Photo #8 by © 2003 Jon R. Vermilye via http://www.byways.org

Porthcawl Harbour Storm

Porthcawl Harbor Storm. Photo #9 by Nick Russill

South Haven Pier 16 to 20 foot waves

South Haven Pier. Gale force winds pound the South Haven, Michigan lighthouse and pier during a two day storm. Gusts of over 50 miles per hour created 16 to 20 foot waves in open water. Photo #10 by Tom Gill

Furious Lake Michigan Petoskey - waves and ice

Furious Lake Michigan Petoskey – waves and ice. Photo #11 by Charles Dawley

Monster waves at Frankfort Michigan

Winds 30-40, gusts to 55, mid lake waves at 17-22 ft, very impressive storm. This was taken from the beach at Frankfort Michigan. The lighthouse in the photo is 76 ft tall. Photo #12 by Jim Sorbie

Splash - Fecamp - Seine Maritime - Upper Normandy Region

Gale force winds throughout the day churned up Lake Michigan and created high waves along the South Haven, Michigan shore. The lighthouse tower is 35 feet tall (from the pier) another six feet to the water – making that splash around 50 feet tall. Photo #13 by Nwardez

waves

The photographer and friend were sprayed while capturing photos of waves. Photo #14 by Olga (__o[IT]__)

Big Water - Ludington North Breakwater Light - Lake Michigan waves

“Big Water” – Ludington North Breakwater Light. The North Breakwater Light is 57 feet tall and the Lake Michigan waves were going much higher! Photo #15 by James Marvin Phelps

Artic Blast - Ludington South Breakwater Light

Artic Blast – Ludington South Breakwater Light. Photo #16 by James Marvin Phelps

Liquid Thunder - Waves Crashing into Grand Marais Harbor Light

Liquid Thunder – Waves Crashing into Grand Marais Harbor Light. Photo #17 by James Marvin Phelps

Battered Grand Haven Pier Light

Battered Grand Haven Pier Light. Photo #18 by James Marvin Phelps

Wollongong Lighthouse & Waves

Wollongong Lighthouse & Waves. Photo #19 by Steven (The Waterboy)

Petoskey Winter Storm  - huge waves vs lighthouse

Petoskey Winter Storm. Photo #20 by Charles Dawley

Wind, waves and water. Beautiful but pounding at the coastline and the lighthouse. Photo #21 by Earl Wilkerson

Bajamar

Bajamar in the Canary Islands of Spain. Photo #22 by Olga Díez

South Haven Wind - waves- lighthouse

Gale force winds throughout the day churned up Lake Michigan and created high waves along the South Haven, Michigan shore. The lighthouse tower is 35 feet tall (from the pier) another six feet to the water – making that splash around 50 feet tall. Photo #23 by Tom Gill

Hide and Seek … Today’s puzzle – try to find the pier hidden in this picture. Hint: the glimpse of the lighthouse may be a clue. Photo #24 by Mrs Logic

Perfect Timing - Petoskey Breakwall

Perfect Timing – Petoskey Breakwall. Photo taken during a windy cold day in October. The waves were amazing! Photo #26 by Charles Dawley

Smell the salt? Fishing boat coming in during a storm, winds a 130 km/h

Smell the salt? Fishing boat coming in during a storm, winds a 130 km/h (80 mph). Photo #27 by Nico (maessive)

Sea Point Storm - Foam monster attacking the public!

Okay, not waves attacking in a power struggle against man-made lighthouses, but this shot was creepy cool. The photographer called it Sea Point Storm and wrote, “Pity that this came out blurred, but I was running at the time. Foam monster attacking the public.” Photo #28 by mallix

Waves striking seawall give appearance of geysers erupting

Waves striking seawall give appearance of geysers erupting. New England coast – 1938. Photo #29 by NOAA / National Weather Service

Winter Rage Grand Haven Pier Light

Winter Rage Grand Haven Pier Light. Photo #30 by James Marvin Phelps

1969 Storm surge from Hurricane Carol lashes Rhode Island Yacht Club

1969 – Storm surge from Hurricane Carol lashes Rhode Island Yacht Club. Photo #31 by Providence Journal Co. / NOAA / NWS

Frankfort Michigan lighthouse. When there's a strong wind out of the southwest, dramatic things happen!

Lunchtime at the Lighthouse Frankfort Michigan lighthouse. When there’s a strong wind out of the southwest, dramatic things happen!. Photo #32 by Jim (jimflix!)

1954 - Hurricane Carol destroyed hundreds of summer cottages and homes Huge waves bound into beach front homes

Forget lighthouses, this time the killer waves are attacking homes! Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1954 – Hurricane Carol destroyed hundreds of summer cottages and homes Huge waves bound into beach front homes. Photo #33 by American Red Cross / NOAA / NWS

Sheboygan Lighthouse (NOAA Station SGNW3) ferocious waves

Sheboygan Lighthouse (NOAA Station SGNW3). Photo #34 by University of Wisconsin

Typhoon-generated waves striking a breakwater in Japan

Typhoon-generated waves striking a breakwater in Japan – Historic NWS Collection. Photo #35 by NOAA / NWS / NASA

When the lake goes fishing

When the lake goes fishing. Photo #36 by Jim (jimflix!)

Winter Fury  Ludington North Breakwater Light

Winter Fury at Ludington North Breakwater Light. Photo #38 by James Marvin Phelps

Giant Crashing Wave still can't touch lighthouse

Giant Crashing Wave still can’t touch the lighthouse. Photo #39 by Borf The Dog

Visit Michigan in the winter? Brrr! Photo #41 by Michigan Travel Bureau via EPA

Frankfort Breaker.. Lake Michigan

Frankfort Breaker…Lake Michigan. Photo #42 by Tina (~Jetta Girl~)

Gale force winds at South Haven, Michigan attract visitors to the lighthouse and pier, along with surfers and intrepid kayakers.

Gale force winds at South Haven, Michigan attract visitors to the lighthouse and pier, along with surfers and intrepid kayakers. Photo #42 by Tom Gill

The Power of the Storm

THE POWER OF THE STORM! Mouro Lighthouse, Spain. The ferocious waves exceeded the height of 37.5 meters (123 feet)! The foam breaks down and is “floating” on the wind. Photo #43 by © Rafael G. Riancho

Amazing what kind of weather lighthouses have to endure. Equally amazing are the lighthouse keepers that are brave enough to live there!


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