Living on a lighthouse: author shares her memories

Caroline Woodward will be signing books at Curious Coho Books and hosting a slideshow at Char’s Landing on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Author Caroline Woodward will be signing copies of Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper at Curious Coho Books (5039 Johnston Rd.)

“I keep my century-old wedding ring…in a small wooden box the majority of the time. My hands are immersed in dirt, dough or diesel far too often to risk damaging them. I buff them up and wear them when we head Outside for holidays or I go out to work as a writer.”

The phrase is buried deep in West Coast author Caroline Woodward’s newest book, but it sums up the past few years of her life quite succinctly.

Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper is a descriptive, well written tome of Woodward’s time as a lighthouse keeper on the West Coast. She currently lives with her husband, photographer and fellow lightkeeper Jeff George, on Lennard Island Lightstation, visible from Tofino. People from the West Coast will recognize many of the places she writes about.

She has worked at nearly a dozen lightstations since 2008, learning unexpected skills like estimating the altitude and coverage of clouds up to 2,500 feet or learning to give daily weather reports to Coast Guard radio.

She has worked at Nootka, Estevan Point, Pachena Point, Entrance Island, Chrome Island, Chatham Point, Cape Scott and Quatsino/Kains Island.

Woodward fell into the lighthouse life through curiosity: she met a relief lighthouse keeper on a ferry on the way to Alert Bay and struck up a conversation with him. Several weeks later her husband received his first assignment, on Egg Island, and their life was transformed.

When she realized she could move to a remote island to devote herself to her true passion, there was no turning back.

“Lennard Island is my favourite because of the many beautiful flower beds, a lily pond and hedges of fuchsia and honeysuckle amidst the salal, planted by lightkeepers decades before us,” she said.

“On reasonably calm days—with no danger of fog—it is possible to kayak around the Clayoquot Sound islands nearby and to see wonderful wildlife like the annual March migration of over 23,000 gray whales to Alaska and many migrating birds as well.”

Woodward will be signing books at Curious Coho Books and hosting a slideshow at Char’s Landing on Thursday, Oct. 22.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island College announces 2020 graduation award winners

North Island College has announced the award recipients for the 2020 Graduation… Continue reading

Alberni Valley volunteer wins BC Hockey award

Kellie Steel named one of nine unsung heroes through COVID-19

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Fire damages home on Fifth Avenue in Port Alberni

Fire crews spend late morning hours knocking down blaze

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read