Light Vessel Automata

ls_ambrose.jpg

Anyone who has heard the strange phrase ‘Channel Light Vessel Automatic’ as part of that mysterious daily national ritualistic chant of the Shipping Forecast will have wondered at its meaning. Perhaps it is the multiple possibilities of meaning of ‘light vessel’ or the strange addition of ‘automatic’ at then end that makes it such a rich and evocative phrase.

ls_ballydorn.jpg
LS_bar.jpg
ls_bar1.jpg

According to Wikipedia “a light vessel is a ship which acts as a lighthouse, usually anchored permanently and having no means of propulsion.

ls_blackdeep.jpg

Light vessels are used in waters that are too deep for a lighthouse. Instead of marking coastlines, they usually mark marine traffic routes. They are superior to a buoy for this purpose because its navigational aids are more visible. They also usually carry data recorders used in research oceanography, such as wave recorders, and may also function as weather stations.

ls_boston.jpg

The first light vessel was placed off the Nore sandbank at the mouth of the River Thames in England, placed there by its inventor Robert Hamblin in 1732.

ls_calshot.jpg

Some lightships are mobile, such as relief lightships used as temporary replacements while the normal ship is in port for maintenance, and lightships which operated in Arctic waters during the ice-free summer months only, such as the Lightship Finngrundet.”

ls_calshotspit.jpg

Though essentially pieces of infrastructure, they seem amazingly poetic objects – as though sprung from somewhere amongst the sketches of John Hejduk, and the phrases painted upon them add to their enigmatic quality – especially the ships with ‘RELIEF’ emblazoned on their sides.

ls_capelookout.jpg

They are bobbing around on the open sea, acting as signs for places that are invisible: names upon a marine chart, or describing the landscape at the bottom of the sea. It’s remarkable for a infrastructural/signage system to have maintained the same format over time – at least through their photographic record and across international boundaries.

ls_carpentaria.jpg
LS_charles.jpg
ls_chesapeake.jpg
ls_cockle.jpg
ls_columbia.jpg
ls_coningbeg.jpg
ls_crossrip.jpg
ls_crosssand.jpg
ls_diamond.jpg
ls_eddystone.jpg
LS_elbe1.jpg
ls_ewgrounds.jpg
ls_fehmarnbelt.jpg
ls_finngrundet.jpg
ls_fivefathom.jpg
ls_fryingpan.jpg
ls_fryingpan.jpg
ls_helwick.jpg
ls_kentishknock.jpg
ls_lehavre.jpg
ls_mouse.jpg
ls_overfalls.jpg
ls_relandersgrund.jpg
ls_relief.jpg
ls_relief2.jpg
ls_relief3.jpg
ls_sandyhook.jpg
ls_sevenstones.jpg
ls_spurn.jpg
ls_stjohns.jpg
ls_stjohns2.jpg
ls_swiftsure.jpg
ls_warner.jpg

]]>



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Comment

You may use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>