The Point Conception first order Fresnel lens has stood watch for nearly 160 years, guiding ships safely around the “Cape Horn of the Pacific.” The Point Conception lens was designed and built in Paris, France in 1854, using a refracted prism system designed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel. The lens was first lit on February 1, 1856. Because of persistent heavy fog at higher elevation, a second lighthouse was built on the lower bluff, and the lens was moved in June, 1882. While the lens saw many vessels meet their ultimate fate in this “graveyard” of the Central Coast, the light also saved and provided safe passage to thousands of vessels over the years.
SBMM engages in their second year of marine science classes aboard Stardust, a 65′ local sport fishing vessel in the Santa Barbara Harbor. For two weeks, from January 25 to February 5, about 400 children from elementary schools and after school programs participate, many of whom have never been on a boat or out on the ocean. They venture out on the vessel to view dolphins and seals, and troll for fish. Back at dockside, they separate the fish from kelp, play with mud samplings and examine plankton under a microscope. Their teachers have noted these experiences are life changing for the students. This year the program is hosted by SBMM at no cost through the generous support of our donors, local foundations, and our members. For more information contact Emily Falke, Director of Education at email@example.com or 805 962-8404 ext. 111
One of the great things about the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is we are constantly opening new exhibits. On January 14th we open Tattoos and Scrimshaw: the Art of the Sailor. While I am very excited about this new exhibit, it can also be sad when a current exhibit is taken down. That is the case with Divergent Focal Planes. I loved Robert Watt’s black and white images of our Santa Barbara Channel coastline. I also loved Dennis Schuett’s whimsical, colorful, digitally manipulated images, especially those of the Fresnel Lens clockworks and the point Conception Lighthouse, with our Deputy Director/Curator/Director of Education Emily Falke standing watch out in front of the lighthouse. Fortunately you can still purchase a few of these remarkable images in our Museum Store.
Hope to see you all here January 14th for the opening of Tattoos and Scrimshaw!
Greg Gorga, Executive Director, SBMM
Liora Goodman, the District Representative from State Senator Hanna-Beth Jackson’s office, dropped off a Certificate of Recognition for the Museum. It reads:
“In honor of the Museum’s outstanding contributions and invaluable service to preserve and celebrate the maritime heritage of the California Coast; upon recent expansions to the Museum’s facility and programs that will greatly benefit our community, particularly with the opening of the new Children’s Gallery; Congratulations on celebrating our 15th Anniversary.”
SBMM Board members George Writer and Roger Chrisman will match every donation to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum from now until December 31, 2015, up to $10,000, in celebration of our 15th Anniversary. Here is your opportunity! Thank you.