Happy Birthday, Dear Lighthouse

Celebrants at Patos Island Lighthouse's 104th birthday

Our co-president and treasurer, Carla  Chalker writes:

On August 19th, Keepers and friends gathered on Patos Island to celebrate the 104th year of the Patos Lighthouse tower.
Our guest of honor was “Patos Bill” Lavergne, who was celebrating his birthday, too. Joining us were birthday girls
Keeper Linda Lantos and lighthouse visitor Carly, and Keeper Sandy and Dennis Evans, who were celebrating their
anniversary. Our guest Carly led us in the birthday song, and then we all enjoyed cupcakes and lemonade while
“Patos Bill” entertained us with songs and stories from his Coast Guard years. Thanks to all our friends who joined
us on this happy day, let’s do it again next year!

Patos Bill (L) and friends

Birthday Party This Sunday! Come One, Come All!

We will sing “Happy Birthday” (the 104th!) this Sunday, the 19th of August. The celebration will start around 11AM. Come and share fun, cake and celebration with the KOPL crew and special Coast Guard guests.

This year we will have special items available for donation/purchase. Local artist Sandy Polk has donated several of her lovely watercolors depicting scenes from our favorite lighthouse book, Light on the Island.

Here is just one sample  for you to enjoy!

Sandy Polk’s Illustration for Light on the Island



Lopez Seniors Visit Patos Island

On Thursday, July 9th, Nick Teague (Fearless BLM Ranger) and I met a group of 25 Senior Citizens at the Lopez dock for a day  trip to Patos Island. This event had been in the planning for months, ever since Nick had talked to the Seniors some time ago about the wonders of Patos Island back in the spring.

Gathering at the ferry landing

As the ferry docked on Orcas, we headed up to Brandt’s Landing, aka “The Ditch”, which was our departure point with Outer Island Expeditions. Unfortunately, one car seemed to be missing, so our trip planner drove out to look for it, something one must not do as it is similar to staying put when lost in the woods. Sure enough, the missing car and its passengers showed up and we were left sitting at the dock waiting for the now missing lead car! Since our time on the island was short anyway, the decision was made to take off for the 20 minute ride over to Patos Island.

Our captain drove around Alden Point for beautiful photographic views of the lighthouse and then we landed on Minnie’s Beach in Active Cove.

Lopez and San Juan Island Island Conservation Corps kids waving to us from the Lighthouse

We could see visitors at the lighthouse plus members of both the Lopez (LICC) and San Juan volunteer youth coprs who were camping out on Patos. Those seniors who were fit and nimble climbed off the boat and hustled up to the lighthouse. The slower people were helped up the trail by willing volunteers, some strong ones  from the youth group, and the lighthouse’s 2nd (or 10th?) hand wheelchair was put into service to help.

Our ever ready Lighthouse Docents, Barb and Buzz, were at the lighthouse, greeting visitors and telling the stories. Pictures were taken, views were marveled at and  some even made it down to the beach to gaze into tide pools.

Soon, too soon, it was time to return to the boat for the  return trip. We all ate our lunches onboard and when we returned to the Ditch there was our missing tour leader (with her husband who had stayed behind) looking red faced, but pleased that we had all thoroughly enjoyed our most memorable trip to Patos Island!

Leaving from Minnie’s Beach, Active Cove