October 21, 2022
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I knew about lighthouses. I never knew about lightships though, until I visited Nantucket, that charming old island that's about 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. In the harbor there. You now can tour the retired Lightship Nantucket. But before the development of modern navigational technology, the work of that ship actually saved a lot of lives. See, there are deadly shoals that extend south of Nantucket, and the main shipping lanes to New York City run right along the outer edge in what's called the Ambrose Channel. Now, for many decades, the Lightship Nantucket was stationed at the eastern approach to the channel - at what was called the "Times Square of the Atlantic." Well, she dared not leave her position there - because all ship navigation was fixed on that lightship. If the lightship moved, every ship would follow her - possibly to disaster.