THE ANNUAL INSPECTION OF LIGHTHOUSES.
The annual trips of the Marine Board to the various lighthouse along the coast are something other than the pleasure excur sions which snarling cynics are apt to imagine.
Lightkeepers morning from leave and others going on leave an tikes off and brought back to their several destinations, atone (or the fiJailks at the cottages, and oil* for the lights are landed at the various place* of call, a minute inspection of the machinery, pre mises, 4c., ia made, and each keeper la called upon in torn to state any grietance he may have; the log and ator* aoooonu an examined, together with the boats and life-saving apparatus, and frequently the members of the board in on the move f iom daylight till dark. On the board's last trip northward they left the Semaphore at 6 o'clock on the evening of Wednesday, tie -JGtta of December, and arrived at Hatvey's fietoro early on the following mortis?- At this usually sough little cove they effected a safe and dry landing, scrambling overKbe rocks to the shed under the cliff where the lighthouse boat is kc]>t, and then commenced a climb up the exceedingly steep tramway, which is veiled with rope asd windlass, and np which all the Mores for the Cape Borda ligbthome fc?Te to be drawn. The climb is a pretty >r?rp cne, sxd even the junior warden con- U ?&cd to bf irg glad when it was over. From ibe ?cmmit ot the cliff to the lighthouse u> a distance e.f about four miles, along a rough bush track, very sandy in phots, windinc through ecrub and in some cases fair-sized timber, and passing a roughly-fenced little graveyard, where two or three aeodcet head stone* tell their sorrowful teles of loss and nope. The land trip was performed, in a tcmewhat primitive spring-cart belonging to the station. At the Ughthouca evet/thiog was found ia order, and the keepers acreetog well together. An additional nun is kept at this station to lock out for passing ships, and report their arrival to the Adelaide office. The telescope in use was, however, very defective, and it is high time a new one were pnenrcd. There is quite a little township around the lighthome ?tables, storeroom, a row of three cottages, then the headkeeper's honsestandtogsensfla>e.andfnrawrawayagato the telegraph office and operator's resulenoe. But the whole looks very Weak and de?'*te; seaward there to nothing but the vast ex panse of the Southern Ocean, and you hear the dull thud of the waves as they break on the Great Bluff, dowa whose pre cipitous sides a little toddling child of one of the keepers once fell and was brought up in his father's arms dead. Snakes arefreqaently Ken in the neighborhood of the station, and the ekukeDs have a precarious existence on account of the presence of iguanas in large nomben. A gentleman from the mateoroto gical department accompanied the board and erected a new barometer at the station ; ako a telegraphic operator, who was to take the place of the one who bad been at the station for twelve months and who with her husband, one ot tb e keepers, went with the board as far as Moonta, where they landed for their annual holiday. Getting on board the Governor Musgrav* about 1 o'clock, she steamed away for the Althorpes, where a landing was ?ff?cted on the rocks to the left of she jetty abent 5 o'clock in the afternoon. As climb to the top of the island is trying to the stoutest legs and the strongest lungs; the track winds along the edge of dangerous declivities,and many an eager grasp is made at the ice-plant and prickly scrub that grow along the slope, and many a net token before the summit is reached. Down on the rocks the penguins waddle about in large numbers, and on the wide table-land which forms the summit of the Island there are hundreds of holes made by the mutton birds which used to frequent the island in large numbers, but which are yearly becoming scarcer. Every few yards the pedestrian sinks into one of these holes almost up to the knee, and the effect is somewhat trying to the temper. TbcM lards lay eggs as lag as a large hen *n, and asms of them were packed up by members of the party. A few sheep are kept on the island by the lighthouse keepers. Everything here was in good order. A newly married fcaspsr and his wife ware brought hack to their home, and one of the crew of the Mnsgrave who had been acting as emergency man was token off. Soaas aten are firing to atrnt near the light, who are engaged injprocuring guano, large quanti ties of which of very good quality are found in the numerous cases atwnit f*** ItlfTMli The difficulty of access from At anon to the light was much coaunented upon. A tram way erected at very considerabls expanse by the late engineer of hsi lines and jetties con nects the jetty with the top of the island, but it is so steep as to be almost useless. The board suggested that a ladder should be constructed along the side of the tramway, which with a rope hand- guide would afford the keepers easier facili ties than at present exist. The board re -1 uintd to the ship aboot 7 o'clock consider* *by wiaikd with their long day's work. Tee inspection of Cape Borda and the Al thorpe lights ia one day being a very laborious undertaking. Late on Thursday evening they steamed away for Corney Point, where they arrived early the following morn ing, and landed and inspected the light before breakfast. This one of the new institutions, and the keepers have been at come pains to get pleasant little gardens and to construct ttravei walks about the lichthouss, Thediffi. cutty about this light has never been solved; do what they will a ray of light escapes iaa direction where it was intended to be dark, and although screens of all kinds have been tried still the Ught gleams over the sea iaa direction where it is not required. The manufacturers, Messrs. Chance Brothers, have tried to solve the problem in vain, and the science of optics is baffled for once. For tunately the Ught shows where no danger can come, and ships need not fear the Webb rock (the contract to blast which has been abandoned} if they only obey tbe sailing in structions. Efforts have been made by tbe board to secure an additional piece of baa here for pasturage purposes, so that the keepers may be able to keep sheep for freth neat; but so far the negotiations have failed, and it is now determined to abandon them acd fence in the reserve as it stands. Lcavicg Carney Point about 10 o'clock on Friday, Moonta jetty was reached about 3 in the afternoon, and the Praidentand Warden Clyde west on shore and inspected the Ught keepers' cottages, which are sadly interfered with by tbe shifting sand, which bids fair to do serious injury to the property unless it is somehow checked. The fierce north wind which was blowing at the time was most op pressive, and the coolness of the ship was a welcome change to those who had done duty on shore. It was feared that the sea would become too rough to visit the Tirara light house, but the wind soon moderated and by the time the light was reached there was no difficulty in getting alongside the iron stairs, which constitute tbe means of access to tbi* costly and peculiar looking structure. Built of iron piles screwed into the solid rock, it bssamost flimsy appearance, whilst in fact it is amazingly strong. The cost of its con struction was some £30.000. Ascending tbe iron stain, of perhaps sixty steps, you arrive at a kind of platform built on iron girders which span the curious man of piles, which form the support of the structure. Frcm the centre of this platform rises up the lighthouse tower, a great cylinder of iron, around which the keepers' quarters are built, and ibside of which a spiral staircase leads to the lantern. There are usually five keepers attached to this lighthouse, three being in attendance at the light itself, and two on shore at the cottages ia Moonta Bay. The two en shore have to attend to the wants of those at the lights, take out stores, letters, Arc, and of course all take turn aboutat the light. All was reported well at this establishment, and everything was in good order. Daring tbe board's inspection Captain Carrington Bulled in the ship's dingy on a snapper patch, and caught some large fish. At sunset on Friday evening the Musgrave was headed for Port Augusta, where she arrived on Saturday morning, and of which more anon.