2008 NELL’S YEAR IN REVIEW
On January 12 & 13, 2008 NELL held its annual LHHC&Y in Plymouth, MA. We
stayed at the Clarion Hotel, Nantasket Beach, MA where we could view
Minots Ledge, Boston Light and Graves Light from our rooms. The weekend
started with a visit and climb of Gurnet Light, along with a tour of
Gurnet LSS and Minots Ledge Keepers House. Then we climbed Plymouth
Light, and toured Pt. Allerton LSS. After climbing Scituate Light we
visited the Scituate Driftway Museum. The folks there gave us a nice
warm welcome and had plenty of hot chocolate and donuts for us. We
finished the day with a drive to Government Island in Cohasset to view
the original Fresnel lens from Minots Ledge Light. The weather was cold
but the days were beautiful. A good time was had by all.
The brochure committee designed a new NELL brochure and the board voted
to have it distributed to various visitor centers on the highways of MA
and ME. They were also distributed (with permission) to the many
different venues we visited. The brochure made its debut at the NELL
spring meeting and was very favorably accepted.
On May 30th NELL members headed to the Clarion, Gold Star Inn in Groton,
CT where we stayed for the weekend of our Spring Meeting and cruise. The
next day we all met in Waterford, CT at the Sunbeam Fleet. We cruised to
the following 11 lighthouses; Saybrook Breakwater, Lynde Point, Pequot,
New London Ledge, Morgan Point, Latimer’s Reef, North Dumpling, Race
Rock, Little Gull, Plum Island and Orient Point.
Jim Streeter, NELL member and President of APLS, offered to open up the
beautifully restored Avery Point Lighthouse for us to climb after the
cruise. After making the climb, many members took the opportunity to
look for “their brick” in the walkway. Jim also got permission from
Mayor Popp of the City of Groton to allow us to use the Municipal
Building for our spring meeting. NELL took the monies we collected from
the donation to climb Avery Pt, added to it, and donated $160 to Avery
Point lighthouse in honor of Mayor Popp.
The month of June brought the 2nd Annual Mid-Maine Lighthouse Challenge
and the first Martha’s Vineyard Lighthouse Challenge. Many NELL members
completed both of these challenges with NELL making up half of the
challengers on the Vineyard.
NELL members travelled to Wales, New Brunswick, CA, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Locally, members travelled to Monomoy Island, MA, attended an ALF cruise
out of Newbury Port, MA, and the first ALF Cape Cod Canal cruise.
Members also went to Maryland and cruised to the lights of the Middle
Bay along with Thomas Point.
August brought about the first ever Lights Across the Border Lighthouse
Challenge (from West Quoddy ME to East Quoddy Head in CA). Many NELL
members attended that challenge and for some, it was their first
challenge. Crossing the border into Canada was no trouble at all --
except for the traffic coming back into the states for those of us that
ventured deeper into Canada to see some lights not included in the
challenge. Crossing back into the states was a wait of ¾ of an hour.
(For the sake of space, I just listed the new challenges and not the
established ones that many members do attend.)
Soon after the Cape Cod Canal cruise, member Doug Bingham received a
kidney transplant. Something he had been awaiting for years. I am
delighted to report that Doug is doing very well and is recuperating at
home with his wife Barbara at his side making sure he does what he’s
supposed to do. We look forward to seeing you out lighthousing in the
near future Doug. God Speed!
The summer of ’08 was also the time that our 10th Anniversary raffle
winners took advantage of the prize trips they won. A week’s stay at
Race Pt. Light on Cape Cod. A week at the Outer Banks, NC on Hatteras
Island. A Windjammer cruise on the Schooner Mary Day. A stay at the
Nantucket Inn on Nantucket Island MA. A stay on Thacher Island at the
Assistant Keepers Dwelling and a week stay in Hawaii.
With September came our fall cruise and meeting (9/12-14). We stayed at
the Wyndham Garden Hotel, Newark Airport, NJ. On Saturday, we departed
Liberty State Park and sailed by the lights of NY City harbor, and the
surrounding area including the Waterfalls of NY (an arts project
commissioned by the City of NY). The weather was beautiful for our
cruise of 19 lights and lightships. The following day we held our fall
meeting where the new Mr. & Miss NELL were crowned. Kathy Santucci was
crowned by the outgoing Miss NELL, Linda Graham. Tom Pregman was
notified via cell phone that he was the new Mr. NELL by Lee Hall, the
outgoing Mr. NELL.
November was ALF’s annual Volunteer Award Dinner and Gala. This year it
was at the Hyatt Regency in Newport R.I. All attendees got a chance to
climb Newport Harbor Light (Goat Island).
Bob and Ann Trapani put together a fantastic slide show of all the
different chapters that make up ALF. NELL was included with our Project
Hope work at Long Point, Wood End and Race Point lights. After dinner,
the winners of the Len Hadley Volunteerism Award were announced. I’m
proud to say that NELL Charter Members Carolyn Carbone and Penny Miller
who were, and still are, our original secretary and original webkeeper,
respectively, were the well deserved recipients from NELL.
Congratulations ladies and thank you for your over 10 years of volunteer
November is NELL’S 10th anniversary. I am proud to be a member of NELL
and even prouder to be her President during this time. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
TO NELL and to all her members past and present that made this wonderful
10 years possible. In our short history, we have donated over
$113,000.00 to lighthouse preservation.
We started 2008 with partially revisiting NELL’S 1st LHHC&Y and our
first cruise of the year followed the same idea. Ron and I are planning
a couple of special events to help celebrate our anniversary in the
spring/summer of ‘09.
Your Board of Directors works hard to serve you and to make sure NELL
stays on top as a premier lighthouse organization. On behalf of your
Board of Directors I wish to thank you. Without your help and support
this could not be done.
Lighthouse events are becoming more and more plentiful, therefore,
harder to plan so they don’t conflict with each other. If next year is
as exciting and busy as this year was, we are in for one heck of a
I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a
safe, healthy, prosperous Happy New Year!
Thank you for a wonderful year!
Holiday logo courtesy of Ron Foster