The long and short of it 

Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse is the shortest lighthouse in New England.


New England may have some of the shortest lighthouses but its long on history. 

Portland Harbor Lighthouse.

Portland Harbor Lighthouse on Fort Constitution.


Fort Constitution where Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is located recalls the days of Paul Revere. Reminders of New England’s Whaling History are prevalent at Nantucket, the site of the oldest lighthouse. 

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse.

The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse is inspired by the Greek Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.

Memories of WWII are present at a shipbuilding museum near Portland Breakwater Lighthouse. Surfside Life Saving Station now a hostel beckon old and youth alike. 

Surfside Life Saving Station.

The Life Saving Service is the precursor to the US Coast Guard.


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A Damsel in Distress

Star of the Sea Youth Hostel

Star of the Sea youth hostel was formerly a life saving station.


It’s kind of ironic that I stayed at the Star of the Sea Youth Hostel in Nantucket. I really needed a reprieve from a chaotic visit to Martha’s Vineyard. The hostel was once a life saving station for distressed vessels. Now I was looking for shelter from a distressed encounter. 

Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse can be seen from the ferry.


Although the ferry ride was about a hour from Martha’s Vineyard, it felt a world away from the turmoil I had witnessed. I was happy to retreat to Nantucket for a few days of painting and quiet.

Old Brant Point Lighthouse

Most people don’t realize this a lighthouse because the lens is missing.


I had reluctantly booked a stay at the hostel. I thought the military style sleeping arrangements would not offer the peace and quiet that I needed. To my surprise there was a curfew with a time of quiet at night. 

Sankaty Lighthouse

Sankaty Lighthouse took a little maneuvering to get to.


After three days of quiet and completing 4 paintings, I felt renewed. The hostel was beautiful and I memorialized my visit by painting it. Of course the weather was windy and the water turbulent on the ferry ride back to Martha’s Vineyard. I was afraid it was an indicator of things to come. 

Surfside Life Saving Station in Nantucket, MA was established in 1874. The Life Saving Service is the precursor to today’s United States Coast Guard. It is a National Landmark.

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Take Time To Pause

I love lighthouses but some more than others. Old Brant Point Lighthouse has no lens. Maybe this is why it connected with my artistic soul. I noticed that most people passed by this lighthouse on the way to see Brant Point Lighthouse a few steps away.


They only paused to look at the old lighthouse when they saw me drawing it. When they paused, I felt like I had achieved my purpose. That is really why I paint lighthouses. I want to offer people a moment to reflect and pause. It is in those moments that we can rediscover ourselves and the world around us. 

I’m a little lighthouse short & stout

A picture of Brant Point Lighthouse.

Brant Point Lighthouse is the shortest lighthouse in New England.


After painting Florida’s towering lighthouses, I was startled when I first encountered New England’s stout lighthouses. After having painted two on Martha’s Vineyard, I smiled when I approached Nantucket’s little Brant Point Lighthouse. It is New England’s shortest lighthouse and the site of America’s second oldest lighthouse. The current lighthouse was built in 1901. 

Make it Easy Street Cantina 

Easy Street Cantina in Nantucket offers a diverse menu. There’s much to choose from: nachos, tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches and wraps. While I settled for a falafel wrap, for those who are looking for a taste of New England there’s seafood and chowder on the menu. 

I enjoyed the easy going atmosphere and quick service at the restaurant. The dining is informal; there’s self seating. Outdoor and indoor seating is available. Easy Street also offers curbside dinning for those in a hurry.

My falafel was so tasty, satisfying and filling, that I dined at Easy Street the two nights I stayed in Nantucket. 

The best deal in Nantucket

Granted Nantucket is known as an upscale resort with pricey hotels. The visitors read like a who’s who list from Fortune 500. Despite of all the pricey obstacles, I was lured by the four lighthouses. I was also intrigued about staying at a historic building. Star of the Sea Hostel in Nantucket was once a Life Saving Station. It had been a part of the United States Life Saving Service.


I admit to being reluctant about staying at this hostel. I mean I didn’t know to expect when I booked two nights for $80. That wasn’t exactly the going rate in Nantucket. Yet, I recalled saving a bundle of cash and being happy when I stayed at the dorms at historic Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and Suffolk University in Boston. But a dorm with 32 bunk beds didn’t seem very inviting. I wondered about privacy and the bathrooms.


But the excitement of staying where the Keepers would look for shipwrecks was persuasive. There are steps to the lookou in the women’s dorm where I would be sleeping. I finally voted in favor of the lookout, lighthouses and my pocketbook when I read all the positive reviews. 


Once I checked into the hostel all my concerns evaporated. The furnishings were modern and well kept. The bathroom had a private door. 

My bunk was on the bottom in a quiet corner of the dorm. The first night the dorm was packed. But at night the dorm was quiet because everyone observed the quiet hours from 10 pm to 7 am. I watched a movie with the free wifi and put my phone on silent. 


In the morning there was a light complimentary breakfast with cereal, coffee and assorted breads. For those who want to prepare a heavier meal, there’s a fully equipped kitchen with dishes, pots and more. 


My second evening at the hostel was extremely quiet as most of the quests had checked out. During my stay, three ladies were kind enough to befriend me and invite me to sit at their table. I learned from them that there are cabins for rent in addition to the beds in the female dorm. They also taught me the truth of hostel’s motto: “There are no strangers only friends you haven’t met.” 

It takes a village to get to Sankaty

I knew from the start that my journey to Sankaty Lighthouse would be a long one. I stayed in a hostel on the southern coast of Nantucket Island at Surfside Beach and Sankaty Lighthouse was located on the eastern coast. I rode a bus into town then caught a bus to Sconset. 


Upon getting off the bus, I looked for directional signs to the lighthouse and found none. After walking the wrong way, I asked for directions. A couple of acquaintances the day before recommended the scenic route for the two mile trek to the lighthouse but gave no detailed instructions. Thankfully, I met a family who gave me printed instructions and tips for navigating the route. The path to lighthouse was scenic but tricky indeed. It led through a rocky road between some cottages then to a short paved walkway and to a grassy winding unmarked trail. 


As I crossed a couple of lawns during the walk, I became unnerved. I felt like I was trespassing but I had been reassured that the land on the path was public. After walking for a while, I became concerned that I was lost. One couple told me I was indeed lost and directed me toward the pavement. Another couple said they were walking to the lighthouse and invited me follow them along the grassy path I was on. This preposition seemed more reasonable. When the winding path eventually ended, we began the final 15 minute trek on a paved road to Sankaty Lighthouse. 


As I approached the lighthouse, I was delighted to see two lights flashing at the 70 foot red and white lighthouse ahead. Built in 1850, Sankaty lighthouse overlooks the Sankaty Head Golf Club and the Atlantic Ocean. There was marker indicating the previous location of the lighthouse which was moved in 2007. Signage told the story of the lighthouse. As I set down and sketched, I reflected on the long winding path and pondered how to include it in my final art. 


After being warned about the presence of deer ticks in the grassy areas, I decided forego the scenic route and take the paved road back to Sconset.