Lighthouse Keepers …..

kinda, sorta to some extent?

Since the Key Biscayne Lighthouse & cabin have been closed at Bill Baggs, due to covid, Dave & I were asked if we wanted to clean it up a bit and we have. So we are taking the title of Honorary / Temporary “Lighthouse Keepers.”

Let’s start with the Lighthouse Keeper’s cabin

front of the cabin

side of the cabin
Back of the cabin

A lighthouse keeper had a very hard and different kind of life. I would only want to be an Temperary / Honorary Lighthouse Keeper.

Cleaning up a bit

Girl’s room with a doll on her chair
Boy’s room with a straw hat on the cabinet

And now the lighthouse ....

There are109 steps to the top of the Lighthouse and then on to a watch room

Inside we go

When you step out on to the top railing on the very top you see this …..

You can see the cabin from this view

A bit of History . . . .

The lighthouse left over from a not-so-kind history of Indian attacks, Civil War battles, pirates, hurricanes and other harrowing and heroic times in Florida history, and it’s a treasure that has withstood more than its share of wear and tear over the decades.

It is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County, though it has been reinforced and refurbished several times since its original build in 1825.

Initially built as a 65-foot lighthouse with wooden stairs, the Cape Florida Light was initially build to guide sailors and serve as a lookout to protect the area from the pirates, Indians and other invaders that had been posing dangers to Florida throughout the 1700s and early 1800s. The first keeper and his family moved into the lighthouse’s cottage, becoming the first American family to reside in Key Biscayne. There are now 109 steps on the narrow spiral staircase that takes you to the top of the Lighthouse.

Eleven years after opening, while the keeper and his family were away, a band of Seminole Indians attacked the tower, burning all of the wood structure inside and pillaging the cottage. It would be several years – well after the threat of Indians had subsided – before the lighthouse was rebuilt and operating again. 

Lighthouse keeping is not for the faint-hearted. Keepers live in isolation, endure violent storms, and must be ready to respond to the occasional shipwreck. They have to be self-sufficient, handy, happy with their own company, and comfortable with heights lighthouse attendants often faced

Until the invention of the light bulb, the “light” at a lighthouse usually came from a flame. If the fire escaped control, catastrophes happened. Rescues  were made frequently by the lighthouse keeper or any family member, if they had family there.  Before widespread electricity and automation in the 1960s, some keepers began floating their lenses in liquid mercury. The keepers would  breath and touch the mercury on their daily cleaning rounds. Modern scholars have proven that chronic mercury poisoning causes confusion, depression, and hallucinations. Some lighthouses likely attracted some folks who had trouble fitting into society, but being very isolated, especially if no family was there, you suffered from extreme Isolation and depression.  Lighthouse keepers didn’t leave the lighthouse, they had supplies brought by boat, some only a twice a year and only getting off the island every 2 years or so. 

Mouthfuls of molten lead, wild weather, and insanity: the occupational hazards of an early lighthouse keeper.   Amorina Kingdon

If you ever saw the bizarre movie The Lighthouse, this could explain a little of it.

LIFE Is a Beach

Yep, life is a beach, unlike the rest of the country, shivering, freezing cold, miserable, and dealing with a pandemic, here it is beautiful, everyday, and most people do not seem to know a pandemic is going on. It has been in the low 80’s mostly sunny, everyday, with a few days of 88 or so, and very little rain. SO what to do. Well, walk on the beach of course. We walk a few miles on the beach with our feet in the water, and take a dip in the ocean here and there, rinse and repeat. As to the pandemic, we are right on the flight path for the Miami airport, every 5 minutes or so, planes take off and come in for a landing, ALL day. Hoards of people are here, most wear masks, a lot don’t, 6 feet apart forget it. SO, again what to do, we just grin and bear it ,HA Ha. Besides dealing with that, it really can’t get any better here, and we are having a great time. For now Ya all take care now, ya hear.

Off to the beach . . . .

I’m not bragging, maybe just a bit, but …….

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is an award-winning beach!  Cape Florida’s 1.2 mile-long sandy beach is so spectacular that Dr. Beach has repeatedly named it one of the top 10 beaches in America. Dr. Beach (aka Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman) praises the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park beach for its “clear, emerald-colored waters and gentle surf on a fine, white coral sand beach.” It is, he says unequivocally, “the best swimming beach in the Southeast.“  Bill Baggs State Park has predictably made it to the Top Ten Beaches in America for the last ten years running, but this little oasis barely 15 minutes from downtown Miami, is more than just a beach.

Dave & I go to the beach, our front yard, to relax, take a walk a dip and just frolic in the Atlantic, where the ocean as been the perfect temperature.

Some of the different beach accesses

After a hard day of volunteering 🤣 We had lunch at The Lighthouse Cafe, in the park, and then off to the beach.

Beach access from the cafe

this access is wheelchair accessible

These pictures of the beach are from the lighthouse to the section where the hotels and condos start. You can actually continue walking from Bill Baggs beach to start of the island, Bill Baggs is at the end.

“Your only worry should be if the tide is going to reach the chair.” – Zac Brown


It has been a great haven/harbor for us, as well as being somewhat diverse.

I definitely love our little corner of Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne at the end of the island in a little corner of the park, near the administration building.   There we have a short  path to follow from our RV. If you go down the path take a right and head north it goes to the ocean harbor of Biscayne Bay called No Name Harbor and you will see a beautiful sunset.  A short distance the other direction headed south you will see a lighthouse and a beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean where you can see a gorgeous sunrise!   

The path from our RV to Biscayne Bay and to No Name Harbor. At the end of the harbor is Boater’s Grill a very good restaurant inside Bill Baggs state park.

“To me the sea is a continual miracle; the fishes that swim, the rocks, the motion of the waves, the ships with men in them. What stranger miracles are there?” Walt Whitman

We take the same path to see the sunsets.

If you are in a beautiful place where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset, then you are living like a lord.”
Nathan Philips

For my birthday Dave took me to ……….

Just a hop, skip and a jump from our RV, it was very good!

If you take the same path from the RV going straight and then left heading south your going to find lots of good fishing spots, Stiltsville, a sea wall and a lighthouse at the end.

Kite surfing and Stiltsville, a whole new blog story.

And that is on the harbor side of Bill Baggs, I haven’t even gotten to the lighthouse or the beach!


We have now been here one month plus a few days, seems a lot longer than that, not sure why. Two months to go, then off to see the wizard !!!!. Melissa, and I along with Cooper are doing good. One thing for sure is that we are doing way more walking, biking and hiking than we ever did when we were in Key Largo, which is a good thing. For the remaining time we are here ,we will now be working, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Melissa will be at the gate and open the park and work from 7:30 to 1:30. I am in shop and maintanance, and kind of do my own thing. When a project comes up i go do it, other than that i really do not have a set schedule time wise, could work 4 hours one day and 3 the next. They really, i do not think know what to do with me. You see normally the volunteers here, which there is only two couples would be working at the light house during there shifts, but it is closed. Closed due to Covid, so no one can go into the light keepers cottage or go up the light house itself, which is really a shame right now.

One thing to share is a lot of people ask me what is the single most found item while picking up trash, and by far it is plastic bottle caps. They are everywhere, in the ocean, on the beach in the grills, all over. The second most thing i find is, a surprise even to me , but it is those plastic (Green) teeth flossers, thingies. After they use them people just throw them on the ground. There you have it.

I do have to say the park here is beautiful ,we walk just a little bit and we are at the beach or along the sea wall at the bay. The other day we rode our bikes into town , I got a hair cut and Melissa explored a little, then we took a long walk on the beach i think 3 miles, and i finally did it, I dove in the ocean, it was a little cold, didn’t stay in long ,but it was refreshing. We have also now walked the beach at dusk along with Cooper, when the park is closed, it is pretty neat seeing the stars coming out and the light house lit up, will be doing that again for sure.

That’s about it for now, maybe my next post will be more interesting.