"The windiest & foggiest place on the Pacific Coast" Top 5 Page for this destination Point Reyes Station by JLBG

Point Reyes Station Travel Guide: 124 reviews and 308 photos

Point Reyes National Seashore, in Marin County, is, by official records, the windiest and foggiest place on the Pacific Coast.

The Miwok Indians were the first inhabitants of the land that is now Point Reyes National Seashore. It seems that in 1579, Sir Francis Drake was the first European that landed on this shore, The coast is very dangerous and so many wrecks took place that a light house was built. It was a very hard work and was first lit in 1870 and retired from service in 1975. It is now a historic building, run by the National Park Service inside %L[http://www.nps.gov/pore/ ]Point Reyes National Seashore%L*.

The lighthouse was equipped with lens and mechanism that had been constructed in France. The lens were Fresnel lens that were developed by Augustin-Jean Fresnel, a French physicist that used the Huygens–Fresnel principle.

I borrow a definition from a technical document:

Fresnel lens were originally developed for lighthouses. The Fresnel lens reduces the amount of material required compared to a conventional spherical lens by breaking the lens into a set of concentric annular sections known as Fresnel zones. For each of these zones, the overall thickness of the lens is decreased, effectively chopping the continuous surface of a standard lens into a set of surfaces of the same curvature, with discontinuities between them. This allows a substantial reduction in thickness (and thus weight and volume of material) of the lens

Since 1813, Fresnel was assistant to François Arago, another physicist, as Head of the French “service des phares et balises” (lighthouses and beacons office). They improved in different ways the lightening systems for lighthouses: use of lamps with a series of concentric wicks fed with oil under pressure, use of various devices to concentrate the light in one direction. A first system of lens was set up on the Arc de Triomphe in 1822 and was seen 32 km away. It was set up on most lighthouses, both in France and abroad. The system was improved to what is now named Fresnel lens in 1843 and in the following years was used worldwide in lighthouses.

  • Intro Written Feb 18, 2009
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Reviews (11)

Comments (6)

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    It has been a few years since I visited Pt. Reyes. Your page reminds me that I should return sometime soon to this part of Marin. Despite the wind, there is some great scenery. Nice page! - Steve

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    You were lucky to be here on a clear sunny day! I can attest to the usual foggy conditions - this area is in my backyard practically. Excellent photos - I really enjoyed them!

  • Mar 15, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    Excellent new page! Photos and information

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Such an interesting place, page and brilliant photos! The Fort Ross and Russian America are of special attraction for me and all Russians. What would be if that attempt was a success? Hahah! Waiting for your separate page about it! Thanks Jean-Louis!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2009 at 5:01 AM

    Great photos and information on this interesting promontory! I like to poke around lighthouses and rugged coasts too. In Newfoundland, wind-bent trees are like the ones you saw are called 'tuckamore' by the locals.

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2009 at 1:31 AM

    trop beau à voir, malgré le vent


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