Built in 1950 at Curtis Bay, Maryland by the United States Coast Guard Yard for $500,000, Lightship 612 was the last ship to serve a full tour of duty on the Nantucket Shoals station and was also the last US lightship in commission. In 1975 Lightship Ambrose, the Nantucket’s sister ship, was renamed Lightship Nantucket II and the two ships spelled one another, relieving each other approximately every 21 days.
At 2:30 a.m. on December 20, 1983 the 613 relieved 612 until 8:00 a.m. then was relieved by a Large Navigational Buoy, therefore 613 was last Lightship on station in US and on Nantucket Station.
In December 1983 the Lightship 613 was sold to the New England Historic Seaport to become a museum ship in Boston and Lightship 612 was reassigned to cutter duty.
Finally, after being decommissioned on March 29, 1985 and ending the 165 year era of United States Lightship service, Lightship 612 was sold to the Boston Educational Marine Exchange and shortly thereafter was taken over by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In March 2000, she was purchased by William and Kristen Golden, restored as the only fully operational Lightship in the United States and converted to a luxury yacht which was berthed at Rowes Wharf in Boston. In the summer of 2007 she was available for charter in Nantucket harbor and Newport. The Nantucket Lightship WLV612 was chartered for one year by the 5 star Delamar Hotel in Greenwich Connecticut in 2008, served as the mothership for the New York Yacht Club summer cruise and was chartered from November 2008 through May 31, 2009 at The North Cove Marina at the World Financial Center in Manhattan, New York. During the summers of 2009 and 2010, the WLV612 was docked in Martha’s Vineyard on Charter in Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Newport and Long Island Sound, returning in the fall of 2010 for charters Newport.
(Sorry, it’s a little blurry.)
Our 3 day stay in Newport included a treasured visit from my sister who lives in Boston, and lunch with our friends from Essex (mentioned in the previous posting) who had captained a 60+ foot motoryacht up for a two day visit to Newport. We also took lots of walks, did some shopping, and made the all-important trek to the local Stop and Shop!
It was our intention to leave Newport on Monday, Labor Day, and make the short trip to Martha’s Vineyard and then proceed to Nantucket on Tuesday. But the forecast for Tuesday was for high winds and big seas, so we decided to go all the way to Nantucket on Monday. We have found that it works to our advantage to respect large, open bodies of water such as Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound!! On the way, we passed the Elizabeth Islands (picture above). Located at the outer edge of Buzzards Bay and north of Martha’s Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands are privately owned by the (Steve) Forbes family. The east wind made for a messy ride; but we reached our destination – Nantucket Harbor – mid-afternoon.
Here are some pictures of the approach into Nantucket Harbor. We followed the high-speed ferry in, passed Brandt Point lighthouse, and easily grabbed our mooring line.