Hope Town features one of the last operational kerosene-fueled lighthouses in the world. This lighthouse was built in 1862 and became operational two years later, it is striped horizontally red and white. Its light can be seen from 23 nmi (42.6 km) away.
The Hope Town Lighthouse is one of only three Manual Lighthouses left in the World. It has a spring mechanism that has to be hand cranked every several hours to maintain the sequence of five white flashes every 15 seconds. The lamp burns kerosene oil
Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage, also known as paraffin or paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The name is derived from Greek keros...
with a wick and mantle. The light is then focused as it passes through the optics of a first order Fresnel lens
A Fresnel lens is a type of lens originally developed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel for lighthouses.The design allows the construction of lenses of large aperture and short focal length without the mass and volume of material that would be required by a lens of conventional design...
which floats on a bed of mercury
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...
Weather and Climate
The weather in Hope Town is very similar to that of South Florida. Hope Town and the surrounding islands of Abaco generally follow five weather patterns throughout the year. The winter cold fronts (or Canada Clippers) that pass down to south Florida also affect the Abacos, although occasionally some stall before getting to the Northern Bahamas. They are often over by the end of April, and from that point, Hope Town's temperature increases, staying warm until September. During September and October showers recommence and Hope Town often experiences rain. In November and December the cold fronts hit Abaco again.
Hope Town experiences hurricanes as often as Florida, and over the last decade the number has stayed high. Hope Town's most notable hurricane is considered to be Hurricane Floyd
Hurricane Floyd was the sixth named storm, fourth hurricane, and third major hurricane in the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. Floyd triggered the third largest evacuation in US history when 2.6 million coastal residents of five states were ordered from their homes as it approached...
, that hit on September 14, 1999 as a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
In popular culture
In 2009, TV comedy Scrubs
Scrubs is an American medical comedy-drama television series created in 2001 by Bill Lawrence and produced by ABC Studios. The show follows the lives of several employees of the fictional Sacred Heart, a teaching hospital. It features fast-paced screenplay, slapstick, and surreal vignettes...
filmed a two-part special on location in Hope Town. The episodes featured Hope Town landmarks and points of interest such as the Elbow Cay lighthouse. Eighty-four cast and crew members turned up in Hope Town, temporarily increasing its population of 300 by over a quarter.
Season 3 of TLC's "Little People, Big World" also features the Roloff family visiting the Bahamas, where they make two stops in Hope Town. A visit to the lighthouse is featured, as well as a scene with the local Methodist church.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk, hip hop and psychedelic rock...
drummer, Chad Smith
Chad Smith is an American musician, best known as the longtime and current drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Smith is also the drummer of the hard rock supergroup Chickenfoot which includes Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, and Michael Anthony, former Deep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes' backing band and...
, was married by the lighthouse in Hope Town.