- A lighthouse is like a spare tyre of a car. When we have a flat tyre we think “Oh! The spare tyre……” and we go fetch it. The same applies to lighthouses. When there are problems at sea we look for a landmark to guide us: the nearest lighthouse. And just like it happens with the spare tyre, if it is not working as it should things might get very complicated …
- Leça da Palmeira is very different …A dozen or so years ago there was nothing around here … I have friends that when they came here last were very surprised “This did not exist!”
- I use to say jokingly that with this elevator this lighthouse has the second highest first floor in Portugal … The Aveiro lighthouse is the first.
- A lighthouse keeper’s work day is… a normal day. Of course it is not a 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job because we do not obey to a fixed schedule. We must keep the lighthouse working.
- In the past, the lighthouse keeper was a Jack-of-all-trades. For that reason they received training in mechanics, carpentry, ironmongery, all of that. And there were tools and machines in the lighthouses that allowed them to do that kind of repairs. Nowadays almost everything is based on electronics, practically all the systems work automatically.
- Here in Leça, the signal is a group of three flashes. There is the first flash of 0.2 seconds, then a 2.2 second period of darkness, a second 0.2 second flash, a second 2.2 second darkness period, a third 0.2 second flash and the last darkness period that is longer – it lasts 10 seconds. It all adds up to 15 seconds.
Interview conducted on the 20th January 2010, at the Leça da Palmeira Lighthouse