Exploring Bay Canh lighthouse on Con Dao island

Tuesday - 28/05/2019 09:52
Bay Canh lighthouse on Con Dao island is adjacent to international navigable channels. This is the outpost territorial waters of our motherland linking Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City and the Southwest territorial waters. 

It plays the role as a landmark  at sea and ensures that international ships can pass by safely and smoothly.

Con Dao Island is located 97 nautical miles away from the mainland. This is a sacred place of the Fatherland. The lighthouse is located on Bay Canh islet away from the center of Con Dao. It takes us about 30 minutes to come here by canoes. We can see the lighthouse rising majestically from a distance. The lighthouse is in a convenient position of the navigable road link Europe and Asia. Con Dao was known as an important strategic position soon by Westerners. Immediately after asserting the French sovereignty on Con Dao Island by a declaration in 1862, French fisherman found a favourable position for the lighthouse.

The lighthouse sits on the top of Bay Canh mountain with 212 meters high. This is one of the 16 islands of Con Dao archipelago, surrounded by sea from the  East,  South  and  West. The lighthouse was built up to the height of 16 meters, lighting effect  about 35 nautical miles by day, and 26.7 nautical miles at night. There are 4 floors inside the lighthouse tower. A spiral staircase made of steel wire with 55 stairs leads to the top of the lighthouse. A secondary backup light is used if the main light was broken, situated on the top. Besides maritime guidance function, Bay Canh lighthouse also contributes to protect the largest ecological conservation area of sea turtle on Con Dao island.

There is a stone path leading from the foothills to the lighthouse. Upstream the revolutionary history of Con Dao, there is the place born the stamp of the revolt of prisoners since the early days has built the lighthouse. French built a detention center  with capacity of about 150 prisoners at the foot of the lighthouse. The prisoners are patriotic warriors taking part in the resistance against French in the Southern. Prisoners were mobilized to build the lighthouse. However, with the spirit of patriotism and desire to free themselves,  prisoners revolted to destroy the chains on Bay Canh Islet.

Bay Canh lighthouse on Con Dao island is adjacent to international navigable channels. This position ensures international ships can pass by safely and smoothly. This also located  on the outpost territorial waters of our motherland linking Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City and the Southwest territorial waters. Thus, the lighthouse plays a role as a hallmark for international  transport at sea.

The large sandy beach at the foot of the lighthouse is a paradise of nature reserves especially sea turtle conservation activities. Here is the islet having the largest number of turtles laying eggs of Vietnam. In July every year, sea turtles from Phu Quy, Binh Thuan, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa and the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia islands come here again to lay their eggs on the sandy beach at the foot of the lighthouse. Forest management force protected and helped turtles come ashore to lay their eggs at night. Sometimes the number of sea turtles can be up to 30 turtle mothers. About 80% of the eggs will hatch into juveniles. They are released back into the sea to begin a new life cycle. About 30 years later, the surviving turtles will return to this sand for spawning.  It is also the law of survival for millions of years of sea turtles. The maritime space at the foot of the lighthouse not only is the place for sea turtle conservation, but also planned for ecological restoration zones and are strictly protected. Coral reefs, sea cucumber are cared cautiously  by Con Dao national park staffs.

When sunset comes, it is time of the task of the lighthouse. It still lights up diligently and always stays in the most dangerous position. The highlights of peace does not only direct ships about safe sailing in the region, but also protect the valuable natural resources of our country.

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