To the lighthouse!
January 21, 2017 9:57 PM   Subscribe

Do you need to get away from it all? How about spending six months in Australia's southernmost lighthouse, ten kilometres off the southern coast of Tasmania, the country's southernmost state? Maatsuyker Island is looking for its next caretakers - although the light is automatic and no longer needs an actual lighthouse keeper, a pair of volunteers spends six months at a time on the isolated 0.72sq mi island, rising early for weather observations (it rains 250 days of the year), managing the land, and maintaining the lighthouse buildings and grounds.

Access is by helicopter and you must bring in all supplies - but don't worry, there's a resupply helicopter three months in. It is theoretically possible to land by boat - as long as the seals aren't breeding, and if you don't mind a 50-metre climb up a sheer cliff face. Aside from the occasional contractor or artist in residence, it's just you and the seabirds.

Applications are open until 30th January!
posted by Naanwhal (35 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought about posting it here, but I didn't want to encourage competition...

What an experience though. I would have liked to read more about the people who've done it before, and how they felt about it.
posted by twirlypen at 10:23 PM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


there is no internet or email

Hostile working conditions! Pass.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:18 PM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


rising early

Pass.
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:28 PM on January 21, 2017 [8 favorites]


"Yes, of course, if it's fine tomorrow," said Mrs. Ramsay. "But you'll have to be up with the lark," she added.
posted by little onion at 11:33 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


That physical work is mainly mowing, to be precise there is about two kilometres of grass to mow, which is a lot considering the island is only about three kilometres long and one-and-a-half kilometres wide.

"We spend two to three days mowing every couple of weeks," Mr Miller said.
My god, why? Is the Maatsuyker HOA going to fine you if you don't mow the island?
posted by ryanrs at 11:48 PM on January 21, 2017 [22 favorites]


i cannot imagine anything more horrorfic
posted by PinkMoose at 12:07 AM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


So long as i could work on drawings and read, i'd be golden.
posted by ELF Radio at 12:26 AM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't think my cats would like the helicopter ride.

I was wondering why it was so wet as eastern Tasmania is quite dry (I was picturing it more south of Hobart). It's much further west than I thought. That's really remote. If you got yourself off the island you'd still be stuck with basically nothing but mountainous wilderness between there and Hobart. No wonder serious emergencies were three pigeon emergencies. I think I'd want carrier eagles.

A terrible thought. I'd do something daft like break a leg and while I wasn't supervising my cats would eat the pigeons and then I'd be really screwed.
posted by kitten magic at 12:38 AM on January 22, 2017


"...two adults who can demonstrate they have spent time together in a remote setting..."

Bummer.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:22 AM on January 22, 2017


My grandfather, a longtime Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve petty officer-signalman who was utterly obsessed with all things maritime, tried desperately hard to get a lighthouse keeper position in New Zealand in the 1950s. My grandmother nixed the idea when it looked like they had a realistic chance of being assigned to the lighthouse at Puysegur Point.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:36 AM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


On my way home from Hobart right now! Great town and I'm told the south coast is beautiful.

Watch out for skin cancer though when you're doing all that lawn mowing. The sun down there, it burns..
posted by joeyh at 4:12 AM on January 22, 2017


oheso tries to calculate how much Scotch is required for a six-month stay, fails.
posted by oheso at 4:32 AM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is one of those things that sounds fabulous and romantic but in really would probably suck.
posted by Kangaroo at 6:21 AM on January 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


Dear Sir/Madam,

I saw your advertisement recently posted upon the jobseeker website "MetaFilter," and would like to apply for the position of occupant of your dark and foreboding tower at the very end of the Earth.

My CV is enclosed for your perusal, along with a reference from my former employer Mr Mel Ko. You will note that I have relevant experience as CEO of a similar dark and foreboding tower, from which I managed a very large team of employees. I left that position recently due to a hostile takeover of the organisation, and I have been engaged in a search for a new opportunity where I can add value through my unique skill set.

I believe that your vacancy may provide a wonderful opportunity for us both, and I would be pleased to attend an interview at your convenience. Enclosed is my palantír; please do not hesitate to look me up and I will respond promptly. Looking forward to a fruitful discussion with you, with a view to utterly destroying the world of humankind -

Best regards,

Saul Ron.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:50 AM on January 22, 2017 [13 favorites]


I fear that my required lighthouse-living nightly ritual of wrapping a shawl around myself and going out the top of the lighthouse to sing Candle On The Water would result in my murder by my lighthouse partner after about 3 months.
posted by hippybear at 7:02 AM on January 22, 2017 [14 favorites]


Mr. Freedom commented, "When you absolutely have to write a book in 6 months..."

However, they mention something about an artist-in-residence! That's really the gig I'd want there.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:47 AM on January 22, 2017


Wait, what? I thought the ad said, "light housekeeping."
posted by Jode at 7:47 AM on January 22, 2017 [23 favorites]


I've found two volunteers. As long as there aren't any mice.
posted by lagomorphius at 8:19 AM on January 22, 2017


I cannot imagine anything more horrific, he says, from his rarefied view somewhere in Montreal.

I'm thinking that desperate times call for desperate measures and I'm prepared to sign up from now until early January 2021, i.e., need to be in DC on 1/20/2021.
posted by she's not there at 8:47 AM on January 22, 2017


There is a constant gale with winds averaging 50-60 knots and the highest recorded speed is 112 knots.
Really surprised they don't set up a couple wind mills to both power the light and provide heat for the house which apparently is pretty chilly.
posted by Mitheral at 11:22 AM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Lack of internet and lack of my ability to play Civ VI.

PASS.
posted by Fizz at 11:46 AM on January 22, 2017


Back in my day, if you wanted to have an experience like this you'd have to find and marry a lighthouse keeper.
posted by Flashman at 12:00 PM on January 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I would think the waiting list for this job opening is pretty long.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:09 PM on January 22, 2017


This sounds like the setting of Joyce Carol Oates' “The Fabled Light-House at Viña del Mar”
posted by kurumi at 12:17 PM on January 22, 2017


My god, why? Is the Maatsuyker HOA going to fine you if you don't mow the island?

You have to start the lawnmower every 108 minutes.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:03 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


My grandmother nixed the idea when it looked like they had a realistic chance of being assigned to the lighthouse at Puysegur Point.

Damn, that reads like Lovecraft.
In 1942 the tower at Puysegur Point burnt to the ground. According to the official report, the fire was lit “by a demented person, a hermit of the area”. The tower was completely destroyed.
...or was it?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:06 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


You know, this lighthouse would be the perfect place to celebrate this year's 40th anniversary of The Horror of Fang Rock.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:18 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


two adults who can demonstrate they have spent time together in a remote setting

Yeah I'd love to do this but I don't have a partner with these particular qualifications. :(

but now I feel like we need a TV show where a couple of random people who have never actually met but both want to hang out in a lighthouse agree to present themselves together and hilarity ensures
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 4:54 PM on January 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I would do this in a flash but I think they are taking the piss by making you supply your own provisions for three months. There's "volunteering" and then there's this.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:33 PM on January 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


twirlypen: how they felt about it.

Had they ever... ever felt like this?
posted by BiggerJ at 8:52 PM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


While this sounds romantic in theory, my reality would probably end with someone roaming the island saying, "Redrum," while I giggle in a closet somewhere.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 6:46 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a good place to fly a kite.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:03 AM on January 23, 2017


You had me until “rising early”
posted by acb at 9:15 AM on January 23, 2017


If I am in there I am safe. Safe from the Psychologist (if that is who she really is or if she really is human at all by this poi...

[unidentified sound]

Where lies the strangling fruit...
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


You know, this lighthouse would be the perfect place to celebrate this year's 40th anniversary of The Horror of Fang Rock.

Can I volunteer to wear the Max Headroom mask?
posted by stannate at 10:05 AM on January 23, 2017


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