Lille Presteskjær Lighthouse – Saved!
Lille Presteskjær Lighthouse is found in Rekefjord, just south of Hauge i Dalane. It is the southernmost lighthouse in Rogaland county. It has been operating since 1895, and was automated in 1973. From 1973, it stood unattended for 28 years in all kind of wind and weather.
The Midtbø family adopted Lille Presteskjær, and got the contract to take care of the lighthouse. Starting in 2004, they been receiving guests. The lighthouse is available for rent – for a night, to throw a party, or for a day trip.
Frank Midtbø talked about life in terms of filling your jar with different stones. “The big things in life are the big stones: kids, wife, husband, house, health, and so on. And to fill it further up, you throw in smaller stones: hobbies, life quality, work, car, and so on. Then, even smaller stones: minor worries. The spaces in between get filled with sand. But no matter how many stones and sand you fill in, when everything looks filled, there is always enough room (in life and in the jar) for two cups of coffee.” Frank lives by this philosophy and I am truly inspired.
Photos and text by Sigrid Thorbjørnsen © 2013.
1. Before heading out to the lighthouse, Johan Åakre (my friend and driver and the one who made it all happen) and I stopped at Frank and Berith Midtbøs’s boathouse. This is a wonderful place for the locals, and a unique place for visitors. On the coffee container they handed me, I read, “Take Your Time.” This was the reminder I needed. Here time has true value. I was reminded of why I was doing this traveling from lighthouse to lighthouse.
2. Johan Åakre (left), Frank Midtbø Berith Midtbø (middle and right) in a room full of stories and history. There are photos of local heroes, photos of the lighthouse through time. There’s always time for a coffee and a rest. Everyone is welcomed any time. The door to this boathouse is never locked.
3. If you have been here more than twice, you get your own cup, your own hook with your name signed on the wall. Then you’re a part of the family. Each of these cups belong to an individual, locals, travelers, neighbors, and friends. Some have left the earth and are no longer with us, but here in the boathouse, they are remembered, talked about, missed, and cheered. Their cups are still here. “There is always room for two cups of coffee”.
4. Lille Presteskjær Lighthouse is on a small island connected to mainland by way of a bridge. The weather here can be horrible, and when it is bad, there’s no chance of docking. Waves actually crash over the lighthouse sometimes.
5. Rain or shine, a lighthouse is a perfect place to be. It is a constant reminder of how important this navigation tool has been for everyone traveling by sea.
6. Berith Midtbø had her heart set on saving this lighthouse, but a task like this is hard to take on alone. She is blessed to have her husband Frank by her side to help. Together, they saved Lille Presteskjær.
7. From the laundry house the lighthouse appears through this small window. The window might be small, but the view is spectacular
8. Johan Åakre (left) is the force behind lifting Viberodden Lighthouse to its glory, and Frank Midtbø (right) is the guardian of Lille Presteskjær Lighthouse. Together they share ideas, stories, and wonderful laughs. I feel at ease just knowing that people like these guys are taking care of and promoting the lighthouses in their backyard. Enthusiasm like this is a treasure. I know that because of these guys, the tradition of the lighthouse will go on, at least for another generation.
9. It is still raining. Quietly. The ocean is calm today. Everything is good. Lille Presteskjær lighthouse is still here. I am counting my blessings. Still counting….
Lighthouses on islands are in the hands of the weather gods. So is Lille Presteskjær Lighthouse. You can book in advance, but be prepared for cancellations due to rough weather. Safety always comes first. Plan B is a must-have.
Staying at Lille Presteskjær
- To arrange a stay at the lighthouse, call Berith or Frank at +47 909 63 112.
- There is room for 10 persons in two bedrooms. You can rent the place for a week-end or for a week. You can do your own grocery shopping, or use the local catering company (run by Berith Midtbø) to shop and/or cook. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org