Geita Lighthouse was built in 1897 and became fully automated 1982. It stands on the easternmost of three small islands, Ytsegeite, Medgeite and Instegeita (Outer-, Mid- and Inner-Geite), the last is where the lighthouse is located. Geita stands 101.7 feet (31 meters) tall, and 147.6 feet (42.8 meters) above the high tide mark. The Norwegian word geita means goat.
This is an active lighthouse. There is an iron lantern with a tall “dunce-cap” roof in the southeast corner, attached by a covered passageway to a 1-1/2 story wood keeper’s house. The lens sits on a wrought iron base. The landing pier and boathouse are about 200 meters from the lighthouse.
The island is accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
After the 1982 automation, the lighthouse was transferred to the Nordisk Kunstnarsenter (Nordic Artists Center) in Dale. The building is available for vacation rental during the summer and is leased to artists at other times. See more about Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dale below.
These islands are part of Askvoll municipality and are at the outermost edge of Dalsfjord. Askvoll can boast of many seabird preserves within the municipality. About 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Geita is the much larger Væerlandet island where a large nature preserve covers a good part of the island. Fishing and fish farming are the most important industries, but both tourism is expanding. There is a collection of picturesque small houses on the water’s edge in Værøyhamna harbor. There is a useful pdf online with lots of information and photos about Værlandet and the nature preserve.
Overnight at Geita
- The island where Geita lighthouse is situated is often exposed to some pretty rough weather conditions.
- It has 9 beds, a kitchen, living room, and toilet.
- Price: NOK 500[convert number=500 from=”nok” to=”usd” template=” (approx. US $%result%”] [convert number=500 from=”nok” to=”eur” template=” / €%result%)”] per day plus NOK 200[convert number=200 from=”nok” to=”usd” template=” (approx. US $%result%”] [convert number=200 from=”nok” to=”eur” template=” / €%result%)”] per persson (up to 3 persons)
- Boat transport from Korssund to the lighthouse is not included.
- For more information: Tel.: +47 57 73 90 20.
- On October 6, 1897, Geita’s lantern was switched on for the very first time. The first lantern was a petroleum lamp with three wicks, one outside the other, in order to get a sufficiently strong beacon. The first lighthouse keeper was Hans Christian Andersen (1842-1903) from Halden, married to Hilma Caroline Terese, born 1845 in Stockholm. Andersen died in April 1803, and his son (with the same name) stepped in until a new keeper was employed in November the same year.
- In 1931, the old petroleum lamp was replaced by an incandescent burner which functioned almost like a gigantic Primus lamp. This meant that the light was now stronger and more stable. The beacon now had a luminous intensity with a range of 18 nautical miles.
- After 1939, the staff was extended with one assistant for six months of the year. Wherever possible, some farming took place. They had cows and sheep and did their best to get something to grow in the barren soil.
- As of 1957, the Geita lighthouse became a shift station with a lighthouse master, lighthouse assistant, and an extra person working nine months. The families have moved ashore, thus making the island an all-male community. The shift system meant that people worked for four weeks in a row with two weeks off afterward.
- On 9 July, electricity was installed with a 500-watt lamp. The lighthouse was changed from permanent light to occulting light with periods of five seconds of light and one second of dark. There were two generators, each of 4.5 kW. Electricity was also installed in the keeper¿s residence, the machine building, and the boathouse, as well as outside, which made it easier to find one’s way between the houses in darkness.
- In November 1970, the lighthouse station got VHF connection with Florø Radio. This communication system was a marked improvement compared with the old radio telephone the station had had since 1956. The radiotelephone had regular listening hours at 9.30, noon, and 18.00. Everybody could listen in on the fisheries wavelength, whereas the new system was closed. In February 1978, the station got ordinary telephone communication.
- In the period between 1942 and 1967, no less than 29 ships ran aground in the vicinity of Geita. Three of these were total wrecks, whereas the others could be rescued. The crew onboard the ships that were totally wrecked were able to get ashore on Geita and were taken care of by the lighthouse staff. In the morning hours of 6 October 1997, the lighthouse was struck by lightning, which meant that the lighthouse was out of operation. Much of the electrical installation was destroyed, and the VHF communication fell out. Fortunately, none of the staff suffered any injuries.
- Olav Oddekalv was the last lighthouse keeper on the island of Geita. He took over the position in 1979, but the following year the lighthouse was automated. From 1982, there have been no permanent residents at the lighthouse station. At present, there is no lighthouse keeper making his regular rounds day and night to check that everything is working. Everything is automated.
Nordic Artists’ Centre Dalsåsen
- In 1999, the lighthouse was listed by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage. In addition to the lighthouse itself, this also includes the residence and all other buildings and grounds on the island where the lighthouse is located. The assistant’s residence was torn down in the 1960s. Today it is possible for holiday-makers to get accommodation on the island. The main building can be rented, and this may also include a caretaker or a boatman. It is also possible to fish from the island itself or go out in a boat. Another activity is diving. From the island, there is a fine view in all directions, towards the open sea, to the surrounding archipelago or to the mainland.
- Nordic Artists’ Centre Dalsåsen maintains an Artist-in-Residence center funded by Norwegian Ministry Of Culture. The A-I-R program encourages international contacts for artists and focuses on visual arts including design, architecture and locally rooted practice. Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale is situated in the village of Dale, the administrative center of the Fjaler municipality on the West Coast of Norway. Join them on Facebook.
Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale, 6963 Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway
Email Arild H. Eriksen firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel.: + 47 577 36 200
A good source of information about the area is here.