Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much solar power does the lighthouse have, and can we charge our cell phones/tablets?
A: The lighthouse is completely off the power grid and powered by a bank of solar panels and batteries. We have a large inverter that provides 120V electricity. There is enough battery power to power the lights, fridge, TV and charge cell phones, tablets only and strictly ask for your cooperation in conserving the electricity during your stay.
However- there is not enough power to operate items such as hair dryers, flat irons or extended use of the microwave.
Q: Is food service available and if not, what kitchen items are available?
A: Your stay is "bring your own" food and beverages. Most guests bring food that can be grilled on the outdoor gas grill or warmed in the oven. The kitchen is equipped with a dorm-sized refrigerator, microwave, percolator coffee pot, K Cup coffee maker, gas oven and cook top. We also have dinner plates, mugs, glasses, full cookware set, steak knives, forks, knives, spoons, cooking utensils, salt, pepper and various spices/seasonings. We also offer free K-cups, sweeteners and ground coffee. We provide paper goods. (i.e. paper towels, napkins, toilet tissue, etc.)
*Option: The local area features several excellent restaurants to order take-out and bring out to the Light instead of cooking on board.
The Cove Restaurant, Tipsy Toboggan & Sagres Restaurants are within
5 minutes of the Marina. No... they do not offer delivery service to the Lighthouse- LOL!
Q: Is there fresh drinking water?
Although we offer fresh, clean water from our sink via a battery operated pump, we do not recommend using it for drinking, however it can be used for washing, cooking, etc. We do include bottled water for our guests. We provide small hand towels for washing, but feel free to bring your own towels if preferred.
Q: Are other people allowed to visit the lighthouse during our stay?
A: Due to liability reasons, keepers are not allowed to invite anyone on the lighthouse at anytime during their stay. However, for milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and only by
SPECIAL ADVANCED REQUEST, up to 10 guests will be allowed to join you for your special occasion at an additional fee.** We will provide free boat service for your guests at check-in and one return trip back to marina no later than 9 PM. (one round trip)
**Additional charge of $30. per invited guest will apply and all guests are required to sign a waiver of liability.
Q: Does the lighthouse still have a working beacon and foghorn?
A: The lighthouse is still a fully active USCG aid to navigation. The Coast Guard operates a modern LED optic in the lantern room that automatically flashes every 2.5 seconds from dusk to dawn. In 2013, the foghorn was permanently removed.
*Please be aware, our lighthouse stands proudly as a U.S. COAST GUARD AID TO NAVIGATION protecting the waters of beautiful Mount Hope Bay and as such, the Coast Guard has right of access to the lighthouse at any time, especially during an emergency.
Q: Is there WiFi or Cable TV?
A: The lighthouse is purposely not equipped with WiFi or cable TV. There is a 32" LCD TV w/DVD player available with plenty of DVDs to choose from, as well as local network TV stations via HD antenna. We much prefer our guests relax in peace and solitude during their stay, away from the hustle & bustle of daily electronic life!
(There is excellent cell phone signal in case you need to stay in touch with home or if there is an emergency)
Q: How long does it take to get out to the Lighthouse?
A: The Lighthouse is located only 1,500 feet offshore. We launch from the Borden Light Marina (1 Ferry Street Fall River, MA) via our 19 ft. center console boat, and the ride only takes 2-3 minutes. (weather-permitting) Please be aware, all Keepers must climb a vertical steel-rung ladder to access the Lighthouse. (see below left)
Q: Can we swim or fish off the lighthouse?
A: We highly discourage any attempts to swim off the lighthouse. The light is located at the mouth of the Taunton River flowing into Mount Hope Bay. It's not uncommon for the currents at the lighthouse to exceed 7-10-kts. making it extremely dangerous to swim. Also, there are large rocks around the base of the lighthouse as well as boat traffic through the channel. Fishing is not allowed for safety reasons.
Q: Does the lighthouse operate like a typical hotel/bed & breakfast?
A: NO- The lighthouse is not a typical hotel nor B&B where you can arrive or depart any time you wish- which is why we have strict check-in/out times.
The Lighthouse is a privately-owned home that is offered to the public through our Overnight Keepers Educational Program. The program was developed by the US Lighthouse Society to encourage guests to experience the life of our brave lighthouse keepers who lived and maintained the Light from 1881 through 1963. As our overnight "Honorary Light Keepers," you will gain the knowledge and one-of-kind experience of living in a 138 year old historic Lighthouse!
Q: Are bed linens included and is there a housekeeping/cleaning fee?
We include your bed linens and the Lighthouse is thoroughly cleaned after each stay. For the 2019 season, we are offering a CLEANING FEE of $50 per stay. If you prefer to not pay the cleaning fee and do the housekeeping yourself, the Lighthouse must be returned to the same, clean condition that you found it. We are blessed that 95% of our Keepers volunteer to bring the Light back to the original clean condition they found it in. THANK YOU for your help!
Q: Can we bring alcoholic beverages for our stay?
A: Guests are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages. We request that no one smokes on the Lighthouse property due to fire logistics and historic preservation, as well the comfort of future guests.
Q: In case of an emergency, who do we call?
A: If there is a medical emergency, use your cell to dial 911 (the lighthouse has excellent cell coverage). Fall River has top-notch police, rescue and fire officers through their Harbormaster Program. Also, call Kevin, your Lighthouse Keeper. If you witness a boat emergency on the nearby waters, also call 911 who will alert the Coast Guard.
Q: Are we allowed to take pictures of the inside and access the lantern room?
A: Our guests are welcome to take as many photos as they would like. Guests are also welcome to access the lantern room where the active light is located. (Sunsets and views are amazing from the lantern room)
Q: Are we allowed to take our boat to the lighthouse?
A: Boats are not allowed to be tied off to the lighthouse or anchored nearby. The lighthouse is located in a navigable channel and overnight anchoring is not allowed. If you prefer to arrive by your own boat, transient boat slips are available for rent at the Borden Light Marina- 508-678-7547. (must reserve slips in advance)
Q: Does the lighthouse float and/or sway?
A: The lighthouse rests firmly and permanently upon the bottom of the bay. It does not "rock" or "sway"around with the waves, like a dock or a boat. It is as solid as being on land.
Q: Can we bring a small cooler?
A: You're more than welcome to bring a small cooler. Smaller the better, as we will need to carry it up the red ladder you see pictured bottom left . Overnight bags, beach style bags with long handles and back packs work best. You will need to bring your own ice if desired.
Q: Is the power plant behind the lighthouse nuclear?
A: The Brayton Point Power Plant, seen off the west side of the Light, was decommissioned in May 2017. The plant was coal fired and the cooling towers were added in 2010 to eliminate hot water from entering the bay and damaging the ecosystem. We are pleased to report the decommissioned power plant are slated to be torn down in 2019.
Q: Are we allowed to check-in/check-out at times other than the 5pm and 12 noon established times?
A:. Due to the operation logistics of the lighthouse, we strongly ask our Keepers honor the established times, however, with advanced request, we are willing to accommodate changes that work best for our guests schedules for flight times, travel delays and family emergencies.
Q: Is the Lighthouse haunted?
A: After decades of rumor, we have had professionals and amateur ghost hunters visit the lighthouse and we are happy to report the presence of two extremely friendly spirits. The experts have labeled our spirits as "benign," meaning they do not scare, haunt, spook or show themselves. We have had a few reports where guests heard soft music or laughter, but unfortunately, this is extremely rare. Many of our guests hope to experience some presence during their stay, but sadly usually do not. Our main spirit is that of former Light Keeper John Paul, and the experts claim he only remains to protect and keep our guests and Lighthouse safe and protected. We graciously thank you John Paul!
Feel free to email our Light Keeper/Owner Kevin with any additional questions - email@example.com