Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the lighthouse operate like a typical hotel or bed & breakfast?
NO - The lighthouse is not a typical hotel nor B&B operation where you can arrive or depart any time you wish- we have very strict check-in/out times. Our Lighthouse is actually a privately-owned home that is made available to the public through our Overnight Keepers Educational Program. The program was developed to encourage guest Keepers to experience the life of our brave lighthouse keepers who lived in 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 historic 138 year-old working Lighthouse!
Q: Are bed linens included and is there a housekeeping/cleaning fee? As part of your Light Keeper duties, we ask that you volunteer and bring the Light back to the same cleaned condition you found it upon check-in. This simply means, washing your dishes, stripping and remaking your bed, light vacuuming and general cleaning as to return the Light to its original, rent-able condition. We supply your bed linens, blankets, hand towels, cleaning supplies, etc.
If you are NOT the domestic type, and prefer to pay for housekeeping, you can opt to purchase the $75 cleaning fee during the reservation process. However, we prefer our Keepers volunteer to bring the Light back to the original clean condition they found it in and save the fee. (Use it towards your food & beverages!)
THANK YOU for your help in keeping our gem the cleanest she can be!
Q: How much solar power does the lighthouse have, and can we charge our cell phones/tablets?
A: The lighthouse is completely "OFF the GRID" and powered by a bank of solar panels and batteries. We have a large inverter that converts the battery power into normal 110V electricity. There is normally enough power to power the lights, fridge, TV and charge cell phones, tablets only and we strictly ask for your cooperation in conserving the electricity during your stay. We can also power portable CPAP machines.
(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 cooking?
A: Your stay is totally BYFB- "Bring Your Food and Beverages."
Most guests bring food that can be grilled on our outdoor gas grill or cooked/warmed on our gas stove/oven. The kitchen is equipped with a dorm-sized refrigerator, microwave, K-Cup coffee maker, gas stove & oven. We also provide plates, mugs, glasses, wine glasses, cookware, steak knives, eating & cooking utensils, salt, pepper and various spices/seasonings. We also offer free K-cups, sweeteners and ground coffee. We also provide paper goods like paper towels, napkins, toilet tissue, etc.
*Food option: The local area features several excellent restaurants to order take-out foods and bring out to the Light instead of cooking on board.
The Cove Restaurant, Tipsy Toboggan & Sagres restaurants as well as pizza chains are within 5 minutes of the Marina. No... unfortunately they do not offer delivery service out to the Lighthouse- LOL!
Q: Is there fresh drinking water?
Being offshore and totally off the grid, we of course have no running water or plumbing service. However, we do offer fresh, potable water from our sink via a battery operated pump system for washing, cooking, doing dishes, etc. We also include plenty of fresh bottled water for drinking.
Sadly, because we do not have water service out to the Light, we do not have a shower available. There are hot showers available at the Marina's clubhouse if desired. (May-Oct. only)
Q: Are other people allowed to visit the lighthouse during our stay?
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 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 $40. 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?
The lighthouse is still a fully active USCG Aid to Navigation. The US Coast Guard operates our 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?
The lighthouse is purposely not equipped with WiFi or cable TV. There is a 32" LCD TV w/DVD player 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. In case of emergency, simply call 911 and state you are on Borden Flats Light, and they will dispatch services to you. Also call your Keeper Kevin asap.)
Q: How long does it take to get out to the Lighthouse?
The Lighthouse is located only 1,500 feet offshore. We launch our complimentary boat service from the Borden Light Marina, 1 Ferry Street Fall River, MA via our 22 ft. deck boat, and the ride only takes 2-3 minutes. (weather-permitting) Please be aware, all Keepers must climb the vertical steel-rung ladder to access the Lighthouse. (see picture below left)
Q: Can we swim or fish off the lighthouse?
Swimming and fishing are not allowed. 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 and sanitary reasons.
Q: Can we bring alcoholic beverages for our stay?
A: Yes, guests are welcome to bring and enjoy 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 at the lighthouse or anchored nearby during your stay. The lighthouse is located in a navigable channel and overnight anchoring is not allowed. If you prefer to arrive for your stay 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 operational logistics of the lighthouse, we strongly ask our Keepers honor the established times, however, with advanced request, we are willing to accommodate changes due to schedules for flight times, travel delays and family emergencies.
Q: Is the Lighthouse haunted?
A: After decades of rumor, we have had professional mediums and 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 music, footsteps or laughter, but unfortunately, this is extremely rare. Many of our guests hope to experience some presence during their stay, but sadly, most do not. Our main spirit is that of our former Light Keeper John H. Paul, and the experts claim he 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 not covered here - firstname.lastname@example.org