Right in the middle of the 1.7 square kilometers uninhabited island called Klein Curacao
, stands the iconic pink lighthouse. The first lighthouse was built in 1850, but destroyed by unforgiving hurricanes in 1877. The next lighthouse, which still stands today, was built in the interior of the island. It was home to fearless lighthouse keepers, who stayed in the adjoining rooms, without running water or electricity
Standing alone in the middle of the island, it is now abandoned. The wooden stairs to the top of the lighthouse are still intact, as are the two stories of rooms. The 22-meter (66 feet) high tower had to be rebuilt three times but is still functioning today. Because of the many shipwrecks, putting the lighthouse back to work was more than necessary. Despite all the technologies we use today, Klein Curacao is still a very difficult island to maneuver around. Most recently, in 1982 a large oil tanker, the Maria Bianca Guidesman, stranded on the windward side of Klein Curacao. And not only ships, but also yachts have fallen victim to its ferocious waters. In 2008, the light tower was given a LED beacon with solar panels that still flashes every 15 seconds.
Klein Curacao is a low, flat island which makes it difficult to spot from the bridge of a ship. The island has even been called “a worthless cliff” and “ stands in the way traffic on the ocean”. But true, many shipwrecks are on Klein Curacao because of the very strong currents and the unforgiving north-east winds. This combination of wind and current makes it very difficult for even the best of captains to steer their ship around the island.