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Sakhalin Oblast

Cape Lamanon

Cape Lamanon is a geological natural complex located on the island’s western coast, to the south from Izylmetyev Bay and near the source of the Ichara River, and pushes out into Tatar Strait. The cape is a noticeable steep ledge 42 meters high. Its cliffs are darkly colored and the cape’s surface is covered with grass. On both sides of the cape, near the shores, there are islands, shelves and some underwater rocks. 

Cape Lamanon is formed by volcanic rocks. The cliff top commands a beautiful panoramic view over Tatar Strait and its neighborhood. There is a cave at the cape’s extremity, near the water’s edge.

In 1787, while performing his round-the-world voyage at a personal assignment of the king Louis XVI, the great French seafarer Jean-François de Lapérouse completed exploring the shores of Korean Peninsula and future Primorye area and set off towards Oku-Yeso Island with his small fleet of two ships, La Boussole and L’Astrolabe. That was the Japanese name for the island that would later become Sakhalin. The French pathfinder discovered a strait between Hokkaido and Oku-Yeso Islands and gave it his name. Then his fleet went on to the north along the island’s shores, but, as he noticed the sea becoming exceedingly shallow, de Lapérouse turned back to the south thinking that otherwise he would run into the isthmus between the island and the mainland. Thus, he deprived himself of yet another geographic discovery of a strait between Sakhalin and the mainland. Examining the coast, the expedition crew gave names to the discovered shores and bays. For instance the Cape Lamanon was named in honor of scientist, meteorologist and mineralogist and the expedition member Jean-Paul de Lamanon. 

An old Japanese lighthouse is standing on the Cape Lamanon. It was built in 1940 during the period of Japanese governorship of Karafuto and was called Tiriya-zaki. Nowadays its name is the Lamanon Lighthouse. The structure’s design height, from the ground foundation to the focus center (the lamplight) is 23.6 meters. The light house is designed according to the standard pattern of the time: a round tower is connected with auxiliary and residential facilities by means of passages in order to protect people from strong wind. Such lighthouses were intended for a long-term autonomous operation and employed a system to collect rainwater for food and technical purposes. Rain catchments were made on the roofs to direct water through the filters and down, into the underground concrete reservoirs. The beacon lens rotates around its axis sending rays of light in all directions. The lens makes a complete revolution in 19 seconds; an observer within a considerable distance from the lighthouse can see only one second of light. Residential and technical facilities are connected to each other by passages, as the winds here can be very strong.

The lighthouse is maintained by three or four families that live here on a permanent basis. Ironically, the Japanese beacon lighted the way to the Soviet ships directing them to the troops landing point in August 1945.

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