Early in the morning, a group of people gathered on the shores of the Baltic Sea to sail in fishing boats to the Kolka Lighthouse. It is situated about 6 kilometers from the shore, and the voyage takes almost an hour.
Once a year, the association “Domesnes” offers a trip to the Kolka Lighthouse. If, usually, the island can only be admired by circling around it in a boat, then with the association, it is permitted to alight on the ground, walk around and climb up the lighthouse.
"I've been wanting to come here for ten years. I set aside all work and all I had to do and came here. We woke up at four in the morning and drove to Kolka. And so? It was fantastic, my dream has come true. It was a bit terrifying when we first alighted here. There are all these birds cawing and screaming,” said Laura Krampe, a Rīga resident.
On July 1, 1884, the Kolka Lighthouse was lit to guide the seafarers to the shore. Until the 1970's, the island was inhabited by caretakers. Now the island is deserted except for sea birds and seals.
"The coastal lighthouses were inadequate in providing safe navigation around the Cape of Kolka. Hence, they realized that an artificial island had to be created. It happens that it's the only Latvian island in the sea,” explained Dženeta Marinska, the director of the “Domesnes” association.
The Kolka Lighthouse is still in operation, sending out a light and a signal for the ships, ensuring safe navigation in the Irbe Strait. Recently, the fleet of the Freeport of Riga took over the supervision of the lighthouse to ensure it remains in operation.
"This was the only lighthouse in which I hadn't been before, so it is a first time for me too. At the moment the future is quite unclear, as it is a historical monument, and so our activities are limited,” added Jānis Tauriņš, the technical supervisor of the fleet of the Freeport of Riga.
Tauriņš warned that permission is necessary to be on the island, as it can be extremely hazardous.