"If the Bermuda Triangle is the curse of North Atlantic Ocean, Hong Kong's Waglan Island is the curse of the Paciﬁc Ocean. How many ships perished in the sea and how many lives were saved by the lighthouse on the island?”
At the southeastern Hong Kong, most people will only notice Po Toi Island, where is just like the countryside of Japan, but they don’t know that there is a long shaped and story-ﬁlled island behind called Waglan Island. In the 19th century. Waglan Island was named because its shape is like a straight line, which can block wind and waves.
在香港東南部，大多數人只會注意到蒲台島，那裡就像日本的鄉村一樣，但他們不知道後面有一個長長的形狀和充滿故事的島嶼，叫做橫欄島。 在 19世紀，橫欄島之所以得名，是因為它的形狀像一條直線，可以阻擋風浪。
There is rumored on the Internet said this is a restricted area. We checked the legal information and found that Waglan Island is under the management of the Marine Department. Ships cannot enter the waters 100 meters away from Waglan Island without approval. In order to explore this mysterious island, we took an extreme method to visit, that is, getting oﬀ the boat 100 meters away from the island and then swim to the island. We have 5 peoplei in total, including my father. The original pier was destroyed by typhoon Mangkhut in 2019, so we have to land on the nearby stone steps. Waglan Island is composed of two small islands with a diﬀerence of ten meters. All the buildings are located on the east side of the island. We decided to start here. Going up the stairs, you will see a set of cracked rails on the pier stone that is being repaired. What is this used for?
網上有傳言稱這是禁區。我們查閱了法律資料，發現橫欄島由海事處管理。未經批准，船隻不得進入距離橫欄島100米的水域。為了探索這個神秘的島嶼，我們採取了一種極端的方法去參觀，那就是在距離島100米的地方下船，然後游到島上。 我們總共有5個人，包括我父親。原來的碼頭在2019年被颱風山竹摧毀了，所以我們只好在附近的石階上岸。橫欄島由兩個相差十米的小島組成。所有建築物都位於島嶼的東側。 我們決定從這裡開始。拾級而上，會看到正在修復的橋墩石頭上有一組破裂的鐵軌。這是有什麼作用的？
Waglan Island was a desert island more than a hundred years ago. By 1894, Hong Kong has a lot of commercial activity, a marine lighting facility is needed. Therefore, the authority built a lighthouse. Go up the stairs and you will reach the top of the mountain in less than 10 minutes. In addition to the lighthouse, there are 4-5 buildings on the mountain. What are those? Following the lease of the New Territories to the United Kingdom in 1898, the lighthouse was handed over to the Hong Kong government and operate it on January 1, 1901. “The invisibility on Waglan Island is down to 1000 meters.” Reported by radio news. Waglan Island, a name often heard on radio news because it is the alert of Typhoon. The Waglan Lighthouse not only played an important role on navigation, but also used to collect the weather in the east of Hong Kong. The collected data will be sent to the Hong Kong Observatory for analysis purpose. A weather station was built in 1952, and the staﬀ of the Observatory were on duty to observe and record the weather on Waglan Island. It can be seen that there have been people living here for a long time, and the tracks I saw when I went up the mountain were used to pick up employees and transport materials in the past. One of the 3-stories buildings is the staﬀ dormitory. There are about 3-4 rooms on each ﬂoor. As the stairs are dilapidated and the old steel buildings are exposed, every step must be very careful. I thought I could see some old furniture, but unfortunately none of them were left. Every room has an invincible sea view, and the bathroom is designed with a bathtub. It reallydoesn't look like a dormitory, but like a small resort hotel.
橫欄島在一百多年前還是一座荒島。到1896年，香港有很多與海外來往的商務工作，需要有一個海洋照明施引路 。因此，當局建造了一座燈塔。從樓梯往上，不到10分鐘的時間內即可到達山頂。除了燈塔，山上還有4-5座建築 。這些是什麼？繼1898年新界租借英國後，燈塔於1月1日移交香港政府營運，「 橫欄島上的能見度下降到 1000 米。」在上世紀初可在電台廣播聽到這些新聞報導。橫欄島，這個名字經常在電台廣播中聽到，因為它是颱風的警報。橫欄島燈塔不僅在航行中發揮了重要作用，還用於收集香港東部的天氣，收集到的數據將送交香港天文台進行分析 。1952年建造了一個氣象站，天文臺的工作人員值班觀察和記錄橫欄島的天氣。從此看來，這裏已經有人生活了很久，而我上山時看到的鐵軌，過去是用來接送員工和運輸物資的。其中一棟3層樓的建築是員工宿舍。每個樓層大約有 3-4 個房間。由於樓梯破舊不堪，舊鋼結構建築暴露無遺，每一步都要非常小心。 本來我以為可以看到一些舊傢俱，但失望是並沒有留下。每間客房都享有無敵海景，浴室設計有浴缸。看起來真的不像宿舍，而是像一個小型的度假酒店 。
The lighthouse has been changed to automation since August 1989, no manual operation is required, and the staﬀ of the Observatory have all left. On the far left is the Fog Horn and Machine Room, all deserted. Fog horns are used to send alarms to alert nearby boat operators when visibility is low. The sound could be heard even in Tsim Sha Tsui. Some staﬀ members reported that it was deafening and very annoying.
Staﬀ here have to endure the pain of being separated from their families for a long time, as well as the problems of lack daily necessities. According to the information, the transportation on Waglan Island is not easy and only runs once every two weeks. The materials that can be transported to the island are also limited, and the fresh food for the staﬀ is also very little, so they have to set up water tanks to collect tap water and rely on ﬁshing.
Next to the lighthouse is a building with European-style window frames, which is the dormitory and oﬃce for foreign personnel, and some staﬀ desks are reserved inside. We noticed that this building was built with marble, that’s why we felt cool inside. One of the document storage rooms resembles Professor Snape oﬃces in the novel of Harry Potter. Back then, the staﬀ were extremely busy, because Waglan Island was an outpost for typhoon warning, so the staﬀ had to work every 4 hours and rest for 4 hours, collect the information of ships entering and leaving the harbor, forward it to the harbor control center, and report the weather conditions to the Observatory every 3 hours. They also need to maintain the lighthouses and their complexes. The super typhoon Mangkhut that occurred in 2018 caused a serious damage all around Hong Kong. Waglan Island recorded an average wind speed of 161 kilometers per hour, it is the highest record ever, that’s why the docks blew up. You can imagine the staﬀ had to do it over and over again. It could be a dull duty but a very important role.
As the lighthouse is historic sites, so we are not advised to go in. This lighthouse was completed in 1893.The Waglan Lighthouse was equipped with an advanced signal light at that time, which was fueled by oil, and its rotating lighting instrument was ﬂoating on mercury. It was one of the ﬁrst two lighthouses to adopt this advanced equipment. However, there still have many shipwrecks here. It was the night of January 1929, China Merchants Bureau Xinhua ship departed from Shanghai heading to Hong Kong and drove near Waglan Island in the early morning. The ship is suspected to be aﬀected by high wind and waves, lead to misfortune hit to the reef and sank, caused deaths of 400 people. In the same year of 1929 December, a crew member tried to save their captain in a ship accident but failed. Only two people survived. By 2021, Hong Kong Underwater Archaeology Association dived more than 20 meters below Waglan Island and found the sank ship of Xinhua. Now, I can understand a little bit why this island is called as the devil island too.
After visiting a series of historical buildings, we returned to the pier along the road and swam to the south of the island while unpacking. The total length was about half an hour. However, since the father did not bring ﬁns that day, so he was diﬃcult to withstand the waves and chose to walk on foot. On the way, we saw a small tide pool and sea caves. Finally we reached the Waglan Cave, which is 20 meters high. It was magniﬁcent and the best nature proof of how strong the wind of Waglan Island can be.
After watching the perfect sunset at the entrance of the cave, we waited for the boatman bring us back to the modern world. At the end of the journey, I still can't ﬁgure out why people call this place as Devil island, maybe is it because of many terrible shipwrecks, or is it too painful for the staﬀ to live in isolation? ? But in any case, memories, whether good or bad, are part of Hong Kong and have the meaning of preserving and remembering.
在洞口看完完美的日落後，我們等待船夫帶我們回到現代世界。在旅程的最後， 我仍然想不通為什麼人們稱這個地方為魔鬼島，也許是因為許多可怕的沉船事故，或者是工作人員的隔離生活太痛苦了？ ？ 但無論如何，回憶，無論好壞，都是香港的一部分，都有保存和銘記的意義。