It is a pyramid made of beams and boards, 40m (120ft) high, with stairs inside, a huge lamp with a small light at the top. Raisa and her husband look after the lighthouse. They started this job recently, after the previous light-keeper shot himself, last summer, because of unhappy love affair on the side, and left a widow and two children behind.
Sasha from Strel’na and his wife used to be friends. Raisa lives in a tiny village of three houses. One of them regularly gets occupied by soldiers that are officially there to watch ships passing by but in reality collecting berries and mushrooms for their superiors. Light keeper’s wage is about 50 thousand roubles [$1700, per month) plus full food maintenance. There are over 20 lighthouses like that on the White Sea coast. Plus support services, management, and accounting. All sailors have switched to Garmin navigators and iPads. No one has been navigating by beacons but it matter not because if a lighthouse is supposed to be there then it will. But for the locals it is a saving grace because it is a job.