VIDEO: Light lifting

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Right now on Martha’s Vineyard, engineers are working to preserve an iconic piece of nautical history.

Preparations were underway Thursday morning for the Gay Head Light to leave the spot where it has stood for 159 years. Eroding clay cliffs to the west are threatening the island’s oldest lighthouse. Inch by inch, the brick-and-mortar beacon will be moved about 175 feet from the cliff.

Len Butler, chairman of the relocation subcommittee for Save the Gay Head Lighthouse, gave the Vineyard Gazette an exclusive look at the preparations that have been made for the massive undertaking.

About 3,500 tons of soil, boulders and clay have been removed from around the lighthouse and its new location 129 feet to the east, according to the Gazette, which also offers a live webcam on its real-time coverage.

If the seven-minute, 49-second documentary on the preparation seems too long, we found this short clip from last year, shot with a drone by local Nate Bolt, which reveals the beauty of the lighthouse and its setting.