Cordouan is both a typical and unusual offshore lighthouse. It is unusual in the amount of space at the disposal of the guardians, similar to another large isolated lighthouse, Roches-Douvres (Côtes d'Armor). The bedrooms, a kitchen and technical areas are both roomy and strictly separated, even though they are located in a “vertical” offshore lighthouse. However, this relative comfort was only partial compensation for the particular constraints inherent in this line of work, which is also a lifestyle choice. Life in an offshore lighthouse is like living in a stone ship: the rhythm ofthe watch, living off stocked provisions and supplies, becoming used to the presence of machines and their noises, the persistent smell of oil, and daily radio contact with the lighthouse and marker sub-division. Lighting the beacon at nightfall was the critical moment in the life of a keeper, after which he returned to the watch room. This room, situated between the shadow of the staircase and the light of the beacon was the center of an often routine daily existence that was jotted down in notebooks and registers kept by keepers during their watch. It was an existence far from the heroic or mythic image accorded it in literature, cinema and other arts. After the Second World War and electrification, life at Cordouan changed,as there was no more lighting of the beacon. What remained was a life lived spent being on watch and mealtimes. Added to this were activities that the rock structure allowed, such as fishing, and with the return of good weather, welcoming visitors – a ritual that made Cordouan a singularly unique offshore lighthouse.