Cape Whale Coast History

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This gorgeous seaside town has a proud history dating back to the early 1800s when a man by the name of Hermanus Pieters followed a path etched into the ground by a herd of elephants. Hermanus Pieters was a traveling teacher and Sheppard who growing tired of his locality, made the decision to pack up and try somewhere new. He wandered south of Caledon along the elephant trail and ended up next to the sea where he discovered a fresh spring. Hermanus Pieters decided to set up camps here because of this spring and the fine grazing the land provided for his livestock. This beautiful setting became known as Hermanuspietersfontein (directly translated as Hermanus Pieters Fountain).

The secret life inside a whaling logbook

The secret life inside a whaling logbook

"The whale stamps and other drawings might be considered folk art today But at the time, they were just part of the documentation required for a commercial venture. Keeping the log was a job, but they were on those ships 24 hours a day for months and even years at a time"

Dangerpoint Lighthouse built was in 1895

Dangerpoint Lighthouse built was in 1895

After more than 20 ships had been wrecked off this treacherous stretch of Cape coastline, Danger Point Lighthouse was built in 1895 in order to alert shipping to the presence of Danger Point reef.

The Birkenhead Horses

The Birkenhead Horses

Various sources mention that between 9 and 30 horses boarded the Birkenhead at Simon’s Bay. When HMS Birkenhead struck the rock off Danger Point, the horses were cut free to give them a fair chance of surviving.

Birkenhead Drill - Women and Children First

Birkenhead Drill - Women and Children First

The sacrifice by the troops who stood fast on deck while the women and children were lowered into one of the only three available lifeboats...

Heroic HMS Birkenhead Sinks

Heroic HMS Birkenhead Sinks

HMS Birkenhead is one of South Africa's most famous shipwrecks.  On a clear night of 26 February 1852, she was wrecked on an uncharted reef off Danger Point...

 

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