Monday, 8 March 2010

Shipwrecked - The Cape of Storms

As the temperature in Cape Town soared well over 35ºC yesterday, people flocked to the beach in hope of a little respite. One thing you can always count on when you swim in the Atlantic Ocean, it's going to be cold no matter how hot it might be on the shore.

Our trip to the beach, took us to Blouberg beach, where you will find this shipwreck, left after a storm last year in winter.

The Seli 1 was grounded with 30.000T coal in September 2009, on it's way from Durban to Gibraltar. The NSRI were able to rescue all the crew members, in extremely dangerous conditions and Salvors pumped the fuel off the ship, which was also hampered by bad weather.

When you look at the ship, it almost looks like it was parked not wrecked - it calmly lies there, keeping watch over the beach goers.

It is no accident that Bartolomeu Dias called the Southern tip of Africa the Cape of Storms. It was later re-named the Cape of Good Hope, because of the great optimism of opening a sea route to India and the East. Depending on which season you make your visit, you'll find both names very suitable.

There have been so many ships that have come to the end of their sailing days at the Cape of Storms, some with tragic endings - like the Birkenhead, where only 193 of the 643 people on board were saved.

The Cape of Good Hope is the legendary home of The Flying Dutchman, crewed by tormented and damned ghostly sailors, it is doomed forever to beat its way through the adjacent waters without ever succeeding in rounding the headland.

Here is another wreck (pictured on one of our hikes), off Duiker Point, the Bos 400 which ran aground on 26 June 1994. Despite several towage attempts, the shipwreck was considered a total loss as salvors were able to recover little from the wrecked derrick / lay barge.


Kit said...

It was a few degrees over 40 here yesterday. Flopping by the pool was about all we could do, except I had to bake bread ... The wreck doesn't look like it is going anywhere anytime soon. Hard to believe it can get wrecked so close to harbour.

Nina Timm said...

Maybe that is where I should be...not behind my computer!!!

Adele @ Willworkforbiltong said...

Amazing! I didn't know Blouberg had a new wreck. I'm visiting end of the week, and it's not a moment too soon. All the stuff I'm missing. It breaks the heart.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Really interesting post. Thanks!

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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