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Cape Point:

South African Lighthouse No 4

An interesting fact about the Cape Point lighthouse, is that there are actually two of them.

Gorgeous photo of Cape Point taken at dusk by Otto du Plessis (Found on Cedarberg Travel).
Although the Indian and Atlantic Oceans actually meet around the entire Southern tip of the South African (Cape) coast, it has become popular belief that Cape Point is the exact spot where they thrash into one another. Whatever the location specifics, this meshing of cold and warm sea currents, is the main reason for our stormy seas, making the waters off our Southern Coast very treacherous to seafarers.

Lighthouses around this part of our Coast is therefore extremely important, but the original lighthouse commissioned in 1857, was built in the wrong spot. It was built so high up that it was not visible to all ships during bad weather, because it would be hidden from the ships' view behind the dense mist or storm clouds.

Photo of the old lighthouse, taken by Mike Golby.
After the Lusitania, a Portuguese ocean liner had its run in with Bellows Rock in 1911 (just below the lighthouse) the new lighthouse was eventually commissioned in 1914.

Photo of the New Cape Point Lighthouse, taken by Henri Cloete.
Today the old lighthouse - decommissioned and used as the Observation Tower instead - sits 87 metres above the New Cape Point Lighthouse, and this New Lighthouse has a beam that clocks in at ten million candelas, which means you can see it about 60 km out at sea. Salty sighs of relief from all you sailors, I'm sure.

Now humourous sign on the door of the original lighthouse, circa 1900.

Note: For those of you who are new to my blog (or these lighthouse posts), please note that the numbers attributed only indicate my number of posts. It is not an indication of the chronological order in which the lighthouses were commissioned in South Africa.


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