South African Lighthouse No. 11
Having been commissioned in Cape Town on 12 April 1824, the Green Point Lighthouse was the first solid lighthouse structure built in South Africa, and is now the oldest working one we have along our coastline.
As with all our lighthouses these days, it's fully automated, but originally the lighthouse keepers used sperm whale oil to keep its lamp lit.
At almost two hundred years old, it is not only a National Monument, but it also houses the LNS (Lighthouse and Navigational Systems) - a business unit of the Transnet National Ports Authority, which is meant to provide, operate and maintain all South African lighthouses as part of the Chief Harbour Master's portfolio.
The Green Point Lighthouse should not be mistaken for the Mouille* Point Lighthouse, as some people often do, because the Mouille Point Lighthouse was further into the bay, where you'll find the Cape Technikon grounds today. Its tower was plastered and painted white and it had a …
The only time it's okay to put all of your eggs in one basket!
P.S. I have zero 'issues' with the fact that Easter, today, includes bunnies and eggs (we're talking chocolate after all!), but I do think it necessary that Christians take the sweetness of the treats as a spiritual reminder of what the day really means to us all, so I found this online Easter Week Walk to share with you.
OK, so technically this has nothing to do with the meaning of St Paddy's, it is a dance clip again (not a song), and these two are Greek (not Irish), but it remains one of the funniest weird things I've ever seen and I just had to share it with you.
In my defense, as a South African citizen, I actually do have a bit of Irish in me. I don't mean in the "On St Patrick's Day everyone is Irish" kind of way. My maternal grandmother was a McMaster, so it stands to show that even the ancestors of these two funnymen could very well have had an Irishman in there somewhere...
South African Lighthouse No. 10
The little lighthouse that could.
No, really. It's one of the smallest working lighthouses down here. It measures only 9 meters from top to bottom, but it packs a punch with its beacon light that can shine up to 32 nautical miles out to sea from its vantage point at the mouth of the Great Fish River.
[In case you were wondering, the Great Fish Point lighthouse qualifies as an active lighthouse, because "According to the Lighthouse Directory navigational beacons need to meet the requirements of standing at least 4 meters tall with a minimum surface area of a 4 square meter footprint..." (SA-Venues.com).]
After much delay, it was finally commissioned on 1 July 1898, and its lighthouse keepers & their families were part of the local community of Port Alfred since the late 1800's. Today, however, the lighthouse is fully automated and controlled from Port Elizabeth.
Luckily, this short, red-headed fellow in the tuxedo (as the locals re…
South African Lighthouse No. 9
Meet the most isolated, yet manned, lighthouse in South Africa
This lighthouse sits in quiet solitude off the coast of Yzerfontein, on Dassen* Island - the peak of an underwater mountain so notorious for its shipwrecks that rabbits and tortoises were released on it to ensure that survivors won't starve to death before they could be rescued. Today, the rabbits tend to overrun the island if not carefully controlled.
It was commissioned on 15 April 1893, and was closed to the public until 2002. The only human soul living there (I couldn't find anything noted regarding a family staying with him), is the lighthouse keeper. There are accommodations for him, but he has to wait on helicopters to bring him provisions, or to airlift him out for a holiday once in a while.
Such remoteness might breed loneliness, I guess, but wouldn't it be wonderful to breathe in the silence and natural air every day? Away from the madness we call everyday city life...
South African Lighthouse No. 8
...and a Ghost Ship
Commissioned on New Years Day of 1895, the Danger Point Lighthouse is located in the Overberg, near Gansbaai.
I was thrilled to read about the Flying Dutchman connection, but before we venture into the world of myth & legend, let's first deal with the facts:
Before the lighthouse was built, ships perished near this part of the coast. There are seven ships believed to have sunk off this part of our coast*, and the most well known vessel is the HMS Birkenhead, which struck an unmapped rock at sea on the morning of 26 February 1852 (around 2am). Of all the souls on board, more than 440 men lost their lives (all the women and children were brought to safety).A monument recording the aforementioned tragic event was erected at the lighthouse, and every year on 26 February, a commemorative service is held.Early lightkeepers wasn't very excited to work here. A popular tourist spot today, is not what it was back then - in addition …