Tag Archives: lighthouse

Sighting of Slangkop Point Lighthouse in Kommetjie (2017-02-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 24 MAR 2017

Gah, another lighthouse tour opportunity missed – I really should look up the operating hours for these things! We were in the Kommetjie area (near Noordhoek) courtesy of a very successful visit to the nearby Imhoff Farm, following which, despite the VERY threatening clouds that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, I manage to convince Chantelle that we NEEDED to drive into Kommetjie in order to visit the Instagram famous Slangkop Point Lighthouse – the tallest cast-iron lighthouse along South African shores.

Sadly for me and my excited expectations though, the barb wire topped gates were firmly shut on our arrival, with the nearby noticeboard taunting me with the normal operating hours for the lighthouse tours. Damn it.

Still, not completely deterred, I ushered the ladies out of the car for a quick stroll up the nearby boardwalk to get a better look at this magnificent 34 meter tall cast-iron beast!

Mind you, this didn’t really work for the girls, as they were pretty much back in the car almost as soon as they left it (too cold for their little shaved legs I would imagine), meaning it was up to me to amble along, snapping some quickfire pictures as the slight rain started to descend in the area.

Designed by the Chance Brothers, the Slangkop Lighthouse (or Slangkoppunt Lighthouse as it is officially known) was originally scheduled to be opened in 1914, but thanks to the commencement of World War I, it only officially launched in 1919.

The lighthouse derives its name from the Slangkop (Snake Head) hill directly behind it, and despite being fully automated in 1979, it remains one of the few lighthouses in the world to be manned by a light-keeper, better known as a lighthouse officer these days.

The particular piece of coastline that Slangkop Lighthouse protects has many reefs and headlands that stretch far out into the ocean, resulting in massive waves that have caused more than a few ships to be wrecked there over time.

Included among these shipwrecks of the area is the 1900 beaching of SS Kakapo, the 1905 wrecking of SS Clan Munroe, the 1906 sinking of the Oakburn, the 1909 destruction of SS Maori, and the more recent 2001 running aground of the Ikan Tanda.

Right. So as I mentioned, the weather wasn’t exactly the greatest and my timing in terms of visiting hours off, which then I guess simply means I’ll need to make another turn out that way sometime in the near future…

Note. Back home, we enjoyed a rather good braai. Also, a map:

Related Link: Slangkop Point Lighthouse | Transnet Ports Authority | Wikipedia

Things to See in South Africa: Cape Hermes Lighthouse in Port St. Johns Travel Attractions 23 MAY 2016

A lighthouse with a view would certainly be one way of describing the Cape Hermes Lighthouse in Port St. Johns on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape.

cape hermes lighthouse port st johns eastern cape south africa 1

Commissioned in 1902 and switched on in 1904, the lighthouse was constructed under the direction of HC Cooper and is named after the HMS Hermes, a ship that undertook national surveys of the Pondoland coastal waters.

cape hermes lighthouse port st johns eastern cape south africa 2

Costing little more that £6,191 to construct, the lighthouse tower is unusual in that it is an octagonal stone construction – with the granite used coming in from nearby quarries. This eight sided tower is only 13 metres tall, topped with a white lantern gallery that has a focal plane of 55 m and a 5,000 candle power beam, which can be seen as far as 20 km out to sea.

cape hermes lighthouse port st johns eastern cape south africa 3

Still manned by a lighthouse keeper, the Cape Hermes Lighthouse flashes once every three seconds, warning ships of the hazardous Eastern Cape coastline. With panoramic views of the ocean, river mouth, and lush cliff faces, this is definitely a sight worth the walk.

cape hermes lighthouse port st johns eastern cape south africa 4

cape hermes lighthouse port st johns eastern cape south africa 5

Related Link: Cape Hermes Lighthouse | Cape Hermes

Trip to See The Cape Columbine Lighthouse (2016-02-06) Photo Gallery 27 MAR 2016

During our February weekend away in Jacobsbaai, while the rest of the crowd were enjoying their trips on the festival wagons, I thought it a good idea to drive out with the girls to go and have a look at the Cape Columbine Lighthouse in the Cape Columbine nature reserve next to Paternoster.

IMG_20160206_130117 driving towards the lighthouse in the cape columbine nature reserve

The drive to Paternoster through Vredenburg went smoothly enough, and amazingly I found the road to the Cape Columbine nature reserve easily enough – unfortunately for me and the Hyundai Accent though, no one had bothered to mention that it was a rutted sand road to get there!

The road was bumpy as heck, so much so that Emily was crying pretty much the whole way, and more than a few times I considered stopping to turn around and head back, but with the lighthouse teasing us on in the distance, Jessica and I opted to push on and endure both the bumpy dusty ride and Emily’s incessant crying.

After a slow and lengthy drive, we made it to the entrance of the nature reserve, where it was pointed out that one needed to pay a small entrance fee to go inside (for interest sake, Tietiesbaai, a popular fishing spot, also lies inside the park).

Problem. It turned out that my wallet was completely devoid of cash! The ranger at the gate laughed when I asked if they accept credit cards, but agreed to let me slip in after I explained to him that I just wanted to show off the lighthouse to the girls. (The crutches next to me and lack of fishing gear helped I think!)

IMG_20160206_125403 outside the gates of the cape columbine lighthouse complex

A lot more gravel and sand road travelled, we eventually reached our destination and turned into the lighthouse complex, only to be stopped by a closed gate – and a sign that very clearly pointed out that the lighthouse was only open to visitors during the week!

Oops.

Needless to say, Jessica was not impressed!

IMG_20160206_130447 no lighthouse for disappointed little girl jessica

We drove around the nature reserve a little more, I took some photos, and Emily stopped caring and started snoring instead.

IMG_20160206_130503 craig lotter driving in cape columbine with a sleeping toddler emily

So we made the long sand road trek back to Paternoster, drove around a bit, and then headed back to Vredenburg where I treated the girls to some play time and pizza at the great Panarottis restaurant in the West Coast Mall.

IMG_20160206_144158 pizza and play for jessica at panarottis

They seemed to enjoy that much more than our lighthouse expedition anyway.

Related Link: Cape Columbine Lighthouse

Things to See in South Africa: The Cape Columbine Lighthouse (near Paternoster) Travel Attractions 14 FEB 2016

In the middle of the small Columbine Nature Reserve along the West Coast of South Africa, stands the strikingly rugged Cape Columbine Lighthouse.

cape columbine lighthouse on the west coast near paternoster, south africa 1

The stretch of coastline which the lighthouse, usually the first lighthouse sighted by shipping coming from South America and Europe, now protects claimed a number of victims over the years, including the Columbine (1829), the Heleric (1932), the Haddon Hall (1913), the Lisboa (1910), the SS Saint Lawrence (1876) and the SS Columbine (1944 – death by torpedo in this instance though) – however, the lighthouse only saw the light of day in 1936, when it was finally commissioned and given to the famed, Scottish-trained, lighthouse architect Harry Claude Cooper as one of his last projects (in total, Cooper was involved in the building of more than 30 South African lighthouses).

cape columbine lighthouse on the west coast near paternoster, south africa 4

To reach the lighthouse, you need to head out to the small fishing hamlet of Paternoster, and once there, drive out a further 5 km along a dirt road to reach the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve (which also houses Tietiesbaai, a popular fishing spot for the locals).

In the middle of the nature reserve stands the lighthouse, perched on top of a boulder-strewn outcrop called Castle Rock.

cape columbine lighthouse on the west coast near paternoster, south africa 2

The lighthouse towers above a small complex of houses, some of which are now available for rent by the public as overnight accommodation. The Cape Columbine Lighthouse holds the honour of being the last manned lighthouse built on the South African coast (hence the houses).

Note, all lighthouses are automated. “Manned” implies that the ports authority have a presence at the lighthouse, either to accommodate visitors or to optimise maintenance and travelling.

cape columbine lighthouse on the west coast near paternoster, south africa 5

The lighthouse was the first South African lighthouse to be installed with three simultaneous navigational aids, namely optics (light), a fog signal, as well as a radio beacon.

It was also the first South African lighthouse lens system designed for use with a 4 kW incandescent electric lamp.

cape columbine lighthouse on the west coast near paternoster, south africa 3

The lighthouse is open to the public from Monday to Friday, and tours of the facility are on offer. The large grounds and picturesque surrounding also make it a popular picnic spot and wedding photo backdrop.

cape columbine lighthouse on the west coast near paternoster, south africa 6

cape columbine lighthouse on the west coast near paternoster, south africa 7

Related Link: Cape Columbine | Cape Columbine Lighthouse

Mouille Point and the Cinnabons My Life 13 SEP 2011

This miserable overcast weather we’re had in Cape Town this weekend past reminded me of this year’s 31st birthday, which by now is long past but come to think of it, I never actually got around to mentioning in these here pages!

With Touchwork’s new policy of getting the day off on your birthday, Chantelle and I decided to make the most of by ensuring that she too was off. Jessica was also deposited in the care of someone, but for the life of me I can’t remember that far back!

The morning kicked off with presents of course, the highlight being the office chair Chantelle bought for me and which I immediately set about assembling and then rolling about on through the house. There were others too of course, but I distinctly remember sitting on the bed, scratching my head with screwdriver in hand, so that’s the one that gets mentioned! :P

The plan for the day was simple: Table Mountain Cable Car adventure baby!! Seeing as the operators are kind enough to let you go up for free on your birthday and the fact that we were actually not at work on the day of my birthday, this was a brilliant plan, particularly when you consider that I’ve never actually been up in the new (well new to me) rotating cable cars – in other words it would have been a treat like none other.

Except of course, the weather gods didn’t want to play along.

At all.

Dark, heavy clouds saturated the whole of Cape Town, closing down the cable car operation and thus dashing my hopes for some Table Mountain fun in a cruel and vicious, heavy handed blow. However, all was not lost. Chantelle and I made the most of our day without a young Jessie to distract us, shopping, eating, and merrily ambling along, before the eventual return home through rush hour N1 traffic thanks to some silly planning on our behalf.

One of the things that we did however end up doing on the day was take a drive through to the new Cape Town stadium in search of the biodiversity park, before taking a turn and finding a parking spot at Mouille Point, where we whipped out the Cinnabons that we had just bought in Canal Walk and polished them off along the promenade.

Which was pretty nice.

And now for some photos because I can:

(Note the lack of Cinnabons in the shots. That’s because they were devoured so quickly! :P)

Photo Gallery: Mouille Point Lighthouse (2011-05-11) My Life | Photo Gallery 11 MAY 2011

Taking full use of Touchwork’s new policy of getting the day off on your birthday, Chantelle and I was intent on making the most of it by going up Table Mountain for the day – only problem was, it turned out the weather wasn’t going to play along with us at all! So we spent the day driving around, shopping at Canal Walk, and going to Sea Point, where we stopped alongside the Mouille Point Lighthouse to enjoy some delicious cinnabuns for nourishment! :)