Those of you that read my blog of yesterday, will already be familiar with Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the African continent. If you missed yesterdays blog, and are wondering about where exactly Cape Agulhas is, let Google Earth fly you there. The amazing thing about GE is that it always gives you that sensation of being transported to a faraway land, on an incredible journey, with that progressive zooming action, that feels like terminal velocity, until just prior to getting to the area you want to go to, it slows down and slowly floats you above your destination, while your internet connection catches up with the download 🙂 Of course those of your that are surfing at supersonic speeds are probably looking up at the ceiling going “what is he talking about???”. Well, the reality is that some of us here, have substantially slower internet connections than others, which is still a lot slower than what some people in other parts of the world have. But I diagress, this mail is not about Internet speeds, perhaps another time 🙂
So, we were in Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa, at least that label is becoming a bit more mainstream nowadays. Not too long ago, people used to refer to Cape Point or Cape of Good Hope as the southernmost point, until somebody started pointing out the technicality that Cape of GH is actually the most South Western point of Africa. With its proximity to Cape town, I guess it was a good tourist selling point, until the truth was revealed. Yep! just hack in Cape Point on GE and voila you’ll be zoomed away to the faraway land :-). The significant thing about the lowest point of Africa is that it is the point where the The Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet. Now rumour has it that on a clear day if you squint your eyes a little bit, you can actually see the actual line where these two oceans come together!! I reckon its just a myth, I’ve squinted my eyes, kept one closed, stood on one leg, tried various combinations, but I have yet to see it, but, I suppose my eyes are getting older:-).
Seriously though, the convergence of these Oceans at the end of the land mass of Africa, together with some serious winds often results in stormy seas and many a ship have been casulaties in what is known as “the Cape of Storms”. I’ve read about shipwrecks dating as far back as 1682, and probably before then!! I’ve read somewhere that Bartholomew Dias rounded this southernmost point for the first time in 1488!! History was never my strong subject at school, so dont quote me on that! To this day with modern navigational equipment, satellite weather forecasting, diesel and even in some cases nuclear powered engines, and with all the modern technologial advances in shipbuilding etc ships still become victim of this rugged coastline. A grim reminder about how mankind understimates the power of nature!!
This was my first visit to Cape Agulhas which is about 150 km east of Cape Town, having been content with the conventional wisdom that the southernmost point at Cape point was good enough for me. Having been there and actually experienced a little bit of its “unpleasant weather”, seen the rugged coastline, and the remnants of the hull of one its victims, I have a new found respect for the “Cape of Storms”..
the journey continues…………………………….
Todays images are of Cape Agulhas, maybe we’ll stay in the region with the next few blogs, but then again, maybe not :-):-) it is a journey after all 🙂 ………………………