8 September 2012 – Road Trip to Cape Agulhas

#33 STOEP VOOR (GC2W6Y9)
Stanford, South Africa

S34°26.319 E19°27.269

Never having been to the most southern tip of Africa, we decided it was time for a road trip to Cape Agulhas.  So, we packed our picnic bag, loaded some drinks and ice into the Coleman, put on our hiking gear and set to the road – but not before dragging Brunette Suikerbos’s Oudstes (Elders) along for the ride.

Our first stop was breakfast at Graze in Stanford.  This historic village was established in 1857 on the Kleine Riviers Valley Farm and named after the farm’s original owner, Captain Robert Stanford.  It is an architectural treasure chest and one of South Africa’s best-preserved villages.

Efforts by Stanford Conservation Trust to protect the historical architecture and the character of the village grid paid off when the original Stanford Village was declared a conservation area in 1996 and was later awarded the Best Village Destination Award by Capeinfo.  The central core of Stanford is a proclaimed heritage site and many of its buildings date back between 100 and 300 years.  The original market square dating from 1785 is still undeveloped in the centre of the village.

Visit Stoep Voor at www.geocaching.com

#34 SS: SHIPWRECK MUSEUM (GC2JMBV)
Bredasdorp, South Africa

S34°31.956 E20°02.292

Our next stop was the Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp, as part of the Shipwreck Cache Series.

Here we saw many asunken treasures and met Juno, the museum cat.

Visit SS: Shipwreck Museum at www.geocaching.com

#35 SS: MERMAID (GC2JMB7)
Near Cape Agulhas, South Africa

S34°49.881 E20°00.760

Our third for the day and also part of the Shipwreck Series was a cache commemorating the Meermin – a doomed 450 ton Dutch hoeker that ran aground on 9 April 1766 as result of a fight between her crew and 140 slaves she carried as cargo on her way back from Madagascar to Cape Town.

Visit SS: Meermin at www.geocaching.com

#36 TIP OF AFRICA (GC37VF3)
The Southernmost tip of continental Africa at Cape Agulhas, South Africa

S34°49.959 E20°00.048

Found it!  The most southern point of Africa!

Southernmost – Cape Agulhas in South Africa
Northernmost – Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia
Westernmost – Cape Verde in Senegal
Easternmost – Ras Hafun in Somalia

Visit Tip of Africa at www.geocaching.com

#37 CAPE AGULHAS (GC77E)
Near the Cape Agulhas lighthouse in Cape Agulhas, South Africa

S34°49.960 E20°00.212

Where two oceans meet – no really!

There has always been a controvesy over where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans “splash” together – Cape Point vs Cape Agulhas.

Fact is, though the Indian Ocean on the east is warmed by Mozambique or Agulhas Current flowing down from the tropics, while the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast is cooled by the icy Benguela Current, which comes up from the Antarctic, this dynamic meeting point of the two currents has nothing to do with the imaginary boundary between the two oceans.

It does, however have everything to do with the International Hydrographic Organization – an intergovernmental organization established in 1921 to support safety of navigation and protection of marine environment, as they have defined the boundary between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans as a line from the coast of the Antarctic continent northwards, along the meridian of 20º E to Cape Agulhas (34º 50’S – 20º 00’E), the southern extremity of the Republic of South Africa.  This finding is accepted and applied by both the Hydrographic Office of the SA Navy and the Department of Oceanography at UCT.

So, there you have it – sorry Cape Point!

Visit Cape Agulhas at www.geocaching.com

#38 SS: BREDERODE (GC2JMB5)
Near Cape Agulhas, South Africa

S34°49.945 E19°59.219

Number six for the day is again part of the Shipwreck Series and was found by Brunette Suikerbossie’s mom.  It tells the tale of the Brederode, a modern Dutch East Indiaman built in 1780 in Amsterdam.

She left Batavia on 27 January 1785 with a cargo of tea, silk, satin, linen, rhubarb, anise, tin and porcelain.  At sunset on 3 May, Agulhas was sighted about 5 miles to the north-west.  By 01h00 they suddenly realised that they were being pushed to shore by a strong current and it was not long before they struck.

She drifted on for some hours before going down in 65 metres of water.  The wreck was discovered in 1998, some 10 km off Cape Agulhas and was salvaged in 2000.  The bell, cannons and loads of china have been found.  The total amount of china is estimated to be worth around 17 million Euro.

Visit SS: Brederode at www.geocaching.com

#39 SS: MEISHO MARU 38 (GC2JMB3)
Near Cape Agulhas, South Africa

S34°49.754 E19°59.057

Our seventh and final cache for the day (as both the SS: Camphill and SS: Agulhas Lighthouse caches had recently gone missing), was one commemorating the only visible wreck along the Agulhas coast.

This Japanese trawler is the most recent wreck along this notorious stretch of coast.  She ran aground on 16 November 1982.

Visit SS: Meisho Maru 38 at www.geocaching.com

This also concluded our fantastic day of exploring, it being Day 14 of 30 consecutive caching days.

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