14 September 2012 – West Coast Peninsula Road Trip Part 3

#55 SS: BARGE MARGARET (GC2E8YF)
Jacobs Bay, South Africa

S32°57.895 E17°53.077

Jacobsbaai remains one of our favourite places in the world and Die Weskusplek is ideal for a quick Windhoek Light, before setting off to find another Shipwreck Series cache.

On Wednesday 24th June 2009, the Margaret, carrying a further twelve river barges and two floating docks towering seven stories high, broke her tow rope in stormy seas and was wrecked on the rocks just off Hospitaalbaai, the beach behind Die Weskusplek.

Margaret had been built in Singapore and was on her way to Holland.  Instead of the tug boat taking the quick route through the Suez Canal at the risk of Somali pirates, they opted for the long dangerous route around the Cape of Storms.  In seven metre seas she broke her tow rope and drifted along the coastline until she lodged onto two sharp pinnacles.  After several failed salvage attempts, the barge and her cargo were eventually reduced with the use of explosives.

Visit SS: Barge Margaret at www.geocaching.com

#56 SS: BRITISH SETTLER (GC2E8YQ)
Jacobs Bay, South Africa

S32°58.623 E17°52.869

Our last Shipwreck Series for the day tells of the British Settler, a 73 ton iron schooner built in 1844 in Britain.  Her demise was either a fire on board caused by spontaneous combustion of wool or a strong north-east gale.

Visit SS: British Settler at www.geocaching.com

#57 MAURITZBAAI (GC1BQNF)
Near Jacobs Bay, South Africa

S32°59.011 E17°52.728

Our last cache around Jacobs Bay sent us along a coastal board walk towards the beautiful cove of Mauritz Bay.  The sun already sitting low on the horizon, we had to make a dash for it, as we still wanted to add one last cache on our way back to Dwarskersbos.

Visit Mauritzbaai at www.geocaching.com

#58 STEEL VIEW (GCX0VK)
Saldanha Steel near Saldanha Bay, South Africa

S32°58.223 E18°01.182

Our last cache for the day took us to a quick roadside park and grab, overlooking the ArcelorMittal Steelworks near Saldanha.

ArcelorMittal South Africa Limited is the largest steel producer on the African continent, with a production capacity of 7.8 million tonnes of liquid steel per annum.

AcelorMittal Steel South Africa, as part of ArcelorMittal Group, had its humble beginnings as ISCOR Limited, a South African parastatal steel company.

ISCOR (South African Iron and Steel Industrial Corporation) was founded in 1928 with Hendrik van der Bijl, one of the most influential South Africans of the twentieth century, the driving force behind its establishment.  The objectives of establishing the company were to produce iron and a range of steel products, and to create employment opportunities.

The first steelworks was in Pretoria and production started in 1934.  The need for additional steel during WWII increased demand.  ISCOR acquired a site along the Vaal River and in 1947 began building a fully integrated steel works, formally to be opened as the Vanderbijlpark Works in 1952.

In order to decentralise industry away from the Witwatersrand complex and to promote industrial development in Natal, the South African Government decided to start third fully integrated steel works at Newcastle in 1969.

ISCOR was privatised in 1989 and the Saldanha Steelworks were commissioned in 1998.

Between 2001 and 2003 ISCOR entered into a three-year business assistance agreement with Anglo-Dutch steel producer LNM Holdings NV and by 2004 LNM acquired a controlling stake in ISCOR, renaming it Ispat Iscor Limited.  In that same year Ispat International NV acquired LNM Holdings NV, renaming the merged company Mittal Company NV, with Ispat trading under the name Mittal Steel South Africa Limited from 2005.  The most recent merger with Arcelor Steel Company occurred in 2006.

Visit Steel Works at www.geocaching.com

Day 20 of 30 days of consecutive caching and #12 for the day; we were ready to go home.

Follow the rest our our West Coast Peninsula road trip in Parts 1 and 2…

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