Colleen’s old friend Tim and his wife Di from England stopped by on one of their visits to South Africa. They are always keen on all aspects of South African history – last time we explored Genadendaal, which to their and our surprise they hadn’t heard of – and this time we thought we should delve a little deeper into history with a visit to an excavation site at Die Kelders near Gansbaai. Apart from it’s controversial shark cage diving attraction – Gansbaai (“Bay of Geese”) is also known for its excellent whale watching sites and behold, a number of these formidable creatures delighted our guests.
We had arranged for a guide, we thought, but eventually ventured on to find the way to the excavation site on our own, quite precipitous and not without challenge but our guests were in good form and we felt secure enough for this little adventure. We had visited the caves some ten years ago and vaguely remembered the pathway.
This part of the Cape coast, at Danger Point near Gansbaai, is also known as the site where the troop ship “HMS Birkenhead” foundered on submerged rocks in 1852. Only 193 of the 643 people on board survived, and the soldiers’ chivalry gave rise to the “women and children first” protocol when abandoning ship. There are 140 known shipwrecks between Danger Point and Cape Infanta.
Searching for our ancestor’s cave.
Stepping out from the cave at mid-tide looking toward Hermanus.
With love from
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, Tuesday November 27, 2012