The Cape of Good Hope is not the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas is. Although the Cape of Good Hope is certainly the most prominent peninsula off the southern coast of Africa and many Cape Towners like to believe it separates the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic. National Geographic disagrees, but nonetheless it is a pretty spectacular place. We drove south on the east side along Chapman’s Peak Drive past a cold ocean and wild surf. We drove north on the west side through Simon’s Town (The former home of a big British naval base) and also past a beach where, only recently, penguins have started to gather.
The Cape shows signs of drought. There have been brush fires and we are constantly told to conserve water. The taps in public restrooms have been shut off and the soap dispensers replaced with hand sanitizer dispensers. You can drive to the cape, and, if you want, get your picture taken behind the sign, we didn’t do that. And you can hike around the cape, past Cape Maclear, Maclear Beach and Diaz point to Cape point, where the lighthouse wards mariners away from the cape and the rocks off shore.
The Portuguese originally named it the Cape of Bad Storms but thought better of it. Hope springs eternal I guess. Between Cape Agulhas and the Cape of Good Hope a lost Dutch East Indiaman is said to be sailing through storms for eternity, the “Flying Dutchman.” I was not sure whether to keep my eyes peeled for her or not, because, while to see her would be an amazing experience, seeing her means death.
Around the Cape of Good Hope, sailing up the East Coast of Africa we come to the Namibia’s Skelton Coast, so named because of all the ships’ bones scattered on the dunes. The coast is foggy as a current from the Antarctic makes its way along Africa. We were told to expect fog horns when we leave Cape Town.