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Western Cape: Cape Columbine

Latitude: 32° 49’ 39” S
Longitude: 17 ° 51’ 23” E

 
 
Date commissioned:  1 October 1936
Architect/builder:  HC Cooper
Primary structure material of construction:  Square masonry tower painted with, with red lantern house.
Height of tower:  15 metres
Character of light:  One flash every 15 seconds
Heritage status:  Being older than 60 years, the lighthouse is protected under the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999.
Inhabited/manned:  Yes
Open to public:  Yes

 
 
Cape Columbine Lighthouse is situated on a prominent headland +/- 5km from the picturesque fishing village of Paternoster (“Our Father”), deriving its name from the heartfelt prayers of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors.  The lighthouse, which is built on rising ground at Castle Rock and is usually the first lighthouse sighted by shipping coming from South America and Europe, is about 30 km from Vredenburg on the West Coast.
 
The lighthouse was named after the barque Columbine which was wrecked there on 31 Mary 1829.  Several ships were wrecked in the area, which is known for its multitude of submerged rocks and reefs.
 
Cape Columbine Lighthouse offers:
·    Tours of the lighthouse
·    Curios and memorabilia on sale
·    Self-catering accommodation
·    Conference facility
·    The large premises make it ideal for special events such as weddings, with plenty of space for marquee tents.
 
Cape Columbine Lighthouse is open from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), from 10h00 to 15h00. 
 
Please contact 021 449 2400 or lighthouse.tourism@transnet.net for more information.
 
Glossary
 
Aid to navigation:  A device or system, such as a lighthouse, buoy, beacon or electronic system that is designed and operated to enhance the safe and efficient navigation of vessels and/or vessel traffic.
 
Character of light:  The distinctive colour or periodic (regular) rhythm of a navigation light, enabling it to be identified. 
 
Composite group flash:  A light similar to a group flashing light, except that successive groups in a period have different numbers of flashes.
 
Daymark:  A daytime marker of specific visual characteristics, such as shape and colour, serving as an aid to navigation.
 
Group flashing:  A combined group of flashes, each including the same number of flashes, which are repeated at regular intervals.
 
Manned:  All lighthouses are automated.  “Manned” implies that we have a presence at the lighthouse, either to accommodate visitors or to optimise maintenance and travelling.
 
Nautical mile:  Unit of linear measure mainly used at sea (one nautical mile is equal to 1 852 metres).
 
Occulting light:  A light in which the total duration of light in each period is clearly longer than the total duration of darkness and in which the intervals of darkness are all of equal duration