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Western Cape: Cape St Blaize


Latitude: 34° 11’ 09,45” S
Longitude: 22° 09’ 25,14” E

 

Date commissioned:  15 March 1864
Architect/builder:  John Goodman (builder)
Primary structure material of construction:  Square masonry tower painted white, with white lantern house.
Height of tower: 14.9 metres
Character of light: Group flashing 2 every 15 seconds
Heritage status:  Being older than 60 years, the lighthouse is protected under the National Hertiage Resources Act 25 of 1999.
Inhabited/manned: Yes
Open to public: Yes

Cape St Blaize Lighthouse was commissioned as a result of the number of vessels using the bay as a safe anchorage and to replenish supplies.
 
On 3 February 1488, Bartolomeu Dias sailed into Mossel Bay.  When he landed in the bay, he called it Bahia (Aguada) de Sao Bras (“the watering place of St Blaize).  St Blaize is the patron saint of those who suffer from disorders of the ear.
 
The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex in the centre of town consists of various sites of interest.  The most well-known historical feature is the Old Post Office Tree.  The first post office on South African soil was founded at Mossel Bay in 1500, when Pedro de Ataide left a letter of importance in a shoe under a large Milkwood Tree.  Mail is still posted at this ancient Post Office.  Today, it is a National Monument.
 
Cape St Blaize Lighthouse offers:
·         Tours of the lighthouse
·         Curios and memorabilia on sale
·         Self-catering accommodation
 
Cape St Blaize 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