Hiking routes to explore shipwrecks
found in the trecherous waters of
The treacherous Cape of Storms has claimed many boats. Some of the remains of which can be viewed on various beach walks around the Cape.
Two of the most well known are the Kapako found midway between Noordhoek and Long Beach, and the Boss 400 found about 2 hours walk from Sandy Bay.
The Kapako was stranded in 1900. The story goes that whilst sailing from Cape Town to New Zealand the captain mistook Chapmans Peak for Cape Point. Turning his boat East to head for False Bay he parked his boat deep in the sand of Noordhoek. It was spring high when he landed on the beach thus the boat was driven so high up that the crew could step off the boat at low tide without getting their feet wet!!
The remains of this wreck are buried in the sand. The ribs and boiler still clearly visible.
The hike to visit this wreck takes about an hour each way. You can start either at Long Beach or at Noordhoek. Although in places walking in the sand is hard going this is an easy walk suitable for the whole family.
The Boss 400 is a much more modern wreck. This is a crane barge that was stranded in July 1994. The captain of the tug towing the barge had radioed for assistance as he had realised his boat could not cope with the conditions. However the tugs sent to assist did not arrive in time. The line attaching the Boss 400 to her tug snapped, and the boat drifted on the rocks at Maori Bay. The 14 crew on board were airlifted to safety. There was an attempt to salvage the boat, however it was considered too damaged to be worthwhile.
Ironically, Maori Bay is named after another ship that was lost there. The Maori was wrecked in 1909 and sadly many of the crew on board were lost. Her remains litter the seabed and are not visible to hikers to the bay.
The walk to this site is a good 2 hours each way. Unlike the walk to the Kapako it involves some scrambling up steep inclines and some crawling through the dense fynbos lining the route.
Both routes lack any shade or supply of fresh water so should not be attempted without taking a good supply of water, and hat.