CAPE ST. FRANCIS LIGHTHOUSE
Cape St. Francis Bay lies about 100kms south of Port Elizabeth and has become a rich man’s dream village with its quaint white washed houses all with thatch or slate roofs. It has its own harbour which predominantly services the fleets of Squid boats. Ten kilometres away, lies a beautiful bay called Cape St. Francis Point. At the end of the rocky point stands a very old lighthouse, still in operation today to warn shipping along the Eastern Coast of South Africa.
Built in 1878, it has been declared a national monument. The lighthouse stands three hundred feet high and is built out of square blocks of local rock and painted white with little port holes every hundred feet.
The lighthouse keepers work in shifts for three months at a time. There are two of them out there, one night on duty and one night off for three months.
There is a 1500 watt power supply and the light has a strength of 2,3 million candlepower which shines through magnifying glass lenses. It can be seen by ships out to sea 28 sea miles away on a clear day and they have their own auxiliary generator in case of any power failure.
Visitors to the Eastern Cape can obtain permission to climb up the steep spiral staircase that circles upwards right inside the tower, with the deep boom of the generators echoing round and round, till you come to the top and look out over the wild and raging sea for miles and miles to where a tanker sails across the horizon.
A brand new centre for Penguin Rehabilitation has been constructed next to the lighthouse. The centre will service the area between Tsitsikamma and the Gamtoos River Mouth. Ajubatus Marine and Wildlife Rescue Services together with the Jeffreys Bay Penguin Rehabilitation Group have put in a lot of time and effort to make this dream a reality but they could really do with volunteers and financial contributions to help with the construction and running of the centre and the daily feeding of the sick penguins.
If you are prepared to help in any way, please contact Trudie Malan cell: 082 940 5521.
Ajubatus Research Foundation was originally established in 1992 in the heart of the African wilderness to preserve wildlife and study a variety of species under threat due to the thoughtlessness and greed of man.
In 2003 Ajubatus took up residence at the historic Seal Point Lighthouse and Ajubatus has already opened a coffee and curio shop alongside the lighthouse. They intend to provide an educational centre, a marine museum, as well as the penguin rehab centre.
TEXT: R Hift
Port Elizabeth’s weather is rated as the fourth best climate of any coastal city in the world.
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3 October 2012 7:51