Danger Point lighthouse is situated at the tip of a peninsula and associated with the unfortunate loss of the Birkenhead. The closest town is Gansbaai at the base of the peninsula. This is a magnificent lighthouse and in very good condition. Views are in the afternoon sun and the following morning.
The “museum” within the tower houses the various types of light used since inception in 1895. Initially pressurised paraffin combusted through a mantle producing the light, but this was replaced in 1937 by a 4000 watt electric globe powered from a diesel driven generator. The power source was changed to Eskom in 1970 and the wattage could be reduced to 1500 and later to a 400 watt metal halide lamp.
The traditional system of descending weights to operate the rotating light has been replaced by small electric motors.
Certain lighthouses offer accommodation and we stayed here overnight. Our host was Robin and the 3 bedroomed accommodation is highly recommended and is well furnished. Anyone wishing to reserve this accommodation should book through Tasneem at 021 449 2400 or E mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Birkenhead Memorial, commemorating the loss of 445 souls, is a plaque set in a waist high concrete base. A groove in this base is lined up with the Birkenhead rock where the swell breaks on occasion. This was the case the next morning. The rock itself is below water level and about 2 km offshore.
This smaller plaque is set into the wall of the lighthouse.
The seaside resorts of Kleinbaai and Franskraal are also on the peninsula.
Kleinbaai is the base of the shark cage diving industry as it is the closest harbour to Dyer Island which is frequented by Great White sharks because of its seal population. It is amazing how this industry has grown so rapidly.
The Strandveld Museum houses Oom Jan’s private collection of memorabilia and this is to found at Franskraal.