Thursday, January 04, 2007

CAPE POINT - Cape Point

CAPE POINT – Cape point

Situated in the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve and a popular tourist attraction. The base of the original lighthouse, commissioned in May 1860, still exists and can be visited on foot or by means of a funicular cable car which runs at regular intervals. The new lighthouse was erected at a lower level i.e.; 286 ft above sea level and commissioned on 11 March 1919, as the original light which was 816 ft above sea level, was often obscured by mist and cloud. The new lighthouse was constructed in spite of numerous difficulties and challenges. Dias point, the site chosen by Cooper was broadened with the aid of dynamite. A tram track was constructed and a crane installed. Sand was carried up from cave at the bottom of the cliff along a footpath which zigzagged 250 ft up the cliff. Stone was taken from the quarry, heaved up 150 ft then run down in trucks to the crane and lowered down to the construction site. Water was carried up by trolley and then sent down a pipe. A large quantity of material such as rope blocks, chains and timber was carried out by boat and dragged up to the site. The revolving electric light is supported by a 9 metre high masonry tower and has a range of 34 nautical miles. The lighthouse is also fitted with a subsidiary red sector light and has a radio beacon and diesel alternator.

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