William Liltved Noordhoek
The SS Kakapo, a British steamer of 1093 tons was on her maiden voyage from Swansea to Sydney in ballast with a crew of 20. The newly ticketed Danish captain, said to be on his first command, headed south along the west coast to round Cape Point and then Cape Agulhas. On the stormy night of May 25, 1900, there was a strong north-westerly, and poor visibility with cloud and fog.
Captain Nicolayson mistakenly identified Chapman’s Peak as Cape Point and gave instructions to steer hard to port, maintaining full
Not long afterward the bridge caught sight of breaking waves and the ship ran aground. (The year after, in 1901, our great-grandmother, a British nurse coming to South Africa, was shipwrecked on Robben Island in the Tantallon Castle.)
Recent wave-action, and sand-movement patterns have led to marked regression of the Noordhoek beach shoreline, particularly the stretch where the Kakapo lies, thus exposing her bones. The spare iron propeller can be seen as originally positioned in the hold. The prop-shaft is also exposed, pictured above.