Cape Town

South Africa

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Port of Cape Town, Table Bay, the Fairest Cape, the Cape of Storms, the Cape of Good Hope, the Mother City. All these names provide an idea of what to expect. Cape Town competes with Alexandria for recognition as the most famous port in Africa and is certainly one of the most beautiful harbours in the world with a magnificent backdrop of Table Mountain framed by the mountainous Peninsular.

The port is situated on one of the world's busiest trade routes and will always retain strategic and economic importance for that reason alone.

The port is situated in Table Bay at Longitude 18º 26' E and Latitude 33º 54' S and lies 120 n.miles northwest of Cape Agulhas (the most southerly point in Africa).

Cape Town was established by the Dutch on 6 April 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Table Bay to establish a victualing station for ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) on their long voyages to and from the Dutch East Indies.

The port progressed steadily over the centuries and consists today of two 'docks' - the larger outer Ben Schoeman Dock in which lies the container terminal, and the older inner Duncan Dock containing the multi purpose and fruit terminals as well as a dry dock, repair quay and tanker basin. Cape Town also boasts an extensive yachting marina.

The historic Victoria and Alfred Basins - the original Cape Town harbour - now house the world famous Cape Town Waterfront but remain in use for commercial purposes, creating a unique attraction for the waterfront development. These are used by smaller commercial vessels including fishing and pleasure boats.

Arrival Cape Town, how many times have we seen this

but have never tired of the view?

Union-Castle House

Cape Town - The Run Ashore

Reg Mercer

Anybody remember the Fireman’s Arms?

Charlie Wood

I still go there fairly often but although the bar is the same it's not the same vibe. Surrounded by high rise buildings as well

Andrew Edwards

Yes Reg, and it is still going strong!

I watched some Six Nations rugby there live - about 5 years ago. I was there attending a friends 90th birthday parties and the landlord (and his 91 year old mother) were at the party.

Good Ale and very good food And very good rugby too! I spent some time chatting to his mother, Margerite, who told me that she got her private pilots licence in 1938 and was trained by Amy Johnson. Another pupil in the course was a chap called De Havilland who later went on to produce the first commercial jetliner. Was she name dropping? Unashamedly but wouldn't you?

She thought Union Castle and all who sailed on her were 'simply wonderful darling ' I had to agree.

Reg Mercer

Perhaps we should organise a tour of our old watering holes, preferably before we are 90 !! I guess there are not too many of them left?

Alex McCutcheon

My chopped off tie was placed there in the early sixties. They liked to chop off club ties and add to their large collection.

Brian Spiller

If my memory is right didn't the menu consist of labels from cans?

It was there that I was introduced to Black Velvet drunk from a glass boot, not easy, especially if you had your best gear on!

Greatest cure for insomnia ever!

Other favourite watering holes:


Navigator’s Den

Spurs Bar

Darrells Bar

Tiki Hok Bar

The Catacombs (now a restaurant and rated highly in CT food guides)

I appreciate that a camera was not part of “going ashore essentials” when visiting these places but any recollections would be welcomed.

The site of the old Navigator’s Den

Passengers boarding at A Berth

Pendennis Castle arrives from Port Elizabeth.

Capetown Castle on F Berth probably while on “Extra Service”

Edinburgh Castle sails for home from A Berth

SA Vaal alongside F Berth as the outbound mail ship

Windsor Castle sailing for home

The Fireman’s Arms

Now surrounded by modern buildings

A great shot of Duncan Dock taken during the Suez Crisis in 1956

Significant ships in port:

A Berth  Stirling Castle

B Berth  Dominion Monarch

C Berth  Bloemfontein Castle

D Berth  Francois LD

E Berth  Arundel Castle

F Berth  Umtata

H Berth  Strathnaver

Everything you need for a run ashore to The Spurs

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