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Notes on the Geography of South Africa: Cape Peninsula: Photo 8

world pictures South Africa: Cape Peninsula

A few miles down the coast we're at False Bay, a shallow indentation that, despite its limitations, was especially important in the 19th century before Cape Town had built a safe anchorage. Winter winds from the Atlantic made Cape Town so dangerous, in fact, that the East India Company or VOC ordered all its ships to come around the Cape Peninsula and anchor at False Bay each year from May 15th to August 15th. The town that grew on the spot is variously spelled Simon's Town or Simonstown for Governor Simon van der Stel, who visited here in 1687. The British based a squadron here from 1814, about the time of their takeover of the colony.

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