Dark and ferocious

2am 4th December 1899.

500 soldiers and 350 horses

Dark and ferocious, the Atlantic is wind whipped and raging white spume. The time is 2am 4th December 1899. The good ship ‘ Ismore’, carrying 500 soldiers and 350 horses is battling a gale force wind. Still on her maiden voyage out of Liverpool, en route to Table Bay, she is bringing British Troops to engage the Boers.

Waves, wind and darkness win. The Ismore is blown off course, lifted and crashed down with force upon the rock now known as Soldaten Klip. Stuck fast and holed, it takes the Ismore three days to break up and there she still lies to this day.

No lives were lost, although it took a good month before the soldiers, among them the 10th Hussar Regiment and the 63rd Royal Artillery soldiers could return to Cape Town. Ox wagons and horses had to break new ground to rescue as no roads existed on this wild coastline. We still travel that first road today.

These then were the first visitors to Soldaten Bay, now home to Sea Shack and happy holidays.