The circular lighthouse structure is the tallest masonry tower and is situated on the second southernmost point of Africa. It is 28 metres in height and the focal plane of the light is 36 metres above sea level giving it a range of 28 sea miles. The stone for the tower was blasted from the reefs some 200 metres east of the site and it was cut and dressed to size and shape on the spot.
Named after the patron saint, St. Francis, this architectural marvel was completed on July 4th 1878, the lamp of Cape St. Francis lighthouse was lit for the first time. Since that day it has sent forth its beam of light to guide mariners along a stretch of coast that has claimed numerous shipwrecks. It was equipped with a three wick burner and had an intensity of 15 000 candles, providing a single white flash every 20 seconds. On 17 May 1906 the flash rate was changed to one flash every 5 seconds and a petroleum vapour burner was fitted, increasing the candle power to 120 000 candelas. Today the character of the light is once every five seconds with an intensity of 2 750 000 candelas and a range of 28 sea miles.
Construction of the lighthouse commenced on 17 March 1876 when Joseph Flack, a clerk of works employed in the Public Works Department of the Cape Colonial Government, set out the works. He was also involved in building Robben Island. He was not destined to see the lighthouse completed. Flack died at Seal Point on 14 November 1876 and he is buried in the cemetery in Humansdorp.
The lighthouse was manned by a senior lightkeeper and two other lightkeepers. It was declared a National Monument on 11 May 1984.
Until 1959 the revolving light was driven by clockwork, actuated by a set of weights suspended from a chain. The motion was regulated by a governor fitted with a brake and weighted lever attachment to keep the apparatus in revolution whilst the weights were heaved up manually. This had to be done every 4 hours by the duty lightkeeper. The old mechanism has fortunately been preserved as a curiosity of days gone by.
Seal Point lighthouse continues to watch over the coast and has done for almost 123 years resulting in fewer shipwrecks.
Although the lighthouse is no longer in full operation, it is open to the public and can be explored on a guided tour.
1. To log this cache you are required to take a picture of any source of light (be creative - i.e candle, lighter, spotlight, torch, etc) with the Seal Point Lighthouse in the background.
2. Taken from GZ attach a second picture to your log with your GC Handle and the date clearly visible.
All logs without photos attached as specified above, will be deleted.
Virtual Rewards 2.0 - 2019/2020
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between June 4, 2019 and June 4, 2020. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards 2.0 on the Geocaching Blog.