Although the first permanent settlement in the Knysna area was as early as 1770 it wasnt until George Rex arrived from Cape Town in 1804 and recognised the opportunity in the timber trade that Knysna became a flourishing port.
Through his efforts and persistence it was decided to establish a commercial shipping route to export timber sourced in the Knysna forests, loaded on ships in the lagoon and then carried out through the "Heads" to sea.
The first ship to attempt entry was the 188-ton Royal Navy brig “Emu”which did so on the 11th February 1817. The attempt was unsuccessful as she ran aground on a submerged rock and had to be beached on a sandbank just inside the mouth of the lagoon. A few months later in May of 1817, the “Podargus” was sent to rescue the crew and salvage the cargo of the Emu It became the first ship to successfully enter the lagoon paving the way for the advancement of the timber industry in the area. As a result the timber industry flourished.
The Knysna "Heads" form a formidable natural entrance to the lagoon. The East and West "Heads" are enormous sandstone cliffs that tower between 50-100 metres on each side of a 300 metre channel. Navigating the "Heads" is no mean feat as submerged rocks litter the approach and it has been described as one of the most dangerous natural harbour entrances in the world.
There have been many casualties over the ages - one of the most infamous is that of the "Paquita", a 460 ton German sail ship ( known as a Barque ) which in October 1903 was leaving the Knysna lagoon bound for Barbados. It floundered on the rocks and sank in rather controversial circumstances sufficiently suspicious that Lloyds of London, the vessel's insurer refused to accept the insurance claim. The remains of the vessel's hull still rest to this day on the sea floor and are considered an important and relatively easily accessible dive site.
In order to log this cache you will not be required to don your Scuba gear ! Instead you will be required to send the CO ( either by email or messaging ) answers to the following questions:
1) Standing at GZ and looking south towards the Knysna Heads - there is a structure about 5 metres to your right hand side and slightly higher than your position. How many flashing lights can you see on this structure from your standing position, .
2) Standing at GZ what is the colour of the flotation device that is on your left side and slightly behind you. The colour ( in case it is missing ) is the same as the Location No marked on the sign.
3) On your way to GZ from the bottom parking area you should have passed a large notice board placed under the trees which details the complete history of the vessel after whom this virtual cache is named. On the notice board is a diagram showing a drawing of the position of the shipwreck. The drawing is dated 3/12/1988. Who is this drawing by ?
4) Finally please submit with your log a picture of the Knysna Heads taken from GZ preferably with something interesting in the picture.
Failure to answer the questions and provide a picture with your log will (after a reasonable amount of time) result in removal of your log.
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.