Did you know?
St Blaize is the patron saint of people who suffer from sore throats.
Cape St Blaize is a rocky promontory that juts out to sea and is part of the Mossel Bay town structure.
There’s a huge cave at Cape St Blaize that was once occupied by Khoikhoi hunter-gatherers, who probably had the finest ocean-view residence in Africa at the time.
Looming above the cave is the still-working Cape St Blaize lighthouse, which was always a favoured posting among the South African light-keeper community.
Often light-keepers and their families were sent to far-flung coastal places, where they lived in isolation and where schooling and supplies were a constant logistical headache.
This particular lighthouse stands in one of the most active, booming towns along the Western Cape coastline. There have always been good shops and schools and a welcoming community available to the ocean guardians sent there.
The building of the Cape St Blaize lighthouse was completed in March 1864. The tower has a spectacular placement on a cliff overlooking both Mossel Bay and the passing ocean lanes.
In his landmark book called Southern Lights – Lighthouses of South Africa, author Harold Williams says that in 1880 a public works official complained of the lighthouse that: ‘Quarters and light satisfactory, but goats must not be kept in the quarters.’
Williams comments: ‘It must be assumed that he had in fact discovered goats or evidence of them in the living quarters – strange bedfellows?’
The lighthouse is fully automated these days, but still manned by light-keepers who maintain radio watch and do meteorological studies.
Up until the late 1970s, however, the lens turned on a clockwork system, which meant that a light-keeper had to ascend the tower and wind it up at three-hour intervals.