Saturday, May 28, 2016

Souvenir Saturday: A Light on the Bluff

Bluff Lighthouse early 1900s

Prior to January 1867 Durban was without a lighthouse and this led to frequent mishaps with shipping. The Natal Mercury reported in the late 1850s (an era of much emigration to Natal) as follows;

A Light on the Bluff: We have on former occasions urged the great importance of this provision. Another illustration of its necessity has just been furnished. The Rydal would have anchored off this Port two day sooner than she did, if a light on this promontory had identified the spot. The currents on this coast cannot always be allowed for with certainty, specially after such weather as has recently been experienced; and the Rydal after sighting the land, came to anchor during the night, at a part which, in the darkness, was mistaken for the outer anchorage of this Port; but in the morning, instead of the Bluff, it was found the vessel was opposite a headland of the coast which when an observation could be taken, was ascertained to be some point about 60 miles north of Port Natal. A light on the Bluff, duly notified, would be favourable, not only to the shipping frequenting this Port, but to passing vessels, which would then commonly make the land at this point; and the advantages of the Port would then also be brought more generally into notice.

Note: for a passenger list of the Rydal in 1854 see

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