The Bell, Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens

The Bell

50 years after the trees were planted, the Bell was erected in 1958 in the Avenue of Trees in the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens.

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The Bell originated from the British Admiralty yacht HMS Enchantress.During the Second World War the yacht was used to rescue survivors after their ships were sunk, torpedoed or otherwise damaged by German submarines.

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When the war ended the HMS Enchantress became a pleasure steamer and was eventually scrapped in about 1952.

The Bell has been declared a National Monument.

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The Bell
“I love thy music, mellow bell,
I love thine iron chime,
To life or death, to heaven or hell,
Which calls the sons of Time.
Thy voice upon the deep
The home-bound sea-boy hails,
It charms his cares to sleep,
It cheers him as he sails.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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Umhlanga Lighthouse

Umhlanga Lighthouse

The Umhlanga Lighthouse’s red and white structure shows off beautifully against the blue of the sea and sky. It is one of the most recognisable landmarks on the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

It was completed in 1954 to replace the Bluff lighthouse. It is fully automated and its light has a range of 24 sea miles. When the lighthouse’s fixed red light can be seen by sailors, it means that their ship is too close to shore. There are 95 steps up to the top of the lighthouse.

The lighthouse has never had a keeper, the official caretaker is the Oyster Box Hotel and the controls are in the hotel from where it sends regular reports to Transnet’s Lighthouse Services. The Oyster Box was built in 1869 and was the first beach cottage in the area.

 

Umhlanga Rocks

A good book is a lighthouse, a wise man is a lighthouse; conscience is a lighthouse; compassion is a ighthouse; science is a lighthouse!

They all show us the true path! Keep them in your life to remain safe ………….

Mehmet Murat Ildan

The Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse..

 

 

Laugh and the world laughs with you

In the 1970’s (when we still sent greeting cards) I received a card with this poem on the front. I love the way the words roll along and almost turn into a song. The first two lines are often quoted when life gets difficult. It’s a cynical poem and I wish I could remember who sent it to me, perhaps I should have read more into the card and my relationship with the sender.

Solitude : EW Wilcox
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Howick Falls, KZN

Cooper Lighthouse (Bluff, Durban)

The original Bluff Lighthouse, constructed in 1867, was the first lighthouse built on the East Coast of Africa. It was demolished in 1941 making way for the erection of two lighthouses to serve the area. Cooper Lighthouse was erected at Brighton Beach and Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse at Umhlanga. Cooper Lighthouse was ready for use in 1953.

Cooper Lighthouse flashes its light every 10 seconds and has a range of over 40 kms. Fortunately there is shielding on the inland side of the light, so the neighbours are able to get a good night’s sleep.

Cooper Lighthouse and Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse are almost identical except for the colour of the towers and their distinctive lights.

The height of a lighthouse is determined by the curvature of the earth – taller lighthouses are built on low lying land and shorter lighthouses on cliffs. Cooper Lighthouse is 26 metres tall.

The lighthouse was named after Harry Claude Cooper, lighthouse engineer, who designed and built most of the KZN lighthouses. It is unusual to name a lighthouse after a person as they are generally named after geographical points.

“Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse

while all the others were making ships.” 

Charles Simic

Akaroa Lighthouse

Akaroa Lighthouse

Akaroa is on the Banks Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand. The weather was beautiful when we visited and the town was buzzing with tourists just off two cruise ships in the harbour.

After strolling around we found an ice cream parlour. I was so engrossed with various flavours, I tripped up a step, fell over and hit my head on the Tip Top ice cream fridge.

It was only that evening, after I recovered from my mishap, that I realised I’d missed photographing the Akaroa Lighthouse. Fortunately my son was happy to drive back into Akaroa the next day so as I could have a close look at the lighthouse and take some photos.

This very attractive Victorian lighthouse was built in about 1879.

The structure is wooden and six sided. It was originally situated on Akaroa Heads and was moved to its present location in 1980. In 1977 an automated lighthouse was installed. The lighthouse has six sides and four levels.

Akaroa Lighthouse from a distance

“A lighthouse is not interested in who gets its light

It just gives it without thinking

Giving light is its nature”

Mehmet Murat ilden

Akaroa

Green Point Lighthouse (Clansthal)

Green Point Lighthouse, R102, Clansthal, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

Green Point Lighthouse at Clansthal is situated between Scottburgh and Umkomaas.  It is made of cast iron and is painted in red and white striped bands.

The lighthouse was built in 1905 and is a National Monument. In 1961 it was fully automated which means there is no need for a lighthouse keeper.

Green Point Lighthouse warns ships of the Aliwal Shoal which is 5 kms away. The Shoal was named after the the ship Aliwal which sunk in the area.

“Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine.”

Dwight L. Moody

Green Point Lighthouse at Clansthal

Ifafa Lighthouse

Ifafa Lighthouse, situated at Ifafa on the Lower South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

The first time I heard of the Ifafa Lighthouse was during a recent internet search for the Green Point Lighthouse at Clansthal.

Ifafa Lighthouse is one of  three lighthouses which warn ships of the Aliwal Shoal which is about 5 kms off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The other lighthouses are Port Shepstone Lighthouse and Green Point Lighthouse.

Ifafa Lighthouse was constructed in 1980 and is a triangular skeletal tower 23 metres high and has a radio beacon.

The structure is not as picturesque as conventional lighthouses but it serves its purpose and helps keep ships safe from the dangers of the night.

Skeletal Structure