The Flying Dutchman

The story goes like this, a phantom vessel can be seen off the horizon and with it strong storms follow in and around the Coast of Good Hope. It is thought that this is the Flying Dutchman, which is the name of the captain, not the ship. To see the Flying Dutchman almost always is an omen, to see the Flying Dutchman means a terrible death will ensue.

The origin of the story, depending on who you believe seems to be based in truth. It originates in 1600’s. The Flying Dutchman and his crew were coming into the Cape of Good Hope, called The Cape of Storms back then due to it’s position, the cold waters of the Atlantic and the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean meet. As they were approaching the the Cape a strong gale came in followed by a horrible storm. The storm ripped at the sails and pounded on the ship. The crew feared this would be the end. They requested to change direction and get out of the storm but the Captain refused to turn around. He then called out to the Devil making a bet that he would make it into the cape today or till doomsday.

The ship never made it into port, not then and not ever. No one on the vessel survived. It is believed that the ship will forever sail, never to touch land again. In one telling of the story the Devil allows the Dutchman to touch land every seven years. For if he can find the love of a women on the night he’s on land the curse will be broken.

The tale of the Flying Dutchman might be the most famous of all ghost ship stories. Through the years the image of the ship has been recorded by people who say they have seen it. The last reported siting of the ship was in 1942. Four people saw the ship coming into Table bay and vanish.

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