Dark Origins, African Myths and Legends: Stories of the Western Cape – The Flying Dutchman #Ghoststories #FlyingDutchman #TableMountain

In the late Middle Ages, the spice trade from India and the so called Silk Road from China were of economic importance to Europe. After Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 the European overland trade routes were disrupted and they needed to find a sea route to India and China.

Christopher Columbus attempted to find a sea route to India by travelling westwards. He discovered the Americas.

Portuguese explorer, Diogo Cão, explored the African coast south to present-day Namibia, and, in 1488, Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, discovered the Cape of Good Hope. In 1498, Vasco da Gama headed an expedition which led to the Portuguese discovery of a sea route to India. This route around the Cape of Good Hope (current day Cape Town) came into use by the European East India Companies.

The Cape of Good Hope was also known as the Cape of Storms because of the treacherous winter storms that resulted in a total of 26 shipwrecks at Cape Point alone.

Legend has it that when Bartholomew Dias rounded this Cape of Storms and saw Table Mountain, he thought he was seeing a gigantic titan of the deep with it’s head veiled in white clouds. He imagined that the tides that foamed around the foot of the great mountain were the titan’s roar. The moment of Dias’ first sighting of this titan was described in the poem, Lusiadas, by Portuguese poet, Camoes. Camoes called the monster Titan Adamastor and depicted him as condemned to dwell imprisoned forever in the ‘furtherest confines of the south’ – the Cape of Storms. According to the poem, this sentence was passed by Jupiter when the Titans were vanquished following a war between these deities that lasted ten years. Adamastor and his brothers were imprisoned in various huge mountains around the world. Adamastor was filled with bitterness at his imprisonment and at losing the love of the queen of the sea, Thetis, and he swore eternal vengeance on all who should approach him and disturb his solitude. He shouted his rage and warnings of doom at Dias when he rounded the Cape.

In 1500, Dias returned to the Cape of Storms on his way to Sofala. As his fleet rounded the Cape it encountered a violent storm. Four of the ships, including the one captained by Dias, disappeared and Adamastor’s warning was fulfilled. From this unfortunate maritime disaster, the legend of the Flying Dutchman came into being.

The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship which is said to have never been able to make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.

According to Wikipedia: “According to the legend, if hailed by another ship, the crew of the Flying Dutchman was said to try to send messages to land, or to people long dead. Reported sightings in the 19th and 20th centuries claimed that the ship glowed with a ghostly light. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is a portent of doom.” You can read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Dutchman

Picture of the Flying Dutchman from Wikipedia

This is my reading on YT of the story of The Flying Dutchman from Myths and Legends of Southern Africa by Penny Mills:

A picture of Table Mountain from https://www.travelbutlers.com/south-africa/cape-town/table-mountain.asp

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has two published novels:

* Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy; and

* A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has ten children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

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42 Comments on “Dark Origins, African Myths and Legends: Stories of the Western Cape – The Flying Dutchman #Ghoststories #FlyingDutchman #TableMountain”

  1. That story has always fascinated me, Robbie…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. beth says:

    I absolutely love this story

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I like that story very much, Robbie and it’s delightful to hear you read some of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Crazy time in the history of world commerce. Good story. I’ve never heard the whole thing before.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on and commented:

    This month’s Dark Origins, African Myths and Legends post on Writing to be Read discusses the origins of the legend of the Flying Dutchman. I’ve also included a reading of the story. Thanks for hosting Kaye Lynne Booth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    I’ve heard of The Flying Dutchman but didn’t know the story behind it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Interesting about Table Mountain and Dias. And I didn’t know the origin of the Flying Dutchman; that’s kinda chilling! Excellent post, Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Darlene says:

    A great story. Thanks for sharing it. I love these legends. Of course, we learned about Vasco da Gama and the Cape of Good Hope in school.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I must admit that for all my years on this earth, this is the first time I have read so much about this legend! Fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’d heard of the Flying Dutchman, but I never knew the story behind it. Thank you for sharing it and reading it to us.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I echoed many of the comments that I had heard of the Flying Dutchman but didn’t know the story behind it. Thank you for your reading. The story is fascinating, Robbie.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Patty Perrin says:

    Thank you for sharing the story of the Flying Dutchman! I knew of it, but had never heard its fascinating origin. I can imagine how frightening it was to sail into one of those legendary storms.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Such cool tales to share. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jan Sikes says:

    What an amazing bit of legend and history, Robbie. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Vashti Q says:

    I enjoyed this post very much, Robbie. I love myths and legends, and I’ve been curious about The Flying Dutchman for a long time. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. It’s interesting how people’s vivid imaginations can become bigger than life and carry through history like The Flying Dutchman- Thanks for the background on this legend, Robbie.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Another one of the many posts I didn’t get. I don’t know what’s going on with WordPress’ servers, but I only seem to get maybe half my mail. I get tons of OTHER mail — mostly advertisement AND about 500-600 spam messages EVERY day. But notifications of posts? Sometimes.

    Anyway, this was a really interesting post. A lot more information than I had before. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI Marilyn, I have reverted to reading posts from the reader and have lists for my favourite bloggers because I kept not getting notifications. Anyhow, I am really pleased you enjoyed this post about Marco Dias and the ‘titan’ he discovered.

      Liked by 1 person


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