This amazing postcard, dated 28-06-1902 shows the ultimate evidence of the importance of East London and the harbour, in its peak years. What is astounding is how busy that harbour remained for almost 100 plus years.
The entry and exit to the harbour, through the mouth of the river, even today, is considered a challenge, as it is extremely narrow in relating to world shipping and the pulsating cross-tides are very dangerous.
If one pauses for a moment to absorb the history of shipwrecks at the mouth of the Buffalo River, and the cross-pull as you sail into the area as we know it to be ‘The Orient Beach”- it is a veritable graveyard of wrecks. The ‘Orient’ was a ship, wrecked off the beach, and even today at spring tide often reports are sent of the visible ‘ribs’ of that old ship. Most of the ships shown here, are ‘barques’ or, as often called ‘tall ships’ – three-masted ships using wind power.
By Bev Young