The Cape of Storms

What is commonly known as the Cape of Good Hope is also known by a more ominous name, “The Cape of Storms”. This area, at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa, definitely lives up to its name, as it hosts some truly spectacular storms and has left more than one ship on the rocks or the ocean floor.

The Cape

In his efforts to establish direct trade relations with the Far East, Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, unknowingly first rounded the Cape Peninsula in January 1488, even though he was a significant distance to the southwest. After travelling further up the South African east coast, Dias was forced to return to Portugal by his crew. It was only in May 1488, on his return voyage that he discovered, what is now, the Cape of Good Hope.

Dias must have experienced some of the vicious storms the area is known for, as he decided to name it, Cabo das Tormentas or “Cape of Storms”. It was later renamed, Cabo da Boa Esperança or The Cape of Good Hope, by King John II of Portugal, thanks to the great optimism surrounding the opening of a direct trade route through to India and the East.

Stormy Seas

When he rounded Cape Point in 1580, the English explorer, Sir Francis Drake, famously described it as, “A most stately thing and the fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the Earth”. Sir Francis must have seen it on a good day, because while the Cape Peninsula is uniquely beautiful, it still does experience the powerful storms it was originally named after.

Many captains trying to avoid the worst of the storms off the coast, would attempt to sail around the point while sticking close to land. This would lead to many ships being sunk by the hidden rock outcroppings just below the churning water’s surface. Cape Point alone has claimed at least 26 ships in recent history, some of which can still be seen today.

Famous examples include:  The Portuguese ocean liner, Lusitania, on the 18th of April 1911, which struck and was sunk by the infamous Bellows Rock. On the 27th of November 1942, the SS Thomas T. Tucker sunk off Olifantsbosch Point. Finally, one of the most visible wrecks of the area, the M.V.Nolloth was a Dutch ship carrying a valuable cargo of whiskey, which struck Albatross Rock on the 30th of April 1965 and came to rest on the beach nearby.

Cape of Storms Distilling Company

Our family was born in Cape Town and with all of us returning to the city after many years away, we were adamant that we wanted to name our new distillery after somewhere or something related to Cape Town. At the same time, we thought the name should represent some of the ideas we felt were important to our brand, even if in an abstract way.

After much thought, we decided on Cape of Storms Distilling Company, a name which we all felt lived up to the aforementioned criteria. The name tied in well with our initial product being a Rum, and we felt it would be impossible to ignore the ties that both Rum and the Cape have to the ocean and maritime trade.

An important part of our company ethos is that we hope to bring you, our customers, an interesting, unexpected and unique taste experience which, we believe, is well represented by the unpredictability of the storms the Cape is so well known for.

Finally, we really like the idea of you enjoying our drinks, comfy at home during a stormy night, or taking in the fresh beauty of the landscape after the storm has passed.

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