Defending the Cape (part 5)

I started out this morning with an idea to follow-up on a lighthouse – the original Mouille Point Lighthouse which is apparently somewhere in the Granger Bay area. I could not find it. I’ll need to do some more research to track this bit of history down. Disappointed I parked the car near the current site of the Mouille Point Lighthouse and setup my camera with the big 500 mm zoom with a cable release and tripod. The idea was to try to shoot the Lighthouse on Robben Island. Unfortunately, it was a bit misty, and the wind was a tad too strong causing the lens to tremble rather too much. The shot was not what I wanted. So, thoroughly disgusted by these failures, I packed up my equipment, got into the car and headed for home.

I made a wrong turning, due to all the road changes around the recently built Cape Town Stadium (constructed for the 2010 Soccer world cup). Turning the car around I saw a different (and newer sign) pointing to Fort Wynyard. On impulse I headed that way. The gates loomed up and I turned in. On the gate was a sign – Cameras not allowed, No photographs of military bases allowed. I felt deflated. A soldier on guard duty approached and asked if she could help.

Not expecting any joy I explained that I was a photographer and had written a number of articles in blog form on Simon’s Town and Muzzle Loading Cannons – I would like an opportunity to see Fort Wynyard and photograph the guns and underground structures.

That’s when the day suddenly became exciting. She called a person over and spoke to him. He came over and explained again what I wanted to do. He smiled and said, “Come on in…”

Fort Wynyard is home to the Cape Garrison Artillery. Bdr Andrew Botes is a Bombardier with CGA. A Bombardier is the Equivalent rank to Corporal. In earlier years the Bombardier would have been junior to a Corporal. But this was changed and the rank of Corporal was abolished which caused the Bombardier post to be promoted from a 1 chevron rank to 2 chevrons.

Bdr Andrew Botes was very kind to take my wife and I on a tour of the gun emplacements. Unfortunately due to renovations underground it was not possible to see the tunnels and the ammo bunkers.

The large variety of guns on display range from a  Russian anti-tank/aircraft gun captured in Angola during the bush war Рthrough to the big disappearing gun.

Amongst the photographs, I was compelled to capture Fort Wynyard’s neighbour, the big Cape Town Stadium. There are also a couple of unusual views of Table Mountain.

An interesting fact about the stone work is that the stones were sourced from both Table Mountain and Robben Island.


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