Of all the ships which were wrecked along the Port Elizabeth and adjacent coastline, only two were noteworthy but for different reasons. Of the two, the saga of the Sacramento’s sinking on 30 June 1647 culminated in two stirring tales. One involved the dramatic 1400km trek by the survivors to the Portuguese Port at Delagoa Bay. The second and equally dramatic saga is that of the subsequent discovery and recovery of the numerous cannons by a local diver, David Allen.
Both make for compelling stories but as this is a potted history of Port Elizabeth, the focus will be squarely fixed on the latter escapade.
Main picture: David Allen-left-with Gerry van Niekerk making notes of the most perfectly presevered of the 40 guns lifted from the wreck site.Continue reading