It was a bright blue spring day with veld flowers dancing to an early southeaster as we drove south, flanked by the yellow canola fields of the Overberg.
Arniston’s thatched cottages rose ahead of us, perched on the crest of
a line of dunes. Then the sea came into view and we pulled off to take in the sight. The first thing that captivates you about this place is its translucent, turquoise water.
But those calm shallows have a habit of turning treacherous, and many
ships have found their resting place along this shore. The town’s name originates from the tragic wreck of the Arniston troopship, which ran aground along this coast on 30 May 1815.
She was an English East Indiaman, homebound from Ceylon (Sri
Lanka) with 378 passengers, mostly soldiers. The Arniston struck a reef during a terrible storm. Only six people survived.