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stepping stones of maritime history


On previous voyages, the Grundel surveyed the southern-western coast of SA in 1669, and the south and south-eastern coasts in 1670.

The vessel originally left Maas in Holland on 3 December 1668, under the command of Gerrit Gerritz Riddermuis. She called at the Cape on 25 April 1669, and left on 23 May. She arrived in Batavia on 4 August of the same year. The vessel might have been based at the Cape as a local packet.


The Grundel was on a return voyage from Batavia and tried to stop at Madagascar to replenish its water supply. The French had taken occupation of the island, however, and drove the ship off with gunfire. Subsequently the Grundel headed for the Cape but wrecked near Cape Hangklip.

The captain, who had been wounded in Madagascar, and two others took the ship's boat and set out across False Bay for Cape Town. They beached the vessel somewhere on the western shore of the bay and set out for Table Bay. One sailor reportedly died of exhaustion along the way.

Meanwhile, other survivors walked along the eastern shore of False Bay when the two leading men found the Goudvinck, and were taken onboard. A rescue party was sent out to save those further behind.

Incredibly, only 1 life was lost during this ordeal.

MasterGerrit Gerritz Riddermuis
People on board20
Length80.1 feet (24.4 m)
Width20 feet (6.1 m)
Tonnage90 ton (45 last)


Down on 13 April

New in MaSS

Wrecks of Flevoland

Burgzand Noord

13 Provinces