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stepping stones of maritime history


The Johanna Maria (Ida Aleida) had four names and five ownership changes in its long existence. She was sold for the last time in 1817 and rebaptized as Ida Aleida.

She left Texel for Batavia on September 21. There, in addition to the usual cargo (coffee, rice, etc.), she also took on board a collection of art treasures and a collection of plants and seeds for the University of Leiden.

The return journey went well until the Aleida was beset by a heavy storm off Algoa Bay in South Africa on 2 November 1818.The rudder was broken and the ship was taking on water. Eventually, the captain was forced to throw some bags of rice and 7 cannons overboard to help the ship reach a harbour for repairs.

Captain Sipkes wanted to visit Simon's Bay to carry out the necessary repairs there. On the 10th of November, the ship passed Cape Hangklip with a strong wind.

The ship sailed into False Bay and in his report, the captain stated that he mistook Muizenberg for the corner of Simon’s Bay. Before he had a chance to correct the course of the ship, it beached. They tried to save the vessel, but the anchors dragged, further damaging the poop deck and resulting in the ship taking on more water. The captain and crew abandoned ship in small boats. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

Over the following few days, attempts were made to salvage some of the cargo, which was valued at £80 000, but these attempts were largely unsuccessful due to the dangerous sea conditions. After a short time, the wreck settled well into the sand and the ship was completely covered at high tide.


The Ida Aleida was originally called Johanna Maria, then Ceres (1813), Three Friends (1814) and finally Lady Ida Aleida (1817-1818).

The ship was built in Amsterdam and had the following owners:

Owner 1: Dirk Luden, Amsterdam (1783-1801)
Owner 2: Hendrik Lambertus Laurin, Amsterdam (1801-1813)
Owner 3: Jan van Heukelen Franszn. Amsterdam (1813-1817)
Owner 4: J. Van den Bosch (4/12th part), J.H. Bagman & Son (1/12th part), J.W. Bagman (1/12th part), Roll & Co. (1/12th part), C.J. Nieuwenhuijs (1/12th part)

The Ida Aleida also reportedly was mounted with 8 guns (1800)

MasterKlaas Sipkes
Length128 feet (39 m)
Width32 feet (9.8 m)
Draft15.7 feet (4.8 m)
Tonnage486 ton (243 last)


Work was undertaken by Gavin Clackworthy to try and locate the wreck site and map it. Despite numerous years of searching for the site and finding a possible location, it appears that he was unable to do enough work on the site to positively identify the wreck. It is currently thought that the wreck is situated opposite the St James Tidal pool in Kalk Bay, but this is contentious. Sand overburden and bad conditions meant that very little was uncovered that could be identified as a shipwreck.


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