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stepping stones of maritime history


The Noord was a galliot in the service of the VOC colony at the Cape of Good Hope. She arrived in Table Bay with 13 crew members on board. She was used, among other things, for reconnaissance trips.

On 4 January 1689, the Noord reached the Bay of Natal after it was sent to search for additional shipwreck survivors from the Stavenisse. The following day it managed to sail over the sand bar (Annabella bank) at its entrance, thereby becoming the first ship to moor in the Bay of Natal.

The Noord rescued 3 survivors of the wreck of the Stavenisse, between Port Natal and the Buffalo River during the search for the wreck.

Towards the end of 1689 the galliot was deployed for a second voyage along the African east coast. Survivors from the Stavenisse that were stranded in Terra Natal had reported in Cape Town that there would be favourable trading conditions for the company in Natal. In October of the same year, she again left Cape Town to search for Stavenisse survivors and found three more at Port Natal. At the same time the captain purchased Port Natal from one of the local chiefs for 1650 pounds.


Upon their return down the coast, the Noord stopped at Algoa Bay on the 15th of January. The ship was not anchored in the bay, as the crew believed they were far away from land. However, at 9.30pm on the 16th of January, the Noord struck Klippen Point, 16 miles west of Cape St Francis. As a result of the impact with the reef, the Noord sprung a leak. This forced the crew to leave the ship at low tide by walking over the reef to shore.

During the trip to shore, the survivors managed to carry all the food and ammunition. The 18 men then camped briefly on the beach and eventually decided to walk overland to the Cape Colony.

Once on their journey back to the Cape, the group quickly fell apart. On 27 March 1690 the mate and 3 companions arrived in Cape Town. Later more of the crew members were guided back by friendly locals. The sick skipper was left behind with his son, though they eventually reached the Cape together. Most of the crew, however, seem to have died or been killed by local groups along the way.

An unfortunate passenger, Jan Claasz Ruyver, who had been stranded with the loss of the Stavenisse was stranded again when the Noord wrecked.

MasterPieter Jansz Timmerman
People on board15
Length64 feet (19.5 m)
Width16.4 feet (5 m)
Tonnage90 ton (45 last)


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