Cape of Good Hope

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The Cape of Good Hope (Afrikaans: Kaap die Goeie Hoop, Dutch: About this sound Kaap de Goede Hoop , Portuguese: Cabo da Boa Esperança) is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the southernmost point is Cape Agulhas, about 150 kilometres (90 mi) to the east-southeast.[citation needed] The Atlantic and Indian oceans meet at the point where the warm-water Agulhas current meets the cold-water Benguela current and turns back on itself – a point that fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point, about one kilometre east of the Cape of Good Hope.

When following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, however, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. Thus the first rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish direct trade relations with the Far East. Dias called the cape Cabo das Tormentas. "Cape of Tempests" was the original name of the "Cape of Good Hope." (source: Englishwoman In America 1848 by Sarah Mytton Maury p.33)

As one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has been of special significance to sailors for many years and is widely referred to by them simply as "the Cape."[1] It is a waypoint on the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia, and still followed by several offshore yacht races.

The term Cape of Good Hope is also used in three other ways:

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