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History has it that a Portuguese explorer, Manuel de Perestrelo who was given the task of mapping the coast in 1575, mentioned in his description of the coast and Bay, with a reference to Cape Serras (now Cape St Francis), “On the eastern side of the cape is a bay to which I gave the name Saint Francis.”

Many years later, in 1954, the land around this bay was bought by Leighton Hulett who moved from Zululand with his wife and children. Initially it was set up as a fishing camp where he and his family and friends enjoyed bathing and fishing in this isolated paradise. This area was proclaimed as Sea Vista and is today the world renowned St Francis Bay which boasts the intricate system of man-made canals along the edges of which spectacular homes have been built.

Four kilometres away, a number of fishing shacks/houses were built – some around the lighthouse point and on a farm belonging to John Booysen. This smaller village became known as Cape St Francis.

The lighthouse, called Cape St Francis Lighthouse or Seal Point Light house, was built in 1878  to warn ships of the dangerous reefs that stretch more than a kilometer out to the sea. It is the tallest masonry tower on the South African coast standing at a height of 27.75 m. The entire construction was achieved by the bringing of supplies via ox-wagon from Humansdorp, a trip that apparently took over 2 weeks with the most difficult part being crossing the Kromme River.
 It is still a working lighthouse and on misty days, when visibility is bad, the lighthouse booms out it’s fog-horn to warn passing ships of the coastline.

Many of the streets in Cape St Francis are named after ship wrecks that have taken place along this coast e.g. The Hope 1840, Queen of the West 1850,  Osprey 1853, Lady Heal 1859, Niagara 1870 , Lingenfjord 1938, Presideny Reitz 1947