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Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman story

Legend has it that around the mid-17th century a Dutch vessel was trying to round the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa.  The seas there are notoriously treacherous and storms can make conditions even worse.  The captain of the ship was anxious to get home and tried to round the Cape in bad weather.  

Despite facing the desperate conditions, the captain would not turn back, cursing to the heavens that he would round the Cape "even if it took all of eternity."  He muttered that he would rather sail until doomsday than sit out the storm at anchor.  Angrily, he announced that even the Almighty couldn’t stop him. When a heavenly figure appeared on deck, he shot at it. The divine visitor then proclaimed that the ship would never again find rest, and whoever sees it would also be stricken by disaster. 

The Flying Dutchman has been seen by sailors in those waters for hundreds of years. Its appearance is considered a harbinger of doom.

One of the most famous sightings was first by a seaman then by Prince George in 1881. Prince George later became King George V.  The seaman who first sighted the Dutchman fell off from the topmast and died later in the same day.  Also in 1881 a Swedish merchantman passed in the path of the Flying Dutchman. Upon sighting the Dutchman the lookout fall from his post and died but not before saying he saw the Flying Dutchman. A second lookout was sent up the mast and he died two days later.

A few years later, an American ship whose name was Relentless was rounding the Cape of Good Hope.  After spotting the Flying Dutchman, the captain ordered the helmsman to head for the Dutchman so he could get a better look but the helmsman died at the wheel.  Later that night, three crewmen were washed away.  

In later years, the Flying Dutchman was encountered again.  

In 1911 the Orkney Belle came across it.  This ship, in 1914, was the first British ships sunk in the war. 

In 1939, over sixty people saw the Dutchman head toward the beach then disappear right before their eyes.  This took place in South Africa.  

In 1942, according to Admiral Karl Doenitz of the German Navy, U boats had logged sightings of the Flying Dutchman.  Also in 1942, the Flying Dutchman was sighted by HMS Jubilee. Nicholas Monsarrat, author of The Cruel Sea was on watch and signaled to the ship but received no reply.  He made a log book entry that a schooner of an unknown class was moving under full sail yet there was no wind.

In 1943 four people in Capetown saw the Dutchman disappear behind an island.  In 1959 the Staat Magelhaen had a ship appear in front of it on a collision course.  Just as the ships were about to collide, the FlyingDutchman disappeared.  A person was visible at the wheel. The man at the wheel is said to be her captain Van Decken serving his sentence of damnation.  During storms the Cape lighthouse often reported seeing The Flying Dutchman.

A movie was made about the Flying Dutchman which stared James Mason and Ava Gardner and it was very popular at the time.  There is also an opera by Richard Wagner about the Dutchman.

Here comes the Flying Dutchman,
Comes fast through the hissing spray,
And proceeding by the tempest he heads for Table Bay.
With bird-like speed he's borne along before the howling blast,
But he never can cast anchor there, for the Bay, alas, he's passed.

                                                                                                            - Traditional English Ballad

   
   

                                                                                                       
Like all of our pirate ship models, these Flying Dutchman pirate ship model features:
  • Scratch-built

  • Plank-on-frame construction (very important)

  • All parts are wooden or metal

  • Blackened metal cannons and wooden carriage.  All of the gun under the deck are "real" guns which are comprised of metal barrels and wooden carriages.  

  • Realistic old-looking thin sails

38"L x 28"T x 10"W, natural wood color    $1,900       S & H is $150   SOLD OUT

And please click on the blue wordings to check out our beautiful Black Pearl pirate ship, Jolly Roger pirate ship, and the Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge pirate ship model.