Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mossel Bay, South Africa (spelt Mosselbaai in Afrikaans) lies along the Indian Ocean, east of the Cape of Good Hope and west of Humansdorp . Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Diaz arrived here on February 3 1488, thus proving to his sponsors that Africa had a southern tip; making it theoretically possible to sail from Europe to India. Originally called by Diaz Aguada de Sào Bras ("Bay of St. Blaize "), the village/harbour was renamed Mossel Bay ("Bay of Mussels") in 1601 by Dutch navigator Paulus van Caerden , as he found the bay to be abundant with mussels.
- First meeting ever between inhabitants of Europe and Africa on Southern African soil (Diaz, 1488, encountering the ancient Khoi-San people)
- First trading between inhabitants of Europe and Africa on Southern African soil (Vasco da Gama, 1497, trading with the local Khoi-San tribe)
- First "post office" on Southern African soil (Pedro de Ataide 's 1500 posting of an important letter in a shoe under a large milkwood tree)
- First place of Christian worship and chapel on Southern African soil (Joao da Nova 's 1501 building of a small stone chapel dedicated to St. Blaize)
- Mossel Bay webpage – From tourist site www.gardenroute.net; contains concise historical information
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