Readers of all ages will sail the high seas to the end of the 18th century, the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere. When a ship hits a bank of sand near the Cape of Storms (Cape Town), all spectators on land fear for the lives of those on board for the waters are frigid and currents strong.
The dairy farmer Wolraad Woltemade just arrived on his horse Vonk, Flame, to bring food supplies to his son, a soldier stationed in the area. He takes pity of the sailors trying to save themselves and jumps the icy water on his horse to help drag to shore the strong swimmers who made it this far.
“The waves, like branches;
Grabbing and pulling.
The wind, like fingers;
Tossing and turning.”
Seven times he does it, the eight’s time proving fatal as man, horse and five swimmer holding onto his long tail are pulled under the cold, frothy waves never to be seen again.
This book is based on a true story of utmost bravery of Wolraad Woltemade, a Cape Dutch dairy farmer who lived during the 18th century. He gave his life rescuing sailors from the wreck of the ship De Jonge Thomas anchored in Table Bay, South Africa, on 1 June 1773
Of the 191 souls on board, only 53 survived and of these 14 were saved by Woltemade.
"Vonk" (Afrikaans/Dutch for "Spark") is the name attributed to Wolraad Woltemade’s horse in a statue created by Mitford-Barbeton to commemorate the tragic event.
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