The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Table Mountain

[WATCH] Vlogger Discovers Hidden Cave System and Possible Joshua Penny Hideout on Table Mountain

Michael Hawthorne

TABLE MOUNTAIN – Cape Town vlogger Adam Spires has made a thrilling discovery atop iconic Table Mountain – a hidden network of caves that could be the legendary hideout of escaped British Navy sailor Joshua Penny. Spires and his companion, Matt, set out on a treasure hunt using an old map marking the supposed location of a cave believed to have sheltered Penny for years after he went AWOL centuries ago.

Navigating Table Mountain

Guided by a historic map and armed with enthusiasm, Spires narrated his expedition for his followers: “Legend has it that he hid out in a cave which had an underground river… and if so, I’m wondering what we’re going to find inside that cave.”

Following the map, Spires and Matt trekked around the mountain. Just when excitement peaked, they found themselves at the cave entrance: “This has got to be it!” Spires announced.

Once inside, they found extraordinary relics that seemed to validate the tales of Joshua Penny and other historical figures: carvings dating back to as far back as 1741, the remains of dwellings likely built by runaway slaves, old bottles – including one sealed with an original lead stopper – and evidence of an underground river.

“I think it’s safe to say we have found the underground river,” exclaimed an elated Spires.

Who was Joshua Penny?

Joshua Penny was an American sailor who was impressed into the British Navy in the late 18th century. Impressment was the practice of forcibly taking men into naval service, and Penny found himself aboard a British ship headed for the Cape Colony in South Africa. In 1795, during the Battle of Muizenberg, Penny deserted the British and spent several years on the run. It’s believed he sought refuge in a cave system on or around Table Mountain, where he evaded capture with the help of runaway slaves. Later, in 1812, Penny was involved in a plot to attack British ships with a rudimentary torpedo in the United States and was sent to prison for his role in the scheme. His life story embodies the harsh realities of impressment and the resourcefulness of those seeking freedom.

Oasis of History Inside Table Mountain

It appears that Adam and Matt made a remarkable discovery on their climb: “I am 90% sure we found where Joshua Penny lived for a few years… this has to be the cave that Joshua Penny was talking about… so much history contained in these caves.”

Their expedition reveals more than Joshua Penny’s possible haven; it showcases the unexplored wonders of Table Mountain. In Spires’ own words, “South Africa, Cape Town specifically, is the gift that keeps on giving.” However, he cautions novice navigators, “Exploring these caves can be dangerous – I do this so you don’t have to!”

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