The alternative name in 1850, for Mossel Bay. It was the first place that European's landed, that was, Bartholomew Diaz and his crew, on 3 February 1488. Here they found a spring with which, to replenish their water supplies! Diaz had been appointed to search for a trading route to India, by King John II of Portugal. Without realizing it he had actually rounded the Cape of Good Hope. Dias' excursion ashore ended hastily though, because the locals chased him off the land, with a hail of stones. Mossel Bay's History can also be traced back more than 164, 000 years ago, according to archaeologist! The Coloured Community makes up 49% of the 59, 031 of the recorded Population, (according to a population census taken in 2011). The Outeniqua Mountains lie to the North. The name Mossel means “mussel” in the Dutch and Afrikaans languages. Prehistoric humans lived in caves at nearby Pinnacle Point more than 150,000 years ago. Khoekhoe herders occupied the territory more recently. Vasco da Gama, on his first voyage from Portugal to India, reached the Bay in November 1497 and named it Aguada de São Bras (“watering-place of Saint Blaise”). The Dutch Admiral, Paulus van Caerden gave the Bay its current name in 1601, probably because his sailors supplemented their rations with locally gathered mussels, hence the Afrikaans meaning! The present Town was founded by British Colonists in 1848 and was briefly called; Aliwal South.
Nomadic Khoisan people were the first inhabitants of the Mossel Bay Area. Caves in which the remains of several Khoisan Settlements have been found are located nearby, with the one located at the starting point of the walking Trail to the nearby Town of Dana Bay, now a National Monument. A Khoisan cultural Village is also located at the Cave, but has been criticized for being “commercial”. Other tribes also lived in the Area, including the Gouriquas. Certain traditional leaders have asked that the town be renamed “Gouriqua”. A more recent discovery at nearby Pinnacle Point is claimed to be the earliest evidence of human Seaside Settlement.
The first contact between Southern Africans and Europeans took place in Mossel Bay in 1488 between Dias and the Khoisan, on Santos Beach. The meeting was peaceful and both sides were willing to trade. Dias erected a cross, and called the Bay Aguada de São Brás, as they landed on the Feast Day, of Saint Blaise!
The first trading between the Inhabitants of Europe and Southern Africa was in 1497 between Vasco da Gama and the local Khoi-San tribe. In the following years, Portuguese sailors would use the Bay, where the Khoi-San offered them food, as a Halfway Station to the Far East. A small Stream was used for fresh water.
New Dictionary of South African Names by Peter E Raper