In maritime folklore, this ghost ship has left the maximum impact like no other by inspiring numerous paintings, films, books, opera, etc. Van der Decken, the captain, on its way towards East Indies, with sheer determination, tried to steer his ship through the adverse weather condition of the Cape of Good Hope but failed miserably even after vowing to drift until the doomsday.
Legend says that since then they have been cursed to sail the oceans for eternity.
According to some sources, 17th-century Dutch captain Bernard Fokke is the model for the captain of the ghost ship. Fokke was renowned for the speed of his trips from the Netherlands to Java and was suspected of being in league with the Devil.
The first version of the legend as a story was printed in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine for May 1821, which puts the scene as the Cape of Good Hope.
This story introduces the name Captain Hendrick Van der Decken for the captain and the motifs (elaborated by later writers) of letters addressed to people long dead being offered to other ships for delivery, but if accepted will bring misfortune; and the captain having sworn to round the Cape of Good Hope though it should take until the day of judgment.