Specifically, the ghost ship Flying Dutchman is seen by mariners near the Cape of Good Hope during storms.
The legends say that the Dutchman was trying to round the Cape in a heavy storm. Her captain, Van der Decken (or variants), swore an oath to the Devil himself that he would never give in, and that he would sail on until he rounded the headland, even if it took untll Judgment Day. He's still trying, 300 years later.
In Der fliegende Holländer, the opera by Richard Wagner, it is suggested that Van der Decken's curse can be lifted by the love of a good woman. Meeting one about a doomed ghost ship is, of course, problematic.
For a fascinating variant on the story, I recommend Tom Holt's Flying Dutch, the story of Captain Cornelius Vanderdecker, and how Richard Wagner got the story all wrong (among other things).
See also the Marie Celeste.