As I mentioned before, we have lately become aware of the occurrences of especially high tidal ranges in the Bay of St Brieuc. This month's, last Wednesday, presumably coinciding with the harvest moon, was one of the highest/lowest of the year, with a coefficient (look, I told you already, I don't have a clue what it means, OK?) of 115, which is not far short of the Bay of Fundy. It was to reach its highest point at about nine in the evening, and as it's still quite light at that time here, we took a blanket and a couple of bananas, left soup in a pan for later, and headed to Morieux to see it.
This is what the beach there usually looks like when we go for our walks on it:
I chose that one, from about eighteen months ago, because it had darling Molly in it, but here's another wider and longer shot:
And this is what it looked like when we arrived the other night:
As you can see, there were fishermen out on the rocks, which are usually part of the landscape rather than the seascape, taking advantage of fish brought in from greater depths. The following day, no doubt, the rocks and sands along the coast would be busy with pêcheurs a pied, searching for the delicate and delicious shrimps known here as bouquets, among other things. My classes of retirees were always much down in numbers the mornings after the grandes marées.
Many people were leaving already as we arrived a little after eight, I don't remember meeting with so many other vehicles on the steep road up from the shore, even so a good number of people were still there. There was a smidgen of sand still at that point, and a group of swimmers in the sunlit water.
'Is that a dog?' asked Tom, of one of the bobbing heads, and indeed, it was, a Newfoundland of course, doing his lifeguard patrol and circling his shoal of humans.
We reached out to touch his oily, sea-spangled coat as he passed us. 'Watch out for the shower!' said his owner.
We settled ourselves on the top of the concrete wall round the no-longer-existent beach,
and watched the sea advancing to our feet
(and sometimes felt it too when it got splashy).
The atmosphere was quite magical; we have been having days and days of glorious, hazy, September sunshine, Morieux faces west, toward St Brieuc then headland after headland up the peninsula all the way the the island of Bréhat; even without the tidal phenomenon the sunset would have been worth the trip. A long time ago when I was green in blogging and photography, a blogger I admire expressed the view that sunset photos were boring (which wasn't to say they thought sunsets themselves were, of course), and I rather took this on board and desisted from taking many. It's true that they can be a bit samey, of course, and orange light on waves looks pretty much the same anywhere, but I do think that watching a damn good sunset over the water takes some beating. As I said at the time, this is better than watching another repeat of Midsomer Murders.
And I wasn't loathe to snap away at it either, and have enjoyed looking at the pictures too, if only to remind myself of the specialness of the moment.
At about 8.45, it seemed to us that it would rise little higher. We turned to find the others had already gone, and we were the last remaining. We took up our blanket, walked to the top of the cliff took a final look and point of the camera, and went home to our soup. I feel so lucky to live somewhere where such experiences and such beauty can be enjoyed for the cost of a short car ride and the will to go and find them.
And indeed I took a few videos of it too, and these two are by way of an experiment, because I have found we have a video editor on the big computer, I never knew! So I can crop sections out of them and also shrink them so they don't take hours to upload. The first one - which if I had the know-how I would make into one of those non-stop gif things - is shrunk to about the size of a postcard but is still uploaded via Youtube, the second is reduced to very small 'suitable for e-mail' dimensions, so that if you try to view it full-screen it pixellates, but I was able to put it straight onto the blog. The visual quality doesn't actually matter, because it's only a grainy view of the seagulls roosting on the water, but one can hear Tom, who didn't know I was taking it, giving his verdict on the state of the tide, which I rather like. Indeed, the visual quality of any of these little videos is hardly great, as Bob Marley didn't quite say, my knees is my only tripod, but I'm rather enjoying taking them as little moving and audio snapshots of moments.
Off to the End-of-the-Earth again for a few days shortly, so probably no more posting for a little while. Bye for now.