My Travel Book - Brittany - 'Cap Fréhel' and Wave Shoaling


In Brittany, not very far from Les Tertres, there is a very beautiful place, called ‘Cap Fréhel’.

It is the biggest and highest headland in the area. Very impressive. It boasts two lighthouses (one from the XVIIth century and the new one which was built in 1950).
At night, we see its revolving beacon from our living-room picture windows and it feels very safe.

Whenever we can, we go boating there because it really is breathtaking. The cliffs are 70 meters high in the air and plunge 60 meters down into the sea. The water there is so clear that you see the cliff almost down to the bottom of the sea.

It also is a famous bird sanctuary.

It’s a lot of fun to go boating as close as we can to the cliff but it’s impossible to berth there. At some time, we have to make a decision... go back where we came from or round the cape.

This can be very tricky because the deep waters become quite choppy even on a very nice day. Of course, going round a cape means strong currents. But ‘Cap Fréhel’ is also surrounded by rocky shoals which leave a very narrow way to round it.

Either you round it quite far away from it or you have to get as close to the cliff as you can, which is an easy thing to do when the sea is calm because close to the cliff, the sea looks like a lake. It gets absolutely crazy when the sea is rough.

This summer, the sea was allright, even for me, Olive Oyl. So we went many times to ‘Cap Fréhel’. As I said, it is breathtaking.

One day, we went there during a spring tide with an impressive range.

It was a first but we did not regret the experience.

Because we witnessed some great  wave shoaling.

As usual, we were boating very close to the cliff because there are always birds to be spotted. Popeye loves boating. I love watching birds.

It was low tide time. If we stuck to the cliff, the depth there was still about 30 meters. If we moved away to the right, a mere 100 meters away, the sea was only five meters deep. And very quickly, it became worse. Rocks were emerging, some of them quite impressive. The sea was coming out in goose pimples. Seamen will know what I’m talking about...

We decided to stick to the cliff after all.

On our side, the sea was very calm. We were watching the cape when I kind of glimpsed a huge wave on our right. It flattened and disappeared before Popeye could see it.

A huge wave. This had to be a joke. The sea was as calm as it could be. The goose pimples were still there of course...

We turned the boat around, facing the open sea. Another big wave broke out. I was right. Out of nowhere, there were waves. The goose pimples were turning into waves but only at the edge of the shoal.

It was so amazing. Waves from nowhere breaking out on a very calm sea.

I had to take pictures. Enjoy.

A wave from nowhere?
Another one that didn't seem to bother the fishermen
This one was quite a surprise for those kids!
They decided to move away but...
Yes, the first boat disappeared completely behind the wave!

This really was an amazing experience. Very beautiful too.

Something that we'll still talk about on long winter evenings.

During that afternoon we spent boating along 'Cap Fréhel', I almost loved being at sea. Well, not almost. I did enjoy thoroughly being on a boat. 

Quite a feat for Olive Oyl!

*Good Luck, and Good Night*

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