Sunday 15 July 2012

Seaside Sunday: boats' graveyard

Camaret-Sur-Mer, on Brittany's Crozon Peninsula, was once a leading sardine-fishing port, before specialising in crayfish. The decline of its fishing industry has given the town one of its more melancholy attractions: a graveyard of abandoned fishing boats. They slowly disintegrate in front of two other important symbols of the town's past: the seventeenth century Vauban Tower, part of the region's maritime defences, and the chapel of Our Lady of Rocamadour. 

Le Rosier Fleuri, on the left, was built in 1948 but has been sat here since 1962. Alongside it is another crayfishing boat, La Salle, built in 1954 and abandoned in 1985. 

Maitena, above and below, caught crayfish and tuna. It was built in 1954 and worked until 1991. It is a Mauritanien: a boat specially adapted for fishing off the coast of Africa. They had refrigerated chambers as well as tanks for storing live catches; Camaret's particular speciality was the pink crayfish, but catches became scarce in the 1960s and the town's fleet declined.  

The boats were generally difficult to convert to other uses. They have therefore been left on the foreshore to decay - although an alternative view is that they have a new career as a tourist attraction. 

The 'graveyard' site was originally a shipyard, where boats had been built since 1892. At the turn of the century it was still expanding, but by the 1950s boats were being abandoned here although the yard did not close until 1969.

The town's last Mauritanien, the red-and-white Castel Dinn, took its place here in 1998.

Further reading (in French) on Camaret's fishing fleet here


Anonymous said...

There are places around the British coast too where you can find abandoned craft of various sorts and sizes.

It always seems odd to me that this appears to be tolerated and even regarded as "romantic" when other abandoned vehicles - lorries or cars, for example - would be regarded as an eyesore and as "pollution".

By the way, am I alone in finding the Captcha a d***ed nuisance? Is it really necessary? I have to try several until I can find one that I can actually decipher and this acts as a disincentive to leaving comments.

CarolineLD said...

I suppose the fact that these are wooden helps, but you're right, the difference in perception is interesting. The same is true of buildings - some, even industrial ones, are seen as romantic ruins and others as eyesores.

I can't do anything about the captcha as it's a Blogger thing, but I do hate them too!

Candy Blackham said...

Really useful and interesting. I was in Brittany recently - loved it - and have linked to your post. Thank you