Friday, November 09, 2018

Pêcherie sur pilotis

After our lunch on the port in La Rochelle, we decided to get out of Dodge and head north along the coast. I saw a place on the map, about fifteen kilometers north, where the road went right down to the water. I thought it would be nice to see the ocean and maybe walk on a beach. We saw the ocean, but the beach was mostly mud flats.

Pêcheries with their big square nets poised to be lowered into the water, but not until the tide comes back in.

We got off the main road toward a town called Esnandes. The road lead us through town and toward the beach. As we got closer, a cliff rose up on our left and a large marsh extended off to our right. At the waterfront, the road wound up to the top of the cliff where there was a parking lot and an view point.

The mud flats were beautiful, and we saw a lot of different shore birds feeding on them.

To our surprise, we could see a few pêcheries in the form of big wooden piers built out into the flats. Each had small cabin at the end and the mechanisms for lowering big square nets called carrelets into the water at high tide. I've seen these on television many times, but I think it's the first time I've seen them in person. They're pretty typical along the Atlantic coast from this point south toward Bordeaux.

La Rochelle and Esnandes are not in the Vendée department where our rental house was located. This is the Charente-Maritime, but the border between the two is very close.


  1. I've never seen a fishing contraption like that!

  2. mitch, I wouldn't know where to begin!

    judy, apparently there are a lot of them down the coast where the Gironde estuary meets the ocean.


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