First thing I'm seeing upon opening the forum today. It's like opening my door and finding the seashore outside! Really, this feels like being there, tangy salt air and all, plus you totally caught the quality of seaside light.
The fact about "the Bay of Authie [being] the last totally natural bay of Europe, untouched by any human intervention" is amazing on two opposite counts: one, that it's the only one; and two, that it was allowed to remain untampered with in the last thousand years or so.
Can't get over the pictures. I'm going back to look some more.
What he said... plus I was remined of the tide (a reality a few miles from my doorstep) when walking along the river to Topsham, a delightful village on the river Exe. Said river is tidal and walking along it after the morning tide proved slippery!
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
Today's newspaper had a fascinating article about the seals of the bay of Authie where I photographed the seals. They have apparently been thriving to the dismay of local fisherpeople. The complete colony now consists of 620 seals along the départements of the Somme and the Pas de Calais, including an increase of 30% in the last three years. And yes, they eat lots and lots of fish. They have been a protected species since 1972 so nobody can touch them.
The fisherpeople know that they have lost because everybody except Norwegians and Canadians love baby seals and would never lay a finger on them. On top of that, seals have become the icon of Berck-sur-Mer almost as much as kites. Thousands of people come to see the seals, on that very same slippery outcrop where I went to see them.
The article explains that seals are opportunists and know exactly how to chew through fishnets and they absolutely love (expensive) sole above all else. They eat 100 tonnes of fish in the bay every year. Meanwhile, the fisherpeople are handicapped because the EU has imposed nets in that zone with a grid that lets herring slip through, which would have been another profitable fish to catch.
Even though the article tried its best to be fair, it was still clear that we should support the seals. And it made me want to go there some time just to see them without worrying about the kite festival.
The seals have unfortunately been in the news more and more in recent days, because somebody is killing them -- with bullets. Local hunters say that they are horrified and would never do such a thing, so the main suspects are local fishermen (and fisherwomen?). The seals consume large amounts of fish and might be considered responsible for decreased catches by the fishing boats.
A 10,000 euro reward has been offered for catching the culprit(s) because already about 4 or 5 seals have been shot.