This is an awesome display of the power of the ocean – even better thanks to the added music. I came across this stunning video a while ago and never tire of it.
This is the Raz de Sein, the French equivalent of “Land’s End” in Brittany. The off-shore reefs and islands stretch 30 miles out to sea, and many travelling to/from Biscay to the English Channel are keen to avoid such a long detour.
However, passage of the Raz de Sein is not undertaken lightly. With wind (or waves) against the tide it is not an easy place. I experienced its 15-20ft overfalls on just such an occasion on an otherwise benign day. Timing is everything. Even on a calm day the tide races through the passage (here: La Vieille Lighthouse). It can be hypnotic.
It has its own place in Celtic mythology too. The ancient Celts believed that the dead travelled over the sea to distant lands; Pointe du Raz had significance as a point of departure. Also, according to local folk-lore the drowned are taken by boat at night from the Pointe du Raz to the Isle of Tevennec. Adjacent to the point is the Baie des Trépassés (Bay of the Dead), named for the shipwrecked bodies washed up there.
The history of Tevennec Lighthouse apparently does little to dispel such myths – it was thought to be haunted. Built in 1871 a series of keepers succumbed to madness or mysterious deaths, until in 1910 it was transformed into a permanently lit-by-gas light.
Spare a thought for “Les Ligneurs” – the fishermen who work the area.