Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cap Frehel

On a clear night when I stand close to Corbiere a light can be seen, in the distance, flashing twice every 10 seconds.  It is the lighthouse on Cap Frehel, 30 nm south of Jersey.  It is located on possibly the most dramatic headland on the north Brittany coast and a superb sea kayaking destination.
On the headland there are two lighthouses, the main one built in 1950 replaced the original one which was built in 1685.  Approaching by road across an area of wild heathland is quite dramatic but nothing compares to kayaking around the base.  I have been fortunate enough to paddle in these waters several times in the last few years and I always find it awe inspiring.  The vertical cliffs, swift moving tidal streams and frequent westerly swell combine to create great sea kayaking.
So next time you are heading through northern France, possibly heading towards the better known waters of Ile de Brehat or Morbihan why not consider stopping off here for a days sea kayaking.  You are unlikely to be disappointed.
On this particular day we left from Erquy, to the south of Cap Frehel.  Lunch was on a secluded beach with Cap Frehel just poking above the reef.
It was a delightfully calm day as we approached the headland.  We were using the flood tide to assist our passage.
 The cliffs are 60 metres in height and almost everywhere vertical.  There are a number of caves along the western side in particular.
 Both lighthouses are visible, the tallest is the most recent and the one which is currently in use.
 Chris and Christian under the cliffs on the eastern side of Cap Frehel.  During spring and early summer there will be a considerable number and variety of seabirds on these cliffs.
The main light seen from the south.  At certain times it is possible to climb to the highest platform.  The views are well worth the effort.
Looking down the internal spiral staircase, lighthouses are surely one of the most beautiful of all buildings.
It was a quick return to St Malo for the return journey back to Jersey.  As the ferry pulled out from the port the sun was setting behind Cap Frehel several miles to the west.

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