Wednesday 2 January 2013

Caen Classis

Close by what remains of the medieval centre of Caen is the "vieux port"which dates back to the 16th century and is connected to the sea at Ouistreham some 15 kilometres away.

Today the vieux bassin is no longer a working port and is largely given over to tourism and as a marina, however down at the southern end an area has been made available for classic boats.

With my lack of French it was difficult to understand exactly, but from what I could tell the city authorities were supporting a society and owners of classic boats by offering the use of the old working quay in an effort to help preserve the local maritime tradition.

It was very much a working environment and low budget, this classic boat was clearly past restoration, but the cut through hull had been labelled so that visitors could identify the parts of the construction, framesn stringers, keelson etc.

The area is very pleasant with bars, restaurants and the local market attracting tourists, the society too had made and effort to make the area interesting.

Of course not all the exhibits were showcase standard, things are clearly operated along the lines of  a working museum and non the worse for that.

Several interesting craft were afloat, the one above showing the classic lines that are recognisable in traditional French inshore craft from the channel ports.

Larger and typical of the Brittany lobster boats with this characteristic raked stern, it's good to see these classic boats being cared and maintained in a semi working environment.

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