The Cap Ferret (not to be confused with Saint Jean Cap Ferrat on the Mediterranean) is a piece of land in the South West of France that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the bay of Arcachon. Nature is wild here. There is space. Sand dunes stretch into the ocean. Winds are strong. Waves throw you around like a washing machine of uncommon proportions.
People living year-round on the Cape are used to rough weather conditions. Many of them work in oyster-farming, a real family business that has been passed on from generation to generation since Napoleon III promoted the creation of “Imperial Oyster Parcs” in the bay of Arcachon in 1849. It’s a tough business. Physically demanding. It teaches humility, patience and resilience. The process of growing an oyster contains over 50 steps. Mistakes are unforgiving. Life is governed by the tide. Ebb and flood. What nature gives, it can take back.
June is still off-season here. It’s quiet. Very quiet. Temperatures usually reach a level between 25°C and slightly above 30°C. Water temperature can be anything between 17°C and 20°C. Days are long. The sun sets around 22:20 and one can easily enjoy surfing and kite surfing with enough daylight until that time.
Spending some family time in this part of the world turned out to be an ideal way to disconnect from business matters. Checking the wind on Wisuki in the morning before walking through the pine forest to the beach for some kiting and regular surfing quickly became the new routine.
Whenever something was missing for lunch or dinner, the nearby shops would provide us with everything that was needed.
On the morning of my departure, the baker in the village of Le Canon told me that on days of clear skies, before opening his boutique at 6am, he likes to walk up the hill behind the town hall and watch the sun rise.
I asked him if he doesn’t get tired of doing that.
“Every sunrise is different.”
“Every sunrise has a beauty of its own.”