© Spurensucher - 20.09.2020

Pirates nest Port Racine - Strip puller in the smallest port in France


Port Racine, the smallest port in France, has just 28 berths. And 800 square metres is basically nothing - considering that the location at the edge of a bay could give more. More space would easily have been available. Countless fishing grounds in front of the door and a correspondingly large number of fishing boats do not only line the northern tip of Normandy today. Nearby, a pleasure garden has been laid out in honour of the poet and chansonist Jacques Prévert, and there is plenty of entertainment.




If you look at the small "harbour" jewel, you will soon ask yourself the question whether this installation was originally really designed for the profane fish trade or even (as is claimed) for (miniature) pirate ships (because the length of such boats that can "park" there is extremely minimal). In contrast, the wall (quay) is extremely wide, massive and enormously elaborate. In order to prevent the boats from colliding with each other, they are also all attached to ropes that are tied to the quay walls. In my opinion, this does not look like a well thought-out solution for fishing or pirate boats/vessels.



So pirate ships are said to have passed the narrow entrance? Sounds strange...




Pulling strings for a safe berth. Right on schedule ...








Wide landing walls, narrow passageway. Everything doesn't quite fit together.




Endless walls - dikes or weirs?

The whole thing seems more like a cover story for something else. The mini harbour is lined to the west by an endlessly long fortification wall, which is called a "dike". One could also come to the conclusion here that this section was originally the remains of a huge fortress that was destroyed at some point. But probably this is just a wire idea of mine, because nobody here reports about it in detail.




Reichlich Mauerwerk ohne Funktion neben dem Miniaturhafen. Aufwändiger Schutz für das Hinterland vor den Gezeiten …








Right at the beginning of the 20th century, the fishermen of Saint-Germain-en-Vaux (official name of the town) petitioned for the extension of the port. The aim: the sailors wanted to finally go out to sea without having to worry about the tide. However, this wish has not been fulfilled to this day. The place was deliberately left untouched here, I believe.


Was the port already there before the buccaneer nest?


It is not by chance that the pirate François-Médard Racine established his quarters here at the beginning of the 19th century (so they say). The port named after him, which he is said to have built himself, was in a strategic position in relation to England and the Channel Islands. British merchants were in fact the preferred victims of the privateers. Anyone who digs longer will find evidence that moorings (whether of this type or otherwise) existed there as early as the beginning of the 16th century.


That's how big pirate ships were: Here a naval battle with barbarian privateers, by Lorenzo A. Castro, 1681 (illustration in the public domain). Does not really fit the size of the harbour.




What else has there been since then? Unexplained hundreds of meters of walls off the coast, some of them concave behind reefs, give me the idea to suspect more behind the site. There is no mention of them in any tourist guide. One should investigate further. There are surely still some things to question. I will stay on it.


The beginning of a very long section of the wall, which runs much further outside the picture.






Elaborate concave masonry structures without any recognisable function. Why did you take this trouble? In front and behind are rocks/reefs that would certainly have protected the hinterland sufficiently. There is no direct living space behind them anyway.