Photographer's Note

The bisquines were the traditional fishing boats from the Mont Saint Michel Bay, end 19th - beginning 20th century. Hundreds of them would sail in the Bay, starting from the harbours of Granville (Normand side) and Cancale (Breton side).

The vast majority of bisquines were line-fishing craft while the larger ones were trawlers or draggers operating over the oyster banks of the bay. Those operations required an enormous amount of motive power, thus inordinately large sail areas.

Competition was harsh between Normand and Breton fishermen, and it would reveal in annual regattas, where the bisquine would compete for the glory of their owner and their home town. For these occasions, the masts were heightened to use even more sails.

Bisquines have all disappear with the development of motorization, and the evolution of fishing techniques. The last hulls were destroyed during WWII, for use of the wood. Two of them, however, have been rebuild recently, based on original plans : La Cancalaise in 1987, and La Granvillaise in 1990.

On the picture, you can see the white Granvillaise and the black Cancalaise, sailing in a friendly (but serious !) one-moment regatta, during the maritime festival at Douarnenez 2004. The good wind allows for the bisquines to show their speed and maniability. The top sails were taken down, but you can see the masts that have been heightened for the occasion.

PS : picture was taken with a 70-300 zoom at 300mm, with manual focus and no tripod, which can account for the lack of sharpness. If you want to play with the picture, you are welcome.

DiaAzul, Galeota, hispic, Yoyo34, cgrindahl has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Sophie Lo (SophieL) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1087 W: 215 N: 1255] (6042)
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