Given time off for good behaviour ( !!!! ) I took myself off to visit St.
Nazaire for the day. It is about one and a half hours north of where I live.
To this day the Nazi submarine pens are sombre and intimidating but are
currently being put to better and happier uses. I presume they are just too
strong to be readily demolished. I have also included some detailed shots of
the tug “Croisic” which was conveniently moored in the inner harbour. She is
owned by the towing Company “Bourbon”, is 30.3m in length, has a bollard
pull of 53t, a maximum speed of 12 knots, has 2 Schottel drives and bow
thrusters. “Croisic” is a fishing port on the Brittany coast. There was
nobody about and so I could not ask for more information or a visit aboard.
The internal visit to the French submarine “L’ Espadon” (“Swordfish”) was
very interesting but, unfortunately, photography was prohibited (I did,
naughtily, take one!). She looked sad from outside the hull with many
buckled plates and floating in a dark (former Nazi) submarine pen with
filthy water and a lot of debris. She never saw hostile action but was the
first French submarine to surface through the ice at the North Pole. The
visit was well organised with a portable commentary (select your own
language) which one operated at the appropriate point. Particularly
fascinating audio extracts were the sounds of the hull creaking under
pressure; ships passing close by; whales and other sea creatures close at
The two memorials on the beach front caused me to stop and remember, with
Hope Mayhem Members enjoy the photographs.
Roger in France.