The Alluring Sea

Navigating the Sea is Simple Says the Seabird
Sail and Wind
Two Cormorants Ready to Catch Fish
A Passer-by

For a seabird it seems like a piece of cake to navigate the sea. For man this falls under power sports. Over the past two weeks my attention was drawn to the 2021 iQFoil Windsurfing European Championships held in Marseille. It requires quite a skill to ride the sea standing on a small board with attached sail and master the force of the wind and waves.

The Alluring Sea
A Wingsurfer Holding the Inflatable Wing by Both Hands
A Kitesurfer Being Pulled into the Sea by the Kite
A Dog Watches His Master Taking Off With Kite and Board
A Kitesurfer

As alluring is the sea at the Calanques. There is a route that winds down from the mountains to an isolated cove. It is a location that attracts people who prefer to swim in crystal clear seawater in the most enticing natural setting. I followed the call of the sea and started the hike earlier than usual. I was surely not alone. Hiking up in the Calanques brings you to quieter grounds. Hiking down brings you to more popular areas.

Two Hikers Following the Call of the Sea
Onward Downward – Hiking to the Sea
A Moment for a Breathtaking View
Looking Over the Wall Seeing the Isolated Cove

At a wall bordering the route, you get the first view of where you are heading to. Deep down people sit on small beaches and swim in blue and green waters. The first reaction is wanting to go there. On second thought, you realise how far deep down that is. The closer you get to the sea, the narrower the path becomes. Both sides are fenced off, to protect the vegetation, is stated on a sign. Or is it to prevent people from falling down?

The Rock Island From Which You Can Take a Plunge
Ice Cold ! They Laugh

Steeper down I went. I was surprised how many go down this path for just taking a dip in the sea. Healthy and adventurous people they are. Climbing up that lonely rock then jumping off it, for many it’s a normal challenge. One girl answered her smartphone before she took the plunge. Remaining ‘wired’ in a remote cove of the Calanques. It’s a wise thing to do.

Daring to Jump
Crystal Clear Waters at the Calanques

My expectations of a hard climb back was right. Before you reach the levelled concrete path you climb on uneven rocks. Such a day of intense activity is deeply rewarding. Within and without. Not afraid of the seashore either, the Magnolia Grandiflora trees have been ‘fruiting’. The fruits turn reddish, then brilliant red seeds appear and slip on the ground. The look of the fruit reminds me of the delicious custard apple, but these magnolia fruits are not edible though birds eat the red seeds.

Red Seeds Ready to Leave the Magnolia Grandiflora Fruit
A Duck in the Light
Autumn Roses

On the last day of the iQFoil Windsurfing European Championships I went to the coast to watch the final medal race. The race was held far off the coast making the surfers appear like tiny poles on the horizon. When it was over, they all returned to their base and began cleaning and packing their boards and sails. The French won the gold medals for both men and women. They will participate in the Olympics 2024 that will be held in Paris.

The End of the iQFoil European Championships at Marseille
Packing Board and Sail and Ready to Go Home
The Inviting Mediterranean Sea at Marseille

All eyes are now on the Cop26 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference UK 2021 held in Glasgow. The pressure from the public is growing for world leaders to get serious about fighting the climate crisis and implement the required tough measures. The Earth and Humanity need no words and promises but life saving actions.

Greta Thunberg started today an Emergency Appeal for Climate Action to World Leaders. You can join her Appeal by clicking here below on the Avaaz logo which takes you to the signing page.

All Photos Copyright © 2019-2021 August Timmermans – All Rights Reserved