Finistère means the ‘end of the earth’ in French. And when you stand on the granite peninsula of Pointe du Raz, lean horizontal into some great tempest, watch as breathtaking currents rip and drown everything in their path, it certainly feels like the end of the earth. But in fact the local Bretons call it the ‘beginning of the earth’. For them, everything started here.
Whenever I stand by the Atlantic Ocean, I stare across that vast expanse of sea, in the unsettling knowledge that the nearest land from here, is the coast of Newfoundland in Canada, some 3,500 Km west. I know some trawler men, and they talk of the storms and the seasickness, the dangerous currents and 3am starts. They respect the sea as no one else can, and I always try to imagine what it must feel like to head towards that distant horizon, a blank and empty space, to sail hundreds of kilometres from the safety of land, from home.