Last post I showed some of the World War 2 fortifications on Jersey. Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, sits close to the French Coast but has for centuries been loyal to the English crown. It is not surprising then that the coast has plenty of other, older defences.
The North coast is craggy and rugged but the bays of the South, East and West coasts were very accessible to invaders. During the Napoleonic wars, a series of towers was built around the island.
General Conway, Governor of the Island, planned for thirty towers to protect the coast from the threat of French invasions. La Rocco on St. Ouen’s Beach was the twenty third to be built, in 1795-6.
It makes an attractive landmark, standing sentinel over the five miles of sand that make St. Ouen’s Bay.
What a wonderful setting for a spot of sunset kite surfing!
But you have to admit that as a silhouette it looks a little like a submarine.
… For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things…
William Wordsworth, ‘Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey’ (1798), ll.88-102
While I was on Jersey last month I had a chance to watch kite surfers doing their thing. What an amazing sport.
I wonder what the eighteenth century builders of La Rocco tower would think if they could see this scene.
I got chatting to one of the surfers and he told me it’s really quite easy. Not sure I believed him. The lighthouse in the background is La Corbiere, which featured in a couple of my earlier posts.
One of the tricky things I discovered about shooting kite surfers is that you have to choose between wide shots to get the kite as well as the surfer or close ups to capture the jumps and rolls the surfers do. The trouble with the latter is that without the kite the shot can look a little weird. Needless to say, however, I gave it a good try and some closer shots will feature in a later post.