Sea canyoning: a trendy activity
Canyoning is an activity that generally takes place in rivers, but why not try it out at sea, at the foot of steep cliffs? The idea came to Claude Le Guitton’s mind while he was walking along the splendid untamed rock faces overlooking the Bertheaume Cove. It was materialised when the manager of the centre for underwater activities, Rando Mer, explored the coasts which counts multiple rock faults, canyons, rocky headlands and even caves! ‘The rocky faults that are more eroded at their base by the sea can form beautiful caves. The relentless beating of the ocean waves, after flood and ebb, carves narrow corridors which are sometimes 50 m long,’ explains Claude Le Guitton, an explorer at heart who was so enthusiastic about what he discovered that he created up several paths adapted to the various levels of participants.
Explore multiple rock faults, canyons, rocky headlands and even caves
Taking advantage of a sunny weather window, I join the Rando Mer team, which consists of young adolescents who have opted for the 5-day package offered by the centre. After undertaking their first dive, exploring an underwater trail, swimming with seals and enjoying dolphin watching, the children are about to experience canyon trekking. The name of the activity itself evokes adventure and suffices to arouse the boys’ eagerness to try it out. It takes little time to reach the Bertheaume Cove from the beach of Treiz Hir. The tide is nearly completely low and the tide coefficient is relatively high. So much the better given that the more exposed the rocks are, the more time we have for exploration! Claude spots a site sheltered from the wind and slight swell, checks the current and chooses a mooring at optimal distance in order to allow swimmers to approach the site in all safety. After a comprehensive briefing session on safety rules and on the site, here we go for some canyon trekking!
A fun and educational activity
Equipped with neoprene wetsuits, hoods and soles, we follow the guide and the adventure begins: we traipse among the rocks, run through wavelets to cross the almost flooded small inlets taking care not to slip on seaweed, then we climb a rocky headland where the views of the marine park and of Molène are breathtaking. Our hands and feet easily find grips and we have no difficulty to climb to the top. Perched at 4 m high, one after the other, we jump into the crystal clear emerald water. There is plenty of laughter and splashing and the young explorers attempt some acrobatic figures. Everyone is in a playful mood!
Between caves and natural water slides
We continue on our way, eager to know what’s next. We are not disappointed at all as Claude swims towards the entrance to a canyon. Despite water temperature of 15 °C, we do not feel cold as we always remain active and we quickly warm up on the rocks, which absorb heat from the sun. The passage surrounded by high rocky cliffs and is a sort of natural water slide and the fun-filled experience it provides gets us laughing and giggling. The activity is fun and varied, but is also focused on discovering the marine habitat and raising awareness about its preservation. Our guide takes every opportunity to tell us the names and habits of the species living in the different habitats observed. We did not suspect the existence of such biodiversity in these unknown places and learn that the rocks emerging from the water are an ideal habitat for a variety of underwater fauna: fish, crustaceans, shells, anemones, echinoderms and sponges, among others. The boys will have so many things to tell their family and friends. In fact, two of them have brought along a disposable camera and are all too happy to capture these unforgettable moments. ‘It is even funnier than playing PlayStation; this is a real and live experience!’