Port Racine

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The most puicturesque of La Hague's ports is without doubt Port Racine at Saint-Germain-des-Vaux, which is reputed to be the smallest port in France with an area of just 800 m2 and an entrance, between two jetties, just eleven metres wide.

Yesterday

Port Racine bears the name of one of the last pirates that prevailed under Napoleon, Captain François-Médard Racine (1774-1817).

In early 1813, he chose this place as a strategic refuge. He built a pier to protect his ships from bad weather and to avoid detection by enemy ships while being able to quickly launch his schooner the the “Embuscade” (the “Ambush”) to attack ships rounding Cape La Hague or sailing to the Channel Islands. After the death of our hero, the wooden defences of Port Racine, although long maintained by fishermen, gradually disintegrated. After several petitions a stone port was finally constructed between 1870 and 1886.

Today

Port Racine shelters the modest boats of local fishermen and fishing trip boats which are tied to ropes that run from one pier to another from a wooden bollard then passed through dike rings before all being tied onto the same post.

Port Racine is first and foremost a harbour for fishermen, with holidaymakers and pleasure craft coming along in summertime, when swimmers sunbathe on the rocks while walkers and hikers take a well-earned rest to contemplate the tiny port.