27-Jan-2019 -- Long time I had kept an eye on this confluence point. Four years ago when we visited 13 points in one day, we could have visited this confluence as well. However, at this time I believed that this confluence would be located in the ocean and therefore did not attempt it.
This confluence is France’s northernmost confluence point. But what really makes it special is its location in the intertidal zone. Only at low tide this point is on land and can be visited without a boat. Therefore, it is wise to study the tide forecast in Calais, e.g. at tide-forecast.com.
I made a crazy two-day trip from my home. Taking the 7:32 AM TGV on Saturday from Zurich and arriving via Paris at 3 PM in Dunkirk (32 km from the confluence point). I walked on foot to the 12th-century town Gravelines where I spent the night. On Sunday, I continued the hike to this confluence point. The weather had turned into a strong storm with rain. I nevertheless continued pushing myself forward towards this confluence. When I climbed over the dam to the beach, the storm – blowing from the sea - totally hit me.
The storm had blown the waters towards the land, so I had to wade through the water even though it was low tide. At one point, I was unsure whether to continue or stand the cold January ocean water. As I pushed further forward, the water got more and more shallow. At a distance of 600 m from the shore, I found the confluence on land! I could see the current water line with waves about 60 m from the confluence. The time of my visit was two hours before the minimum low tide. Therefore, I estimate that the confluence is almost in the middle between low- and high-tide and therefore lies on land about 50% of the time.
Taking pictures under such harsh conditions turned out to be challenging. My mobile phone got wet and began to shoot automatically hundreds of pictures. In addition, the loudspeakers were turned to maximum without my share. It looked like as if a ghost was controlling my mobile phone. I turned it off and on with the result that there was no SIM-card anymore – at least my phone informed me so.
When I finally had my documentation done, I quickly hiked to the train station in Calais Ville (14 km) to catch my train back to Paris and Zurich. In the train, I changed my wet clothes and celebrated the great success!
CP Visit Details:
- Minimal distance: 1 m
- Distance from the shore: 600 m
- Time at the CP: 10:15 AM
- Measured height: 6 m
- Position accuracy: 2 m
- Topography: flat (on a sandbank)
- Weather: overcast, storm, rain 5° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Stormy Tidel Confluence