It’s been a busy week and we’re just Wednesday evening. I told you I would write something on Tuesday as soon as I get back from fishing with the fishermen in Cros de Cagnes, but I have been overwhelmed since then. It’s going to be like that for a couple weeks now, but I couldn’t resist writing this article after such a great experience.
As mentioned on Friday, I scheduled a meeting with the fishermen for Tuesday morning at 5:30am. As usual, I made sure all the equipment was ready the evening before. The weather forecast was just perfect, a little on the cold side and a bit of wind, but all in all it was pretty good when you think it’s still March.
It was completely dark when I drove there and the parking lot was kind of empty! I was surprised to see most fishermen were already on the shore talking together as if it was 2pm. These guys are amazing. They all came to me, shaking hands with smile and then they started to talk about all the activities they had over the week-end. Everybody’s waiting until the first ray of light hits the sky before sending the first boat to start the fishing procedure. They had 3 rounds that morning. I watched the first one from the shore, taking pictures as the sun prepared to set on a blue sky. It was beautiful. For the remaining two rounds, the old man on the boat I saw last Friday offered to take me on-board to take pictures from a different angle. I let you judged the result by taking a look at the pictures. But the big thing here is to be on the boat with these guys. They’re small boats actually, and 2 fisherman form a team on-board. I had a great time taking pictures, that goes without saying, but I especially enjoyed the conversations with the fisherman that invited me on his boat. I’ve always been like that, it’s natural for me and I have no merit: I love to hear the stories of people from previous generations, the hard workers, the « real » people. They are our heritage, wherever we are in the world, and most of them are so proud to tell stories from the past, how they lived, what they did, etc. I have a lot of respect for these people.
They still keep fishing these days but they don’t need it. They still do it because they have been doing it for decades and still enjoy the whole process. Values. Tradition.
The man on the boat wants to take me on-board again this summer, cook poutine donuts for me and tell me more stories from the past. How generous. I will certainly offer some good prints to him and tell people they should go to Cros the Cagnes and watch (even help!) the fishermen during the traditional fishing process. Get up early and pay them a visit. Everybody’s welcome. You can even request an early visit with a guide from the tourism office across the street, near the famous church in Cros de Cagnes.
Thanks again, Mr. Fishermen, and I hope we can soon navigate together again.
© Normand Primeau