Some have called the coast of Brittany the Riviera of the North. The many coves with white sandy beaches appear to be idyllic, but the Atlantic here in the northwest of France is rarely calm. The tidal range can be up to six meters; that is up to three times as high as on the North Sea coast.
A number of smaller islands can be found offshore – seals have discovered them as ideal places to bear their young. Under water, the sluggish harbour seals turn into fast and nimble swimmers. They are quite playful and attracted to the submarine camera. Grey seals, bigger than their cousins and with longer heads, are a bit more restrained – but sooner or later, curiosity wins. When mating seasons comes, hundreds of them gather on the shallow beaches, and the significantly bigger and heavier – they can weigh over 300 kilograms more – males start vying for their mates, it can be breathtaking. There is a reason that males are so bullnecked after all. They fight fiercely for their chosen and might receive several vicious bites to the neck in the process. There are roughly 100.000 grey seals living in the eastern Atlantic Ocean today, a sharp incline to yesteryear when they were hunted in many places.