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Report - All Aboard The S.S. Failboat - France, June 2011

johnsalomon

Germany is the "wurst"
Regular User
#1
I had to giggle at "the end of urbex".

This wasn't the end of urbex, but it was pretty damn epic. We nearly didn't make it; I blame the mud and the rocks and the storm and the gendarmes and the current and the mosquitoes and my parents - gee thanks, mom & dad. To these gentlemen's credit, they got there first, and took better pictures than I did. Oh well, beat us to it by a month, and the more, the merrier, right?

I spent a lot of time trying to decide what to call the little rubber boat we obtained for a king's ransom in Europe's vastly overpriced sporting goods stores. Candidates include

- HMS Hood
- Titanic
- S.S. Minnow

I'm still not sure, but I'm tending toward "Sparky the Wonder Boat", let me know what you think.

Right, we were talking about epic explores on asbestos-infested military sites. In this case, the far-off graveyard of a heavy anti-aircraft cruiser, commissioned in 1956 to protect aircraft carriers and blow stuff up, and its sad, rusting escort of destroyers, patrol boats, missile frigates, and even Soviet-built hydrofoils (yes!)

Rotting away in an estuary nestled in the picturesque French Atlantic coast, there was no way into this except by boat, and no way to get a boat into the water except through half a league of slippery rocky forest path plagued with mosquitoes and vile sticky black occasionally knee-deep slime. To make matters worse, after weeks of planning, we walked into the storm of the year, combined with a random patrol of naval gendarmes, unseasonably evil tides, and a safety rope we'd tied to a tree on the shore that turned out to be just about ten meters too short to get us to the first ship...

But get in we did, and despite not having nearly as much time as we wanted, we finally found an entrance at the top of many rusted ladders that gave us access to the bridge and the vast guts of the beast.

Don't let the light fool you - it was pitch black. And pitch black nights are the best time to go play sailor. Enjoy.

The view from the observation point:

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Deceptively nice weather.

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Look at the size of that thing.

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Rust.

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The helicopter deck.

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FIRE ZEE POM POM GUNS!

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Room with a view:

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Our ride (N.b. that's not even the big ship that you see, just one of the smaller frigates):

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More, as always, at kosmograd dot net.
 

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