Le Vieux Port (Old harbour)
As opposed to Le quartier ancien (Old city) and, this time, to le Nouveau port de La Pallice (ultramodern trade port of La Pallice), le Vieux Port is the area where traditional fishing and by open outcry market used to be.
It includes l'Avant-port, le Vieux port, le bassin à flot (the wet dock) and le Bassin des chalutiers (trawlers dock).
L'Avant-port is the water area before entering the Old Harbour. The entry is at the level of the Tour de la Chaîne and Tour Saint-Nicolas. Passed the towers, you enter the Old harbour, with at your right an entry to the wet dock. This latter is the basin where yachts berthed in as trawlers and small ships lay in Old harbour.
The Old harbour also includes impoundment basin that receives floods from Sèvre river. Walking late at night along the quays... near water and see either those towers all lit up either flickering lighthouses sending their signals.
Besides, the quays are so lively with those terraces, restaurants, pubs that I felt a bit "lost". In my conception, water has to be kept away from cities, from work. Especially sea means holidays for me. So it was quite strange to think that people work in this area, with sea water, yachts, boats neighbouring them.
Maybe because, whatever the country I live in, I've been always stuck in the inland, either in Tana (center of Madagascar) either in Brussels (located inland in Belgium). The only time I see the sea has been always for leisure, holidays.
But.. I enjoyed La Rochelle at the fullest...