Our bark is captained today by Alana and Auvid. They don't seem to
worried. In fact they're sailing through the ancient Gulf of Pictons.
This was seawater a thousand years ago, but the monks of Maillezais built
these canals to conquer land from the sea. The canals were restored and
extended under Herni IV as a part of his "chicken in every pot" economic
development plan. The lands thus created were some of the richest in
Europe. They still are, but they are small parcels and in a world of
massive agricultural equipment and fields across plains with no fences, they
are no longer as profitable as they once were. With modern irrigation,
they immediate access to abundant water is no longer the treasure it once was
either. Today tourism, like the pilgrimages of the past, is a primary
source of income for the masters of these marshes.