The Arcachon Bay (Laca d’Arcaishon in ‘gascon’ language) is a lagoon with 2 to 4 meter tides located on the southwest coast of France between the ‘Silver Coast’ and the ‘Landes coasts’ in the region of Gironde. It is situated between the town of ‘La Teste-de-Buch’ in the South and Cap Ferret in the West and the Leyre River Delta in the East. The ‘silver coast’ stretching from the Gironde estuary to the Adour river is an offshore bar constituted by a dune ridge of 250 km, only disrupted by the Arcachon Bay.
Unlike the great lakes of the Landes area, the Arcachon Bay is widely open and linked to the Atlantic Ocean through a 3km channel (les passes). Therefore it forms a water area like an inland sea of 155 km² at high tide and 40km² at low tide. Oyster culture is practiced as well as fishing and leisure boating.
As a ship’s boat the pinnace is a light boat, propelled by oars or sails, carried aboard merchant and war vessels in the Age of Sail to serve as a tender. The pinnace was usually rowed, and could be rigged with a sail for use in favorable winds. A pinnace would ferry passengers and mail, communicate between vessels, scout to sound anchorages, convey water and provisions, or carry armed sailors for boarding expeditions. In modern parlance, pinnace has come to mean a boat associated with some kind of larger vessel, that doesn’t fit under the launch or lifeboat definitions.