French marinas trying to prohibit anchoring

SolentSnowgoose

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Twice over the last few weeks we have been approached by French marina staff and told that anchoring is now prohibited even in areas that are clearly marked with an anchor symbol.

The first occassion was in the Anse de Kersos which is just opposite the entrance to Concarneau. Early one morning we were approached by a marina launch which had specifically come out from the marina and across the river to tell us that anchoring was not allowed in the bay despite being clearly marked on charts and in pilots and almanacs as a "recommended" anchorage. The bay is largely taken over by local moorings but there is still plenty of space to anchor off the beach on the north side.

However the crew in the launch were very insistent and tried to explain that the ban on anchoring was to protect the flora and fauna and had been in place for several years. On a subsequent visit to the marina we took this up with the staff and there was significant "awkwardness" when we got the Bloc Marine out and they discovered the anchor symbol in the bay. The response was that "the port captain has told us to tell everyone they cannot anchor in this bay, so its prohibited ". Final result was a decent discount on a marina berth .. ( honours even for the day but there s potentially a bigger principle at stake here)

Worth noting that there has clearly been some changes in terms of jurisdiction over Anse de Kersos as the Macmillan's entry suggests that there may now be charges for anchoring in the bay... but no comment that it was now a complete no go area!

The second occassion was in Le Poldu ( Quimperle river) where a nice new marina has been built ( but mainly for small boats) and where they wanted more for a berth than many much better equipped marinas. Again we had exactly the same situation and embarrassment when the Bloc Marine was pulled out , flat inststance that we could not anchor even in a spot clearly marked and described as an anchorage, again as a compromise we were allowed to use a local mooring for free beacuse the staff could see the contradiction and were pretty nice about it.

So ..what is going on?

What does the "anchor" symbol on a chart or in an almanac really mean ( almanac says "recommended anchorage" ) and on what basis can local marinas simply prohibit achoring in a marked area.

If there is a prohibition on anchoring being enforced then how should this get communicated ...in both cases I asked to see any formal "notices to mariners" or any marked chart showing a prohibited achoring area ... guess what ..nothing was available.

If there really is a fully approved marine conservation area then fair enough (said via slightly gritted teeth given this history of such schemes in the UK ) but otherwise if this is a try on just to drive custom into the marinas and away from traditional quiet unspoiled anchorages then how should we respond ?

What are the basic rights regarding anchoring ? are they international ? and how are they applied in France??
 
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Perhaps the RYA are aware of such changes or not, might be worth asking them.
 

theoldsalt

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An anchor symbol on a chart may indicate that the area is suitable for anchoring. Perhaps we should no longer automatically assume anchoring is permitted.
 

Robin

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we regularly anchored in Anse De Kersos at least overnight whilst waiting for the crop of departing visitors to vacate a visitor berth in the marina. one time for 3 days in badweather because the marina was brimful with race boats Eventually after a wind shift and F8 predicted immininent we moved over to La Foret

We were once harassed by L'Aberwrac'h HM for anchoring 'in his marina' when we were upriver of the visitor moorings and well clear of all including the local ones After a friendly discussion we were told if we moved just 20 metres we would bfall outside of his jurisdiction, so move we did. initially he asked why we had anchored when there were plenty of 'free ' buoys and I said they may be unoccupied but they are not 'free' and they get the wash of everything passing by, not to mention are lumpy in wind over tide which is strong there, but not so where we were anchored. IT would be a shame if they closed off the little anchorages we used for years.:disgust:
 

SolentSnowgoose

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"TheOldSalt" may well be right but in the almanac the definition of the anchor symbol is a "recommended" anchorage. Lots of places are suitable to anchor in the right conditions but they don't get the "recommended" symbol .

If our charts and almanacs are recommending ancorages which are actually now ""prohibited" then we have a clear contradiction between the defined symbols and reality. This is not a subtle change of definition its a total reversal.

As I see it there are three options:
1) The marinas do have the authority to shut down local anchorages but have not bothered to inform anybody in which case they need a bit of a reminder of their responsibilites.
2) The charts and almanacs are not picking up changes made and properly communicated by the various French harbours and marinas ... which given that we pay a decent price for them means that they need more detailed research to ensure they are reliable and we don't pitch up at the end of a passage looking to anchor only to be turned back out to sea.
3) The French marinas are playing a bit fast and loose and need to be brought to book before the process goes too far and becomes accepted as the norm.

One thing we did discover in the Villane river was that if you anchor upstream of the first 3 kt speed limit sign at Roche Bernard then the harbour master will charge for you to hang on your own hook BUT if you are 20 yards down stream below the sign its not considered part of his marina so its free ...

What next ......based on what we have seen at Concarneau and Le Poldu how long before the marina claims ownership of the whole Villane river and anchoring becomes "prohibited".
 
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Robin

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I'm also reminde tht when we used to anchor upriver in l'aberwrac'h (Paluden?) the otherwise friendly centimes collector tried to tellus there was not enough depth for us in the pool by the bridge where we had stopped many times, but we could of course use one of his fore/aft mooring buoys, rafted two abreast with their tethered dumbell fenderbuoys between them for a modest enough sum. We were offered the use of showers at the local rowing club on the opposite bank too. I always thought he was really telling porkies to drum up business and as we liked to be there if the weather downriver and outside was really bad we let it go and obliged him. So there may be a trend, maybe not, or maybe just a little more aggressive local council type opportunism going on like it did in many places like Dartmouth and most notably Salcombe. there are still many places to anchor away from civilisation's greed like in les isles Glenans, one of my alltime favourites rather than Kersos which was more a shop and restock stop, or the truly beautiful Island anchorages of of Quiberon Bay, Houat, Hoedic and Belle Isle.
 

robertj

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I suppose the French are at last taking their lead from the money grabbers on the south coast.
Dartmouth and Salcombe do not charge for anchoring but have developed the river/harbour dues.
Falmouth and Truro HM charge for anchoring so clearly a defining line in legality?
Fowey has removed all anchorages, why?
I do hope the French fight this as with us we just give up our rights so easily.
 

SolentSnowgoose

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I am struggling a bit with the concept of "removing" anchorages.

I guess what this translates to is "PROHIBITING" anchoring

Doing this in a potential harbour of refuge for a small boat seems pretty dodgy
 

sailaboutvic

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Not having any knownleges of that place it hard for me to comment , but I wouldn't be moving just because Marina staff tells me I can't anchor there , I would be wanting to see documention to show that they have authorisation to move me on first .
In croatia last year three time we where proached by people in dingle who wanted payment for us to anchor , these where just locals who just trying in on , every time we question then and ask to see document they just left mumbling some thing in Croatian , no doubt not nice words ,
You find if you stand up to these people in the end they will just go away , unless they are in there rights .
 

Robin

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Not having any knownleges of that place it hard for me to comment , but I wouldn't be moving just because Marina staff tells me I can't anchor there , I would be wanting to see documention to show that they have authorisation to move me on first .
In croatia last year three time we where proached by people in dingle who wanted payment for us to anchor , these where just locals who just trying in on , every time we question then and ask to see document they just left mumbling some thing in Croatian , no doubt not nice words ,
You find if you stand up to these people in the end they will just go away , unless they are in there rights .

Anse de kersos mentioned by the OP is an area fairly full of local small boat moorings so the move may have been requested by the folk involved with those rather than anyone from Concarneau marina itself , where in fact I cannot remember ever seeing a marina launch in use and most of the time it was staffed it seemed by students on summer break jobs.
 

charles_reed

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The EC has a directive out for protected zones.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_area
In fact there has been a lot of discussion on these sites about the UK action to produce such DZs.

I suspect that rather than the marinas being authorised to tell people they have to use their facilities, the marina staff has been lumbered with the task of ensuring such DZs are observed.
 

RichardS

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Not having any knownleges of that place it hard for me to comment , but I wouldn't be moving just because Marina staff tells me I can't anchor there , I would be wanting to see documention to show that they have authorisation to move me on first .
In croatia last year three time we where proached by people in dingle who wanted payment for us to anchor , these where just locals who just trying in on , every time we question then and ask to see document they just left mumbling some thing in Croatian , no doubt not nice words ,
You find if you stand up to these people in the end they will just go away , unless they are in there rights .

I know what you mean Vic. At least the Croatian govenrnment keep their official mooring / chargeable anchoring website up to date:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewe...e=embed&ie=UTF8&mid=zERV9iCKQh1A.kTE8VUMAV5fk

We used the map twice this year, once to establish that we were liable to pay for anchoring although I didn't pay but just moved 100m out of the restricted area and the second time I showed the map on my tablet to the guy in the dinghy and suggested that if he was genuine he had better complain to the Government because his bay wasn't on the chart and no-one with an internet connection was going to believe him.

Richard
 

SolentSnowgoose

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Anse de kersos mentioned by the OP is an area fairly full of local small boat moorings so the move may have been requested by the folk involved with those rather than anyone from Concarneau marina itself , where in fact I cannot remember ever seeing a marina launch in use and most of the time it was staffed it seemed by students on summer break jobs.
 

SolentSnowgoose

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I can confirm that the launch was fully "labelled" with Port de Plaisance and when on a subsequent visit to the Marina the staff confirmed that they had been told by the "Port Captain" to tell anyone trying to anchor that it was prohibited.

The original crew of the launch told us it was now a "protected" zone for flora and fauna but the marina office staff made no mention of this and had no chart showing a protected area. Apparently the Port Captain had the documents but "he is on a break today and not available"

While the bay is now largely full of moorings there is plenty of space outside of the moorings to anchor.

I await to be proven wrong but it seems to me like a try on and have now spoken to a French yachtsman who is involved in updating the French almanac and he has a similar view.

So ...next steps ..... any advice welcome....
 

basic

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I can confirm that the launch was fully "labelled" with Port de Plaisance and when on a subsequent visit to the Marina the staff confirmed that they had been told by the "Port Captain" to tell anyone trying to anchor that it was prohibited.

The original crew of the launch told us it was now a "protected" zone for flora and fauna but the marina office staff made no mention of this and had no chart showing a protected area. Apparently the Port Captain had the documents but "he is on a break today and not available"

While the bay is now largely full of moorings there is plenty of space outside of the moorings to anchor.

I await to be proven wrong but it seems to me like a try on and have now spoken to a French yachtsman who is involved in updating the French almanac and he has a similar view.

So ...next steps ..... any advice welcome....
I was anchored there in company with another English yacht and a French boat 8 or 9 years ago and they tried this then. I pretended not to understand and my companion on the other yacht did the same. The guy in the rib was furious but moved on to the French yacht. The young guy gave him the finger and he motored off at high speed looking as though he was about to have a fit. Suggest everyone else does the same.
 

Robin

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There were always a lot of small (crab pot?) float markers in the little bays off the little beaches there when we stopped, maybe the local fishermen are staging a take over or have some storage pots in place. AS I said it was never a long term place for us, we preferred to be out in Glenans but Concarneau was a good place to restock at the supermarket behind the big fish dock and market zone and a couple of the restaurants in town ( not in La Ville Close) were good for a treat. we bought huge live langoustines from a fish market stall in the little covered market last time we were there and they were superb, went back for more next day but all were gone. I also remember there was a good butcher in that market that always had really good calves liver which I love, cut in thick slices seared/grilled lightly and still pink in the middle. Add some caramelised onion, garlic mash and gravy. truly yum.
 

Robin

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Another foible of the English language. We have one word, they have two: libre & gratuit.

That is understood by me too but the man chose to speak to me only in English not French and I replied in English saying they were not 'free' but that was not the point anyway, We preferred to be out of the strong current running through the visitor buoy area against a strong wind making boats on those visitor buoys ride over them, we had anchored in a quiet little corner and were lying nicely only to the wind. We were outside of the moorings area and doing quite well bass fishing too, until we moved, casting lures out over the nearby oyster beds.
 
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