The lock into the River Vilaine at Arzal in Southern Brittany will not operate on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout July because of low water levels.

Lock opening times, in English and French, are on the La Vilaine website here. or telephone 09 69 32 97. There is a waiting pontoon downstream of the lock with access ashore, but no water or power.

Yachtsman Peter Howell, who sails Sundowner, has contacted PBO to warn fellow readers of lock restrictions.

Peter, who lives in Plymouth but is currently residing at Port de La Roche Bernard, France said: ‘The Vilaine is very popular with visiting English yachtsmen. This year the lack of rainfall in the Vilaine catchment has resulted in lock restrictions at Arzal. Since June, the lock has been closed completely on Tuesdays and Wednedays. Visitors may well need to ring ahead to Arzal or LRB port offices to check.’

Cruising Association (CA) President, Judith Grimwade, who is currently sailing in France and is secretary of the CA’s Biscay section, said: ‘The closures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays will continue through July because of low water levels and to protect the fresh water in the Vilaine.’

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Judith added: ‘We were in the lock recently and the eclusier announced that closures would continue through July. I posted on the CA’s website regarding further closures – A booklet on cruising the Vilaine above the Redon is available in English and French. Copies were handed to boats in the lock and are also available from the Capitainerie in Arzal.

‘Holders of annual contracts in ports on the Vilaine were emailed with closure information.’