Illegal moorings in Elba: watch out for “ducks”!

963932192marinadicampodallaereoCarlo, a reader of the Sailing Newspaper who has discovered, in spite of himself, the existence of illegally operated buoy moorings on Elba Island, specifically in the bay of Marina di Campo, writes to us. Read on and let us know if you, too, have had to turn away from the “ducks…”

“Dearest readers of the Sailing Newspaper,
I, in good season often hang out with my boat on Elba Island, starting from Punta Ala. When I say often, I really mean often, so much so that I think I know its shores and landings very well.

Last summer I happened more than once to go and anchor in the large and cozy bay of Marina di Campo. Once, during the highlight of the season and with the weather not looking good, the bay was very crowded. I see a place where I could have spun anchor and, with the maneuver almost completed, I am flanked by a motor lancet with an unlikely gentleman with a flashy headdress aboard: “Didn’t you see the duck?” he says to me rudely. “What duck?”, I reply. He points me to a yellow donut tied to a string with the head, precisely, of a duck. The kind you use for bathing children.

The man, in a somewhat villainous manner, tells me that that is “the lawyer’s place” and that I must go and moor somewhere else. I execute, not out of “entitlement,” but to avoid arguments and not spoil my evening. Thus, I discovered that in the large and beautiful bay of Marina di Campo, duckies, buoys, fishing floats, variously indicate moorings that are illegally managed by some locals who, thanks to friendships, derive a congruous economic benefit (tax-free) from them.

Now, I wonder why, at a time of economic crisis, the island’s municipalities have not thought of organizing, where possible, buoy camps along the lines of those the French have, for example, in Corsica. Marina di Campo, Golfo Stella, the large bay of Porto Azzurro could become perfect sources of income for the coastal municipalities, with also a benefit to the environment. I, in general,am in favor of buoy fields: no anchors plowing, no posidonia ripping, no stress. You arrive, hook up and, for a modest cost, sleep soundly even in high winds. Plus the administrations benefit their exhausted finances by also giving jobs to young people who, as in France, help you hook the buoy, come to demand payment, if you want they take you ashore. Why is it not done? Too simple?

Thank you and greetings,
Charles of Renzo.”



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