The Étang de Thau or Bassin de Thau is the largest of a string of étangs (lakes or lagoons) that stretch along the Languedoc-Roussillon, French coast from the Rhône River to the foothills of the Pyrenees which form the border to Spain.
It is the second largest lake in France, being about 21 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide, with an area of 7,012 hectares. The average depth is 4.5 metres, but in the central navigation channel it can be 10 metres deep. Near Bouzigues there is a 100 metre diameter depression of 30 metres known as the 'Fosse de la Vise' and which is the source of a hot spring that feeds the spa in Balaruc.
Until relatively recently the étangs from Marseillan to the Rhône were a continuous stretch of inland waterway. Early settlers described this as 'une petite mer intérieure et tranquille' ('a small calm inland sea'). It provided access to, in particular, Marseillan - a fishing village that later became a trading centre.
Now linked by the Canal du Rhône at Sète to the river Rhône and by the Canal du Midi to Bordeaux via Toulouse, the étang also has access to the Mediterranean at Sète. There is also a small canal 'le canal des Allemands' or the 'pisse-saume' that links the western end to the sea at Marseillan Plage. This latter canal is only suitable for small craft since both road and railway bridges restrict height.
To the east, between Balaruc and Sète, the borders of the lagoon are largely industrial. The south bank is formed by the coastal strip from Sète to Cap d'Agde. The northern side has villages dedicated to fishing and the production of shellfish. There are harbours in the towns of Marseillan, Mèze and Bouzigues, with smaller ports dedicated to shellfish on the northern shore.
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Budapestman (82620) 2008-08-06 1:11
Very pleasant and peaceful atmosphere with superb composition and perspective. I like the blue tints and the sailing, beautiful place, Very well done! Have a nice day
chinchini (31529) 2008-08-06 1:20
encore un joli cadrage dans lequel le bleu méridional prédomine. Belle PDC, un 2 mâts bien placé et une mer plate rendent cette image très sympathique au regard.
Sanderson-Brown (6) 2008-08-06 2:01
looks like your getting your 20000 points with this upload! Congrats! im still a little off that mark :P
The boat is well positioned and you captured the scene without the distortion of the background. i find haze like in this very hard to manage.
Giorgio (11279) 2008-08-06 3:03
- Très jolie composition bien cadrée et on se retrouve presque dans une monochromie en bleu, tant la mer est belle, bravo, c'est très réussi !
* J'étais dans le coin le mois de juin aussi !
jhm (131794) 2008-08-06 4:10
I must you two time congratulate, first for you 700th picture on TE and second for your twenty thousand points on TE this is absolutely a milestone on these lovely site.
You placed the boat excellent to the left, so we can see the lovely background beside the boat.
Nice composition and good presentation, TFS.
jlbrthnn (79791) 2008-08-06 5:04
Une belle vue très réussie sur cet immense étang. La lumière est bien exploitée. Les couleurs bleues dominantes sont agréables et font rèver.Le premier plan est bien vu. Du beau travail.
Gustaw (21670) 2008-08-06 8:13
Hi, my friend!
It is very nice composition. I like your vacation view. Good colours and light. I like all your nature. 19999 points! Wow! Tomorow 20000...
All the best to you.
gneufeld (15870) 2008-08-06 8:28
Nice ocean veiw here with the large sailing vessel entering the scene from the upper left. I like the colors and your presentation is very clear and sharp. Well done and TFS. Gerald
Nicou (111254) 2008-08-06 8:40
toutes mes félicitation pour ce 700ème post, et il est vachement beau, quelle belle image marine, ce bâteau, ces couleurs, la beau bleu de la mer, un bien bel ensemble.
Bravo et amitié
UnTrained (0) 2008-08-06 9:37
those lakes with salty water are really large. I know them as places for sailors and any other water sports. Well composed view with a wonderful water surface.
Lieben Gruss, Ulf
dareco (17134) 2008-08-06 11:00
Such a beautiful shade of blue! And the red is a beautiful contrast. This has excellent detail and is very nicely framed. TFS and have a happy day!
Fis2 (79758) 2008-08-06 13:07
Your photo is nicely. I like the composition. The boat add savor of photo.
saxo042 (35788) 2008-08-07 0:30
Wonderful blue colours of sea and sky! The boat is very well placed in your composition and the whole picture radiates warmth and peace. We spent some days at Sète some years ago and enjoyed the excellent oysters to be found here!
Greetings from Gothenburg
PS Congratulations to 20000!
gunbud (34066) 2008-08-07 19:25
Congratulations on your 700th posting and what a fine coastal image its is with lovely varying shades of blue to the sea and sky.
The venerable old sailing vessel is well seen against the mountain background.
meltemi (0) 2008-08-15 3:08
the colours of this image are well saturated and the gracious sailboat a very good focal point on the sea and the composition gives peaceful and attractive impression, Very well done.
All the best.