Many bank-sides are shallow (the canal or river is not a trough, the side slope). Some others are rocky, or have rocks one cannot see just below the surface. Those that are neither one nor the other, can be both. Midi Canal bank-sides are delightful, mainly consisting of a tangled web of tree roots, and shallows. (They are actually easier than other canals). So while it might appear that one can stop and tie up anywhere, in practice this is not universally the case and where one can, a degree of caution is often called-for.
The accepted method for bank-side mooring (possibly for lunch) consists of gently setting the bow in, jumping off and setting a stake or (rond) anchor and then securing the stern – possibly letting it stay out where the depths are more congenial to rudder and prop. In spite of the photograph at the top of the page (of Hugh McKnight’s former boat “Avonbay” near Beziers), tying to trees is actually not allowed, especially where lines would cross towpaths and tracks. It is done, though.
A pasarelle (gangplank) is often useful – we made ours from a cheap single section aluminium ladder and 3 decking planks. At least 1/3rd the cost of a chandlery-bought one. And smarter.