About this site

Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

This site will chart our ongoing adventures.

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Double First Ltd wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Queen's Award for Enterprise

Double First winning the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise has provoked me to write a post after seven months of posting silence.

As the founder of Double First Ltd, I can’t tell you how proud I am of the staff’s achievement to have produced Engage, a School Management Information Software (MIS) which is respected worldwide by leading fee-paying schools. …

Continue reading Double First Ltd wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Gearbox and tacho – sorted

Gary checked the shims

Wanting to jump straight onto the gearbox technical issues quickly, I called TwinDisc’s UK distributors on Monday and explained the oil spill from the flywheel housing.

‘We’ll fly in first thing on Thursday and take the late evening flight back on Friday,’ said Paul Masey, Service Manager. What service. What a star. …

Continue reading Gearbox and tacho – sorted

Play d’eau’s holiday technical issues

The gearbox oil leak throws oil out of the flywheel housing

Play d’eau’s been brilliant and had very few engineering problems over the years. Maybe it’s a sign of her age (she’s 13 now), but we’ve had a few coming to the surface, recently.

So here’s a list of issues from our Tech Log which remain outstanding, together with ones we solved during the holiday …

Continue reading Play d’eau’s holiday technical issues

Leg 20 (2015) – Roscoff to Beaucette

A Mach 2 fly-past

Drat! Given a recurring gearbox problem and deteriorating weather forecasts, we made the decision to forgo our ‘jolly’ along the north Brittany coast and return straight to Beaucette.

After a day off and a lovely walk into Roscoff, we were ready to leave. …

Continue reading Leg 20 (2015) – Roscoff to Beaucette

Leg 19 (2015) – Camaret to l’Aber Wrac’h to Roscoff

Against the black clouds, the sunlight was breathtaking

Even though we’d had a somewhat tiresome passage yesterday, it had been unexpectedly rewarded by the second best dinner we’ve had whilst on holiday this year.

If ever there’s a reason to visit Camaret, it’s the Restaurant of the small Hotel Vauban. Having eaten and although tired, we felt back on form. …

Continue reading Leg 19 (2015) – Camaret to l’Aber Wrac’h to Roscoff

Leg 18 (2015) – Sainte Marine to Camaret

The day we left, the dawn sun was glowing through the milky cloud

We’ve never, ever been in such threatening seas.

Leaving Sainte Marine heading south, the wind was calm and the sea flat but soon we were heading into a slow, smooth swell which I have to say was rather enjoyable, even soothing. …

Continue reading Leg 18 (2015) – Sainte Marine to Camaret

Leg 17 (2015) – Lorient to Sainte Marine

An aerial pic showing the entrance to Lorient is guarded by the Citadel

The forecast knew it, we knew it, and it was – lumpy.

But well worth it to reach Sainte Marine from which we can judge the attack on the Finistère Peninsula. Camaret, L’Aber Wrac’h and Roscoff, here we come …

Continue reading Leg 17 (2015) – Lorient to Sainte Marine

Leg 16 (2015) – Pornichet to Lorient Port Louis

The july 2015 blue moon

Having had a dinner of Lin’s luscious mince (heavy on the onions, mushrooms and thick, shiny gravy) accompanied with sweet corn and peas and followed by cantaloupe melon with a touch of framboise liqueur and lime juice, we fell into bed soon after 8pm.

I was up at 0500. …

Continue reading Leg 16 (2015) – Pornichet to Lorient Port Louis

Leg 15 (2015) – Les Sables d’Olonne to Pornichet

We woke to find this cargo vessel on the other side of the marina. Was it capsized?

The decision was taken to make as much headway north as reasonably possible.

After nine days in Les Sables d’Olonne of wintry cold, windy and rainy days, we had an ETD of 0700. We knew the westerly swell would be a short and steep 1½m for the first two hours but it would gradually diminish as we passed between Île d’Yeu and the mainland, destination Pornichet. …

Continue reading Leg 15 (2015) – Les Sables d’Olonne to Pornichet

Quadcopter No2

Cleared for take-off

Having drowned our first Phantom Vision quadcopter in the most spectacular manner in Beaucette Marina a year ago (please don’t ask…) maybe you can understand my reticence to fly its replacement.

Having carried No2 in Play d’eau’s pilot house ever since but never having had the courage to fly it, it’s been hassling me saying, ‘Come on! I want to fly. Are you a pilot or not?’ …

Continue reading Quadcopter No2