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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.

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Leg 14 – St Martin de Ré to Les Sables d’Olonne – 11 August 2013

Ian and Wendy on their Moody 422 bound for the Caribbean
click to enlarge

A UNESCO World Heritage site, St Martin is Île de Ré’s historic capital and ancient port surrounded by the citadel.

Small, old, full of history, buzzing with life. We cherished our time there.

You have to live the dream

Ian and Wendy’s Moody 422 yacht, Silver Slipper, was moored directly behind us. Having met in March 2012 and married in April 2013, they are gradually making their way to Las Palmas to take the ARC to the Caribbean.

‘We’ll cruise the hundreds of Caribbean islands until we feel it’s time to move on to the Pacific through the Panama Canal.

‘You have to live the dream – you must live the dream,’ emphasised Ian, ‘so we’ve sold everything to make it happen while we can.’

Watch the video of their departure from the UK bound initially for Guernsey, complete with their dog, Bumble.

Play d’eau makes a graceful stage exit

‘Living the dream’ captured as the sun rose behind us
click to enlarge

With clear skies, a calm wind and the temperature already in the mid-twenties, it would be another perfect day for Play d’eau.

Ten minutes before our 0800 ETD we still had two 53’ motor boats and three yachts rafted against us. With one foot clearance behind, we were hemmed in by two boats in front, our bows in the gap between them by six feet.

At ETD plus ten they’d all moved and we cast off. We sidled, went forward a few feet and finally swung Play d’eau’s stern out and towards the lock, gracefully reversing out of the marina as though making a stage exit after the final curtain call.

The nav plan

Only one pinch point today, and that was the opening time of the St Martin lock. Not a problem, and given the travel time to Les Sables d’Olonne was only some three hours we’d arrive before lunch when hopeully there’d still be a space for us at the Quai Garnier port.

The Journey

The radar screen erupted with yellow targets as we neared Les Sables d’Olonne (30 second trails in blue)
click to enlarge

A really gentle and calm crossing with the fun beginning in the last few miles when the radar erupted with a rash of yellow targets as the world appeared to be out on their boats. There were dozens and dozens, everywhere.

Arriving

As planned, there was space for us on pontoon A, but within an hour of mooring up (and Lin having hosed Play d’eau down) boats were being turned away.

The tecky details

Departed St Martin de Re – 0810
Arrived Les Sables d’Olonne – 1141
Total distance – 25.8nm
Longest leg – 17.5nm from Les Islattes NCM to Bourgenay SWM
Tech issues – nil

Piers and Lin
from the Nav Table of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

We overhung the boats in front by 6 feet and had five boats rafted against us
click to enlarge

Only 1 foot clearance between us and Silver Slipper
click to enlarge

2 comments to Leg 14 – St Martin de Ré to Les Sables d’Olonne – 11 August 2013

  • Hil

    That all sounded such fun, but I don’t know how on earth you manage to negotiate Playdeau in those incredibly restricted spaces. Lovely story about Ian and Wendy and how right – everyone should be able to follow their dreams if only they could see them and get disentangled from restrictions. Not easy. It’s children who are good at that and then school gradually destroys it. (You don’t need to publish all that!). Lots of love to you both, Hil x x

  • Oh Hil, you are so, so right. There’s so much talk about ‘follow the dream’ but often accompanied with ‘but what if?’. And that’s if we still have the ability to dream without the world’s fog obliterating the vision.

    I’ve often thought that William Henry Davies poem should be altered to,

    “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and dream and run to live it.”

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