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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.

This site will chart our ongoing adventures.

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Ambushed by the weather

Endless black clouds and high winds assail us

Own up – who turned our brilliant weather off?

The 6 weeks following our departure from Audierne on 12th June have been utterly glorious. Sun cream by the gallon (well, not quite), calm seas and blue skies, all courtesy of a friendly Azores high pressure system spreading its wings over Play d’eau. It was perfect. …

Continue reading Ambushed by the weather

Leg 14 (2015) – St Martin de Ré to Les Sables d’Olonne

The small town is a maze of alleyways adorned with Hollyhocks

John and Beryl’s fortnight of cruising on Play d’eau had come to an end.

Amidst tears, damp handkerchiefs and endless wavings, the taxi drove slowly down the road, over the roundabout and on to La Rochelle’s airport.

We stood a while, looking, and hoping beyond hope that the taxi would turn around and come back. …

Continue reading Leg 14 (2015) – St Martin de Ré to Les Sables d’Olonne

Leg 13 (2015) – La Rochelle to St Martin de Ré

We anchoed in 3m of water by this glorious bay

I was in the middle of a lovely dream when the alarm rudely intruded and woke me.

We had an hour before we needed to be hovering outside the 0645 lock, ready to exit the Les Chalutiers basin. Not a problem. Today, the destination was St Martin de Ré. …

Continue reading Leg 13 (2015) – La Rochelle to St Martin de Ré

What on earth is it?

An alien spacecraft disguised as a boat?

En route to La Rochelle the other day, we saw an extremely fast and strange shaped catamaran in the distance.

We didn’t have time to target it on radar – it seemed to disappear as fast as it came. Was it a spaceship or have I been watching too much Star Treck? …

Continue reading What on earth is it?

Leg 12 (2015) – St Denis d’Oléron to La Rochelle

Staging for Pop Concert Énorm in St Denis

As the staging for a ‘Grand Groupe Pop Orchestre’ was being assembled, a large multi-coloured van was prowling around with its public address system booming to one and all that a ‘Pop Concert Énorme’ would be held in the marina ‘Ce Soir’.

It was our cue to depart. …

Continue reading Leg 12 (2015) – St Denis d’Oléron to La Rochelle

Leg 11 (2015) – La Rochelle to St Denis d’Oléron

Yacht Joshua, the yacht that circumnavigated the world between 1966 and 1969

With a following wind, blue skies and an almost too hot sun, we cast off for the short 1½ hour trip to St Denis.

At a gentlemanly time of morning, we nosed our way between the many pontoons of the 5,000 berth Les Minimes marina and entered the fairway to meet the day’s challenge. …

Continue reading Leg 11 (2015) – La Rochelle to St Denis d’Oléron

Leg 10 (2105) – Rochefort to La Rochelle

The early ,morning sun chases the cloud away

We’d be unable to anchor out. The wind was forecast to rise significantly in the afternoon and stay strong overnight.

Our plan had been to leave peaceful Rochefort at HW when the lock gate opened and anchor overnight at the southern end of Île d’Aix before making passage the next day to the St Denis marina on the island of d’Oléron. …

Continue reading Leg 10 (2105) – Rochefort to La Rochelle

Leg 9 (2105) – La Rochelle to Rochefort

John and Beryl have joined us for a fortnight

Our dear friends, John and Beryl, have joined us after a nine year absence from cruising.

Flying into La Rochelle two days ago, we’ve already been having a ball; dinner at Safron (first there, last to leave), exploring the ancient town and climbing the recently restored tower that guards the entrance to the vieux port. …

Continue reading Leg 9 (2105) – La Rochelle to Rochefort

Letter from Port la Fôret

The patisserie was calorific cruelty

A short and delightful walk away is the boulangerie at La Fôret-Fouesnant. It’s a patisserie and chocolaterie as well, and has the most mouth watering and calorifically impressive displays imaginable.

One fine morning I arrived at 10am and asked for, ‘Trois croissants, s’il vous plaît.’ The young mademoiselle politely told me they were sold out and that in any case …

Continue reading Letter from Port la Fôret

Golden Arrow – International Rescue

Brian George of Golden Arrow (International Rescue department)

The last thing we needed was for the seal to blow under 1,500psi and spray litres and litres of fluid into the engine room creating a highly flammable if not explosive oil mist.

The hydraulic leak from the port stabiliser ram had been sufficient for me to isolate it from use, leaving the starboard fin to do all the work …

Continue reading Golden Arrow – International Rescue