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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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Quelle surprise

The Cornouaille Jazz Band with Piers
click to enlarge

‘Would you like the jazz band to play on Play d’eau?’ asked Alain. Without even a micro-second hesitation we replied, excitedly, ‘Brilliant!’

Two years ago

It was two years ago that we’d tried to set this up but it hadn’t been possible. The marina was too full take us for the planned date.

Tonight’s the night

But now it would happen. 5 musicians would take up residence on the aft cockpit.

  • Jean-Aubert on banjo and guitar
  • Jean-Francois on tenor saxophone and clarinet
  • Alain on trumpet
  • Georges on drums
  • Michel on bass guitar

and last but not least, Jean-Michel (who sports the most magnificent bushy beard) – the band’s resident vidoegrapher.

The only player who couldn’t make it was Marc who played contrabass, alto and soprano saxophone last Sunday.

We need to prepare

The band warms up on the aft cockpit
click to enlarge

Notes to self: Check ship’s stores and wine cellar.

Peroni lager and white wine into the fridge. Red wine out of the bilge where it’s kept cool. London Pride (real ale) at the ready. Pastis in store, but out of whiskey. Must buy some.

For refreshments, we agree a version of stuffed eggs and plenty of nibbles. No time for anything else.

A walk to the small Carrefort in La Fôret Fouesnant secures said stores. Now to cooking.

The evening

At 7pm, the band begin arriving. All squeeze onto the aft cockpit. First problem – Play d’eau mains supply is through UK sockets. Not French. Alain runs back to his yacht to secure the extension leads and adaptors.

With everyone plugged in the warm up starts. Banjo and tenor sax tune to an A and the others follow. All set?

And off they go. Play d’eau rocks, not so much to the music but to the wakes other boats make as they pass. I announce sick bags are available.

Complete success

Jean-Aubert, band leader and retired heart surgeon, played guitar and banjo
click to enlarge

After some 10 pieces, it’s time to relax and for the band to sample British real ale, Italian lager, Scotch whiskey, Gordon’s Gin, Waitrose orange squash, and Play d’eau ice from Guernsey water.

Lin brings out the stuffed eggs on melba toast which disappear as fast as she can refill the tray. We’d used 14 eggs….

As the band departs amongst fond farewells and threats of making Piers play clarinet next year, we are left with the most magnificent memories possible.

We wonder if a jazz band has ever played on a Fleming before?

Piers and Lin
from the Green Room of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

(click on the photos below to enlarge, and use the left/right arrows)

2 comments to Quelle surprise

  • Hil

    What a very special time! I bet everyone on nearby boats loved it too. Did the videographer film and record it? I would love to hear it one day. And were the ships stores and cellar completely depleted? The “stuffed eggs” look delicious…A very special time. I am not surprised they remembered you and wanted to see you and play to you again.

    Next port of call?

    Lots of love, Hil x x

  • Pip Flynn

    Glad everybody enjoyed themselves.
    If Piers does join in with his Clarinet, then it just needs Lin to join in with her flute to give a bit of class(ical) particularly as Play d’eau provided the “rock ‘n’ roll” style!
    P&Pxx

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