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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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The boats insured but…

Whilst transiting the rocky channel between Ile de Bréhat and the mainland on the leg between Tréguier and Paimpol, I was reminded of an incident on an MBM (the UK magazine Motor Boats Monthly) cruise in company in the late 1990s.

‘Where are you?’

We were on passage from Lézardrieux to Paimpol on a lovely clear, sunny day. It was flat calm. I’d been asked by Tom Gregory to lead three boats through this channel one of which was Ben and Doreen’s Sealine called Solent Seagull.

I’d briefed the skippers that we’d be travelling at 24kts in our Princess V39 and that if they stayed close and line astern, all would be well. ‘But don’t deviate,’ I’d added. ‘There are rocks both sides.’ As usual on MBM cruises, we’d all be Ch77 colloquially known as Tom’s channel.

Every so often I looked back to check. All three ducklings were in line. But suddenly Solent Seagull was missing.

‘Solent Seagull,’ I radioed. ‘This is Play d’eau. I can’t see you, where are you?’

‘My hat blew off,’ came Ben’s laconic response. ‘I’m going to rescue it.’

At this point I saw him way back and drifting close to the rocks on the north side of the channel.

‘Ben, you’re drifting onto the rocks. Get out of there.’ I said, somewhat urgently.

I shall remember Ben’s reply for ever. ‘It’s OK Piers,’ said Ben cheerily. ‘The boat’s insured, the hat isn’t.’

Happy days.

Piers and Lin
From the Memory Banks of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

P.S. Ben retrieved his hat – a baseball cap.

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