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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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What did we do in Rochefort?

Before and After – Lin did a good job
click, if you really want to, to enlarge

What did we do in Rochefort?

Lin cut my hair!

I needed a haircut. Lin said, rather too eagerly, ‘I’ll do it.’ This would be a first in the 47 years since we started going out together. I said, ‘no.’ She said, ‘think of the savings.’ I said, ‘no.’ She said, ‘I did all our boy’s haircuts until they were 11.’ I said, ‘no’. Lin said, ‘trust me, I know what I’m doing.’ I said, ‘no,’ my voice showing annoyance at her persistence. Lin paused and said, ‘think of the wine you could buy with the savings.’ I said ‘Deal.’

Being old age pensioners, that was an acceptable compromise.

Lin said, ‘and now think how much you could have saved over the years.’ I didn’t respond.

The suspended gonloda of Rochefort’s Transbordeur travelling at 3m above the river’s surface
click to enlarge

Transbordeur

I walked the 6 mile round trip to the Rochefort Transbordeur, a 113 year old beam and suspended gondola arrangement for linking the road across the river Charentes. Amazing and wonderful and still working like a dream, although a bridge has now been constructed next to it for the bulk of the traffic.

Dinner out

Plagiarising a term from ‘Spy Games’, we had ‘dinner out’ at Café Cap Nell opposite the marina the day we arrived in Rochefort. The highlight for Lin was a salmon fillet, perfectly cooked, just off-rare in the middle. Succulent, juicy and non-fibrous. Mmmm.

For me, it was the goat’s cheese first course which had been made into a mousse with mascarpone and served on a thin bed of almost caramelised pears. Heavenly.

Café Cap Nell at Rochefort marina (left of centre)
click to enlarge

Yacht Raksha

We’d met Peter and Stefanie from Yacht Raksha in La Rochelle, so when they pulled in Rochefort we found ourselves having a couple of great evenings with them, eating and drinking too much, again – is there a pattern developing?

Peter and Stefanie are retiring, moving from the UK and looking to buy a house in the Dordogne, or Dordogne-shire, Britville, as it’s apparently becoming known.

Hermione and La Corderie Royale

As well as seeing the Hermione, we toured La Corderie Royale (the Royal Ropery), a long and narrow building created for making 300m ropes of every conceivable type and weave for vessels created at the Rochefort dockyard.

La Corderie Royale
click to enlarge

We borrowed a set of those ‘listen to it in English’ machines and heard the story from its royal concept to its destruction by fire, to its being rebuilt as a museum. Ropework demonstrations completed the tour. Really interesting.

Since it’s built on a marsh, its late 1700s foundations were made of a cris-cross of oaks at a depth of 1.5m. When it was rebuilt as a museum, the foundations were checked and found to be unmoved and perfect.

Splice the eyes

Lin attacked our 100m drum of new 16 strand octoplait, created two new warps, and spliced an eye into each. Not only are they perfect, but they attracted much comment from our neighbours, such as, ‘Can you do mine, next?’

I thought Lin would have jumped at this having been on about savings and old-age pensioners, but alas, she didn’t. Should I have mentioned how much wine we could have bought with the proceeds?

Lin spliced eyes into 16 strand multiplait
click to enlarge

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

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

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