About this site

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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Rubis, Channel Islands

I have always been fastidious in ensuring Play d’eau’s diesel comes from a known source. But is all diesel the same?

An emphatic no. It’s changed and continues to change as further laws are …

Continue reading Diesel

Oh no! to Elation

Out with the old, in with the new

‘We have a leak – a big leak,’ I shouted to Lin. I’d reached into the cabinet under the galley sink for a bottle of Fairy liquid (yes, I really was about to do the washing up), but all I felt was wet. A lot of very wet, wetness.

Quickly looking inside with a torch …

Continue reading Oh no! to Elation

Gearbox and tacho – sorted

Gary checked the shims

Wanting to jump straight onto the gearbox technical issues quickly, I called TwinDisc’s UK distributors on Monday and explained the oil spill from the flywheel housing.

‘We’ll fly in first thing on Thursday and take the late evening flight back on Friday,’ said Paul Masey, Service Manager. What service. What a star. …

Continue reading Gearbox and tacho – sorted

Play d’eau’s holiday technical issues

The gearbox oil leak throws oil out of the flywheel housing

Play d’eau’s been brilliant and had very few engineering problems over the years. Maybe it’s a sign of her age (she’s 13 now), but we’ve had a few coming to the surface, recently.

So here’s a list of issues from our Tech Log which remain outstanding, together with ones we solved during the holiday …

Continue reading Play d’eau’s holiday technical issues

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

An electrifying display

12v DC battery panel

Whether it’s volts, amps or watts, Play d’eau knows everything that’s happening with her electrics.

That’s apart from knowing the battery status of the batteries for the two generators, but far more importantly the state of the emergency back-up battery for her essential 12vDC nav equipment. …

Continue reading An electrifying display

Two clever mods

The hinged flap the covers the cooker extractor tube

Play d’eau’s had two clever modifications recently, and both have fully achieved their objective.

Lin and I had spent ages trying to track down stale cooking smells. The galley was spotlessly clean, the curtains and woodwork were cleaned, so where were those horrid old cooking smells coming from? …

Continue reading Two clever mods

Home at last

Capt Kim, taking well earned applause

Captain Kim Hollamby and Executive Officer Guy Nicholls cast off from Shamrock Quay, Southampton, at 2248 hrs on 28 December 2014 under a clear night sky.

The temperature was well below freezing, ice was on the decks, but inside the central heating was working perfectly. …

Continue reading Home at last

Launched and waiting

Launched, sea-trialled and waiting to come home

Play d’eau’s been launched and awaits a weather window to come home.

As Play d’eau gleams in the late afternoon light, she’s moored and floating free at her berth with sea-trials and pre-flight checks completed. …

Continue reading Launched and waiting

Launch delay

The chart for 0001 Tuesday 23 December 2014

Why can’t the weather behave and do as it’s told?

Although one of the fronts moved north, the other moved south and is hovering over the north coast of France with the English Channel sandwiched like jam in the middle with WSW F6 winds gusting F7 and rain. …

Continue reading Launch delay