About this site

Piers and Lin du Pré bought their new Fleming 55 / 129, Play d'eau, in 2003.

She was berthed in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350 until she was sold in October 2021.

This site charts the thrilling adventures they had in her.

You can contact us here.

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Leg 25 – St Helier to Beaucette – 26 September 2013

It was still dark when we awoke
and we had to wait for the sill to open
click to enlarge

We didn’t want to go home.

Having spent three months and six days of cruising to new and exciting places, the explorer bug had set in. Yet, we both knew the time was right to be back home in peaceful Beaucette, Guernsey.

The three days in Jersey were a ball. With our friends Graham and Frances of Woolly Mammoth, we ate on Play d’eau the first evening (Piers head hurt the next morning), we ate at Shaun Rankin’s new Ormer restaurant the next evening (Piers head didn’t hurt the next morning), and we’d had lunch at the Royal Yacht Hotel, in the sun, on our last day.

Learned fact: Life revolves around eating and drinking, interrupted with elements of work.

The weather

There were bursts of bright sun when the cloud allowed it through
click to enlarge

A whispering easterly F1/2 was all the wind could muster whilst grey clouds were interspersed with short bursts of bright sunlight. You could smell the dampness in the air which reduced visibility to just over a mile. Yet it was warm enough for shorts and T-shirts.

Pinch points

St Helier marina’s sill time was the limiting factor, but if we left as soon as it opened our time on passage would allow us to motor straight into Beaucette without having to wait at St Peter Port or hang onto one of Beaucette’s visitor’s buoys.

The nav plan

The tide would be against us for the short time from St Helier until nearing Corbière, after which it would help by pushing us along.

The journey

We left St Helier’s marina as soon as we could
click to enlarge

We were awake well before the alarm went off, full of anticipation.

Once out of the harbour, we turned west, passed Noirmont and close to Corbière before turning NNW for Guernsey. With no wind, the sea was glassy flat calm, even in the Little Russel where we took the inner route from St Sampson to Beaucette where the current gave us extra 3kts.


Ricky, the marina manager, always likes Play d’eau to give a good blast on her Kahlenbergs when we enter of leave Beaucette. Today was to be no exception. Shortly before entering through the quarry walls, the Kahlenbergs let rip. The echoes seemed to reverberate around the old quarry for ages. Yes!

The tecky details

Back at our berth in Beaucette where even the pigeons were there to welcome us
click to enlarge

Departed St helier – 0731
Arrived Beaucette – 1105
Time on passage – 3hr 36min
Total planned distance – 30.2nm
Tide: Half way from springs to neaps
Longest leg 19.3nm from Corbière to east of St Peter Port

Tech issues – nil

Incidents – nil

Navigational info: The Little Russel can be avoided by taking the inside route from St Sampson to Beaucette which avoids the angry and sometimes tumultuous seas the Little Russell can throw up. But, it’s a route not to be attempted without local knowledge.

The end of our summer cruise

Well, we started cruising on 17 June, and finished on 25 September. The longest we’ve ever had together on holiday, let alone on the sea and in our boat.

It’s been brilliant. We’ve learned a great deal about each other, we’ve eaten well, we’ve enjoyed cooking, we’ve met some wonderful people, we’ve so enjoyed exploring and can’t wait until next year.

Now, do we go to the Baltic, or head back down to the west coast of France again to explore the areas we missed this time? Who knows? Maybe we’ll just exit Beaucette and make the decision then. North or south? That’ll be the question.

Piers and Lin
From the Pilot House of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

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

We passed close to Corbière lighthouse
click to enlarge

The sea was glassy calm
click to enlarge

5 comments to Leg 25 – St Helier to Beaucette – 26 September 2013

  • Diccon

    Second star to the right, and keep on going till the morning! (me quoting Captain Kirk in Star Trek IV quoting Peter Pan!)

  • Pip

    Glad to know that you’re back home safe and had a great time away. It’ll give you something to do in the winter months planning next summer’s exodus!

    • Good to hear from you! At the moment we’re rocking and rolling in the swell that’s coming in the marina’s entrance from a strong easterly wind. Makes walking through the boat feel as though one’s had a glass or two too many. Lots of love to you and Pete.

  • Hil

    What a glorious end to your glorious holiday.And welcome home to Guernsey.What a time.You will feel odd not exploring and moving on.It will be good to sit tight for a bit.J and B must be visiting you soon-that will be great fun! x x x

  • Robbie

    Thank you for sharing your cruise with us. The Baltic sounds exciting – it’s quite a distance! I can recommend St Petersburg if you can get there. (excluding croissants of course!).

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