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.

Where’s Play d’eau?

If the new owners have the AIS on, you can find where Play d'eau is right now.

Click here.

Zoom in and our position will be shown on a map.

Recent Posts

Leg 4 (2015) – Audierne to Port la Fôret

The final act of defiance – a dramatic downpour
click to enlarge

We knew we were in for a week of strong winds. That’s why we’d kept moving.

The NE F6/7 had been relentless, howling across Audierne ever since we arrived accompanied mostly by strong sunshine with the occasional spot of rain.

But the weather was no match for Play d’eau. She was becoming uneasy and wanting to move on with her holiday. Play d’eau won, of course.

The weather suddenly gave in and the wind dropped, yet in the same way as a teenager mumbles after being told off, the blue skies were replaced by grey cloud as a warm front moved overhead and a gentle rainfall began.

As the door slammed in the final show of defiance, a sudden heavy downpour was the final flourish of ‘I don’t care’ before leaving the stage to a grey sky and no wind as evening fell to night.

We’d leave tomorrow, mid-morning.

Hydraulic leaks

The blue oil spill from the port stabiliser ram
click to enlarge

Annoyingly, we’d found two hydraulic leaks associated with the port stabilser. The first was from a seal on the ram and the second was a weep on a gear oil feed pipe connection. Contacting Golden Arrow, the European distributor, we began discussing options with their stabiliser guru, Brian George. As far as continuing the cruise we could simply immobilise the port fin but continue using the starboard fin.

That would be fine provided there wasn’t a sudden increase in leakage so we needed to plan for Brian to attend Play d’eau in La Rochelle or sooner. It would be a day’s work.

Au revoir, Audierne

We awoke early. Although it was misty it was ‘good to go’. The wind was calm.

Piers bought the croissants, took some final photos, visited le propriétaire de la cave d’Audierne (from whom we’d bought an outstanding Armagnac and Alsace dessert wine), and the Harbour Monster to say, ‘Au Revoir’, and we cast off at 1115 just as the sun appeared.

En route

An unhappy house near the entrance to Port la Forét
click to enlarge

Completely uneventful. Calm seas, a warm sun and a gentle breeze from the SW helping us along.

Working with a single stabiliser fin was fine. Not as precise, but perfectly acceptable. Mind you, the sea was kind today.

Nav data

Times are FST.

Departed Audierne: 1115, 12 June 2015

Pinchpoints: Access over the sand bars at the entrances to Audierne and Port la Fôret
Arrived Port la Fôret: 1620
Time en route: 5hr 5min
Planned distance: 39nm

Tech issues:

  • With no return of the previously reported vibration, the Tech Log entry was altered to ‘resolved’
  • The oil leak from the port Trac stabiliser ram is concerning. Discussions are ongoing with the European agents, Golden Arrow

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

7 comments to Leg 4 (2015) – Audierne to Port la Fôret

  • Pip Flynn

    Hi to you both. Great to read about all your travels/experiences/adventures, etc.
    However, I have a quick question – are you on very favourable terms with the Audierne Harbour “Monster”??? Or is this a new technical term for them?

    • Hi Pippy, So good to hear from you and I love your comments. The Harbour Monster is a great guy. Speaks really good English and was so helpful to us when I had issues with emailing.

      Someone he used to work with for many years was Welsh, taught him his English (some really naughty words as well) and always referred to him as the Harbour Monster. I’m assured it was a term of endearment. Maybe that’s where the term Welsh Dragon came from?


  • Hi Both

    We always used to wait the tide at Audierne on the way back from the Brixham-Santander race. We could then carry the tide through the Raz and Channel du Four on passage to St Peter Port. A lovely place to stop. Sorry you are having trouble but we are sure you will continue to enjoy yourselves.

    Much love


    • Hi Mr and Mrs Woolly Mammoth.

      The stabiliser issues will, I’m sure, we sorted soon. Brian George of Golden Arrow is doing a great job of seeing when they attend Play d’eau soonest.

      We plan to stop by St Helier on our return (as usual). Any chance of meeting up and having a meal at Bohemia Chef’s table again?

      Big mammoth style hugs – Piers and Lin

  • Patrick Colahan

    I truly enjoy reading of your cruising adventures. Mechanical problems are a part of the game and will get sorted out one way or the other. From your photos and writing, I see why you enjoy that part of the world so much. Very beautiful.
    Here is wishing you and yours fair winds and calm seas.

  • Hi Both

    Bohemia sounds like a lovely idea – the get together is mandatory not just possible ! Let us know your dates and we’ll see what we can do. If we can’t book early enough get the chefs table we might have to enjoy the falsettos at the Atlantic – as long as you behave, although that is NOT mandatory !!

    Mammoth hugs back to you both – Love The Woollies xx

  • Hil

    Thank goodness for the calm seas after all that. I will be happy to hear that the oil leak has been mended-(?). That house has Two dusps! Dad would have loved it!

    Lots of love, Hil x x

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