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 7 (2015) – Pornichet to Les Sables d’Olonne

Play d’eau sets out for another lovely day of cruising
click to enlarge

It was the Festival of Music, ‘a speciality’ we were told. What we didn’t know was that it started late evening and ended early morning.

It’s official

We’re well and truly addicted. Yet another day of flat calm seas, blue skies and calm winds. Even dodging lobster pots is becoming fun – who can see the next one, first?


Two days ago, the question was whether our destination was to be Pornic or Pornichet. Two years ago it was Pornic and it has to be said that although the village was lovely we found the marina oppressive. Having never visited Pornichet before, Pornichet it was.

Approaching along the 2nm channel, Pornichet’s lovely, long and golden beach was to the north of us, equally as long as the channel. But sadly, immediately behind the beach is an equally long line of multi-floored high rise ‘modern’ apartments.

Dawn lights up the high rise apartments on Pornichet’s lovely beach
click to enlarge

What a marina! Coping with large boats, pontoons are large and the fingers are super long. Long enough for Play d’eau to have almost no overhang. Never known that before. We moored in ‘Oscar 13’, stern too, amongst other large and larger (but not quite as shiny) boats.

Walking to the Capitainerie, cars were parked everywhere. Range Rover after Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne after Porsche Cayenne, BMWs with no model numbers, their tyres seemingly wider than the cars themselves. Definitely no Sparkys.

Cafés line the long marina front rubbing shoulders with chandlers, marine engineering and bodywork specialists. Pornichet’s more a marina town than a marina.

‘But you have come at the right time,’ we were told. ‘It’s Music Festival week.’ I have to say we found it hard to exhibit as much excitement as the bearer of these tidings.

En route

After two bad nights, we woke early and cast off at 7am. Bad nights? The Music Festival started at 10pm in the marina cafés and ended around 2am. Thud, thud, thud from the over-amplified bass. Oh joy!

Looking behind us, we saw a huge moustache heading for us…
click to enlarge

But the passage was brilliant. Smooth as ever. So much so that Piers set to with continuing Play d’eau’s polishing regime.

(Message for Jason – since we left, Play d’eau’s had two full snow-foam washes, and we’ve almost finished a total polishing.)


‘Quai Garnier. Ici Play d’eau,’ I said in my best French accent on channel 09. ‘Play d’eau, this is Quai Garnier,’ said the Capitaine in perfect English. ‘We have a place for you on pontoon A. I am here with your two friends from Yacht Harvester to greet you.’

It can’t get much better than this, can it?

Met data

Pornichet: NE1/2, clear skies, good visibility
En route: Wind backed to NW3
Sea state: Calm, glassy flat to ruffled
Les Sables d’Olonne: W3/4, mainly due to local sea breeze. Clear skies, good vis.

Nav data

...the boat jumped our wake, and the skipper waved

…the boat jumped our wake, and the skipper waved
click to enlarge

Times are FST.

Departed Pornichet: 0700, 22 June 2015
Arrived Les Sables d’Olonne (Quay Garnier): 1451 (16 mins ahead of schedule – must plan better!)
Pinchpoints: None
Longest individual leg: 21.7nm
Time en route: 7hr 51min
Planned distance: 61.2nm

Tech issues: None

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

(click on the photos below to enlarge, and use the left/right arrows)

1 comment to Leg 7 (2015) – Pornichet to Les Sables d’Olonne

  • Hil

    Your addiction seems to be taking hold-HELP! But it does seem to be a rather glorious addiction! The marina is enormous. The music festival? You don’t seem to be very descriptive about it – Thank goodness! I love the photos. The moustachioed boat looks rather like an over-exuberant puppy. It is such a shame that so many beautiful places are spoilt by hideous buildings. But the blue and glassy sea…

    Lots of love Hil x x

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