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.

You can contact us here.

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Recent Posts

The ensign is lowered

Soon after we left Beaucette, the sun peeked over the horizon to begin her ascent into the heavens

On parole from COVID

In late June 2021, we cast off from our berth in Beaucette marina, negotiated the narrow exit, turned north through the Doyle Passage and headed for the UK. Why? Guernsey’s local COVID restrictions had been sufficiently relaxed enabling us to visit our sons and their families after almost two years.

It felt as though we were on COVID parole and if we didn’t behave ourselves we’d be back in the naughty corner of lockdown.

Hmmm – what of our Boating future?

You know, driving in the UK is so different. It’s rush, rush, and rush some more, as if the sky’s about to fall down. As we drove to Devon to visit one of our sons and his family, we realised the distance was 25 times the length of Guernsey!

On the plus side, these distances gave Lin and I an unusual amount of time to talk. So we did.

Strangely, we found we were grateful to COVID. On the one hand, it had forced us into house arrest, but on the other, it allowed us to enjoy and work on our gorgeous gardens which were in their full summer gloriousness – something we wouldn’t be able to do if we were away on our usual two to three months’ cruising on Play d’eau. Conundrum?

A few moments later, the sun displayed all her wonderous glory

And then our children and grandchildren began asking if they could come over in the summer. Was Play d’eau about to become a stumbling block rather than an exciting escape?

Memories

We began reliving the many magnificent journeys we’d had on Play d’eau. The inland waterways of Holland; the UK’s south coast; the Isles of Scilly; the Channel Islands; the Normandy coast; Brittany and best of all, around the Brest peninsula and south past the Isles de Glenan and further south to La Rochelle and Rochefort. On our own, with family, with friends.

So many highlights, some of which we’ve written about in Play d’eau’s history of this website.

Making the decision

The more we talked, the more it began to dawn on us that we needed to start a new chapter in our book of life. After a great six weeks spread amongst all members our family, we returned to Guernsey where the conundrum became a fact and we made the decision, albeit agonising, to sell our beloved Play d’eau.

Lowering her ensign

The ensign is lowered

Her ensign is lowered

A month later, Piers cruised her back to Swanwick Marina, to leave her in the hands on David Miles of Fleming Yachts Europe Ltd until she found her new owner.

Piers crew, Richard Poat, insisted on taking the helm seat whether on the FB or in the PH. Richard had crewed on our maiden trip in 2003 and was now on her final trip, in effect bookending our Play d’eau history.

After 18 years of ownership, we arrived in Swanwick. That evening, it was with a really heavy heart that Richard and I lowered her Guernsey ensign, for the last time.

Piers and Lin
from the Pilot House of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55
(click on the photos below to enlarge)

3 comments to The ensign is lowered

  • Hil

    Dearest Piers, I just wept and wept. And, as ever, it is beautifully written. Gosh how sad, but absolutely the right and understandable decision. So painful.

    LOTS of love to you both, Hil xxx

  • Pip Flynn

    Sorry to hear that it’s an end of an era but an even more exciting chapter opening up for you, Lin, the kids and grandkids. Onward and upward – and keep up the hard work in your garden!!!
    Love and hugs to you both,
    P&Pxxxx

  • Dear Piers,
    A sad day for us all to read that Play d’eau is to be sold. I shall miss your beautifully written accounts of your travels. In fact you were a great inspiration and help, in us cruising Kyra, our Trader, via the Channel Islands, including Beaucette, down to La Rochelle, and back. I am sure the sale will be speedy, as she has clearly been well cared for.
    I wish you both well for the future.
    Chris
    Ex MY Kyra
    MY Sindur

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