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

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?


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)

6 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,

  • 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.
    Ex MY Kyra
    MY Sindur

  • Aymeric

    Dear Piers,
    I don’t know you but follow you by your articles in motor boat magazine. It is where i red your hard choice and started to look after you on internet. I am in the same situation with my father. I am 47 , he is 77. We started boating with a beneteau flyer 10 in 89 and in 97 we moved to a bayliner 3988 and still have now… my father loves his boat and enjoy it every seasons at his homeport Nieuwpoort in Belgium. I help him during the winter to wax, repair antifowling and so on but it is harder every year for him and he starts talking that one day he will have to stop… i imagine what you are going though and it must be a hard time… each time we are together we speak about holidays in the south coast, solent, Guernesey, Sark, brittany, holland we made for more than 30 years now… i fear the day that we will be together without a boat..
    Best wishes from belgium

    • Dear ‘Belgium’,

      Thank you for your comments which I really appreciate. I remember someone once saying that there are three types of people. Those who want nothing to do with the sea, those who must be able to see the sea, and those who must be on the sea.

      Selling Play d’eau has felt like a bereavement. Something I knew would eventually happen, but when it did, it hit with such a hammer blow. But as you say, the memories are there. Such glorious memories, many thankfully preserved on the playdeau.com website and in our log book, the finest of which were the cruises we made down the west coast of France.

      So again, thank you for you lovely comments. Best Christmas regards, Piers.

  • Aymeric

    One year without… so?

    Just reading an old mbmagazine and found an article about you so i wondered if something moved…
    For my part, my dad said this season will be the last one for us as he is now 79 and not more sure on his legs.
    The page will be hard to turn for him and for me, the boat was a link between us and a way to see each otherall the year and share time only both of us.
    We think rent one 2 weeks during the summer could be a good way out of this..
    we dont know each other but we both had our boat for 20 years and sold it without buying one… so how is life after ?
    Take care,

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