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.

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Recent Posts

The highlights of our 2013 summer cruise

Play d’eau
about to wake up as dawn breaks over Paimpol
click to enlarge


We’ve just completed our longest cruise ever of three months and six days.

Departure from Beaucette was on June 17 in poor weather, but we returned to Beaucette yesterday in bright sunshine and flat seas. A great welcome home.

Was the cruise pre-planned? Not really, it was more a dream. Did it meet our expectations? No, it far exceeded them. Did we do and see everything we wanted? Yes, but even though we spent over three months exploring we know there’s still far more to explore along this beautiful coastline.

So is it the Baltic next year, or a return visit? Hmmm. Good question.

Play d’eau’s statistics for the summer cruise

Here are Play d’eau’s vital statistics for our summer cruise 2013 from Beaucette, Guernsey, to Rochefort in the Charente and back.

Total distance cruised 979.51 nm
Total passages 25
Longest passage Leg 2 at 105.4 nm
Longest consecutive days spent in a marina 14 days in La Rochelle ‘Les Chalutiers’
Most peaceful marina La Roche Bernard
Most nerve racking marina St Denis d’Oléron (multiple rafting without care)
Different marinas visited 22
Port engine hours used 120.08 hrs ***
Starboard engine hours used 120.6 hrs ***
Port generator engine hours used 57.4 hrs
Starboard generator engine hours used 56.5 hrs
Fuel capacity on leaving Beaucette 3880 ltrs *
Fuel consumed 2356 ltrs
Fuel consumption 1.89 nm/gallon **
Cost to refuel 64p/ltr
Average marina fees £39.90 per night
Least marina fees Paimpol
Most expensive marina fees Île d’Yeu (Port Joinville)
Best croissant Paimpol

* we left Beaucette with full fuel tanks and didn’t have to refuel until we returned.
** includes running the generators plus heating Play d’eau for the first 10 days of the cruise.
*** many times we cruised on just one engine.

Sunrise over the mouth of the river Charante
click to enlarge

  • Leg 1 – Beaucette to St Peter Port
  • Leg 2 – St Peter Port to L’Aber Wrac’h
  • Leg 3 – L’Aber Wrac’h to Camaret
  • Leg 4 – Camaret to Audierne
  • Leg 5 – Audierne to Port La Foret
  • Leg 6 – Port La Foret to Port Haliguen
  • Leg 7 – Port Haliguen to Vannes
  • Leg 8 – Vannes to Île d’Yeu
  • Leg 9 – Île d’Yeu to Les Sables D’Olonne
  • Leg 10 – Les Sables D’Olonne to La Rochelle
  • Leg 11 – La Rochelle to Rochefort
  • Leg 12 – Rochefort to St Denis d’Oléron
  • Leg 13 – St Denis to St Martin de Ré
  • Leg 14 – St Martin de Ré to Les Sables d’Olonne
  • Leg 15 – Les Sables d’Olonne to Pornic
  • Farmers’ markets were stacked with fresh foods
    click to enlarge

  • Leg 16 – Pornic to La Roche Bernard
  • Leg 17 – La Roche Bernard to Port Louis
  • Leg 18 – Port Louis to Sainte Marine
  • Leg 19 – Sainte Marine to Camaret
  • Leg 20 – Camaret to L’Aber Wrac’h
  • Leg 21 – L’Aber Wrac’h to Roscoff
  • Leg 22 – Roscoff to Tréguier
  • Leg 23 – Tréguier to Paimpol
  • Leg 24 – Paimpol to St Helier
  • Leg 25 – St Helier to Beaucette
The major challenge

Navigating the Charente river from Rochefort (Leg 12) with extreme mud banks either side in the pitch black night. Without the FLIR thermal imaging camera we could not have done this.

The pains

Was the inside of the croissant light, fresh and soft?
click to enlarge

In many cases, COLREGs appeared optional.

The two day sand storm in Les Sables D’Olonne caused when loading a coaster at the commercial quay half a mile away. The sand covered everything, both inside and out of Play d’eau. It took days to clean her.

What did we love?


Early morning dawns breaking over calm seas were a wonder to behold.

The evening sunshine – the light and the colours it creates are spectacular.

Navigating the still waters of the Rivre Vilaine at midnight in the dinghy. No cloud, just the stars and moon with their sparkling light in the heavens. No noise, no rush, just gentle, heavenly, ethereal.

Alain, the band’s Trumpeter emailed to say the group would like to perform on Play d’eau
click to enlarge

The warmth and friendships of the many people we met.

The love and respect the French have for their food, its provenance and freshness. Farmers’ markets are stacked with wonderful produce of myriad colours and aromas. Music to our taste buds.

Jazz on the bandstand.

The least expensive Brittany cider at €1.12 a bottle was the best, and some red wines at less than €1.50 a bottle were excellent ‘quaffing’ wines.

A summary?

Perhaps it’s easier to say we cannot précis the cruise. Perhaps it’s best we say our posts say it all, and just leave it at that.

Until next time, ‘Happy reading, au revoir, et bonne navigation.’

Piers and Lin
From the Memory Banks of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

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

2 comments to The highlights of our 2013 summer cruise

  • Hil

    I find all that extremely moving-clearly a wonderful and an unforgetable time-and exactly what you needed and deserved.From your writings I can imagine it all so vividly-thank you so very much for sharing it all-and don’t stop!x x x

  • John & Beryl

    Hi there, Piers & Lin.
    A belated “welcome home”, though not to dry land!
    It has been a joy to follow each stage of your cruise and to peruse the brilliant photos.
    It has also been wonderful to re-live our visits around North Brittany – such great memories…
    The details of your cruising have been fascinating, from the navigation of narrow rocky channels or muddy passages to the people you’ve met, the desriptions of mouth-watering food and its preparation, even the Captain vacuuming with your very pink machine(!).
    How beneficial your thermal imaging camera proved to be, too.
    And the “Man Overboard” saga could have ended so differently – so well done!
    We shall continue to follow your website – please don’t stop writing!
    Most of all, we are so looking forward to joining you very soon, and hearing all the other unprintable features of your cruise!
    Until then, very much love to you both from Beryl & me, John.

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