Transatlantic Notes

There's more to a transatlantic sail than just going across the ocean. CW deputy editor Elaine Lembo shares her notes from her recent journey from Newport, RI, to France aboard the Swan 57 Flyer

Land Ho: France and the Azores
Our landfalls were made all the more memorable for the places we visited, starting with the full-service marina at Flyer‘s new home at Port du Crouesty, in Brittany, France. In addition to berths for nearly 1,500 boats and related crew amenities, the marina is bordered by cafes and restaurants and hosts a weekly open-air market on Mondays. Le Petit Mont, right next to the marina, features stone structures dating to 4500 and 2000 B.C. and more than 2 miles of scenic walking trails overlooking the Baie de Quiberon to the southwest.

Crouesty is situated on the outer coastline of the peninsula Presqu’ile de Rhuys. Besides sailing, this destination is renown for cycling, walking trails, horseback riding, golfing, historic sites, food and wine. We were guests at the oceanfront home of Jean Paul Deloffre in one of the peninsula’s quaint villages, Sarzeau. Among the sites we visited while in Sarzeau is the Château de Suscinio, a restored 13th century castle that was built for the Dukes of Brittany. We also enjoyed a beautiful meal at Hotel Restaurant Lesage.

While I walked the trails of Sarzeau and did boat laundry one day, captain Rick Martell and mate Todd Mennillo took the 50-mile drive northwest to Lorient to tour the site of the former Keroman submarine base built by the Germans during the occupation of France in World War II. Today, the base facilities are used to house racing multihulls and other marine industries. To learn more about the submarine base and how it’s evolved into a major racing center, Rick and Todd visited the Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly museum.


Before we departed Sarzeau for good and headed northeast, we stopped for a brief visit on the shores of the Golfe du Morbihan. An island-studded inland sea that’s a popular sailing destination, Morbihan extends along the northern border of the Rhuys peninsula.

As our flights home were routed from Paris, we decided to do a road trip that included visiting the site of a landfall of a very different sort. In 2014, Europe and North America marked the 70th anniversary of the massive Allied assault on the Normandy coastline on June 6, 1944. To bring this historic event to life and deepen our understanding of World War II, we made separate pilgrimages to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial and to the Caen-Normandy Memorial Centre for History and Peace. Each of these outings was emotionally overwhelming and if I could do it all over again, I’d have spent a week in Normandy alone. Highly recommended.

• Port du Crouesty (
• Le Petit Mont (
• Sarzeau (
• Château de Suscinio ( )
• Hotel Restaurant Lesage (
• Offices de Tourisme de la Baie de Quiberon (
• Offices de Tourisme Presqu’ile de Rhuys (
• Offices de Tourisme du Golfe du Morbihan (
• Sellor Ports de Plaisance (
• Lorient U-boat base (
• Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly (
• Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial (
• Caen-Normandy Memorial Centre for History and Peace (


Mid-Atlantic Waypoint
The nine islands of the Azores, scattered from 37 to 40 degrees N and 25 to 31 degrees W, a distance of some 370 miles, are clustered in three geographic groups, the eastern, the central, and the western.

The Eastern Group is made up of Santa Maria and São Miguel; the Central Group includes Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial; the Western Group is composed of Corvo and Flores. Distances between islands ranges from as little as 2 miles to more than 100, and attractions at sea and on land are a delight for anyone who appreciates the great outdoors, whether trekking, touring, golfing, cycling or whale watching. Flights to and from North America and Europe are frequent. For information on booking a bareboat charter contact Sail Azores; for general information consult Visit Azores, the region’s official tourism board.

• Sail Azores (
• Visit Azores (


Flyer by the Numbers
1978, 57-foot, S&S designed Swan
Hull No. 7
4 water tanks (265 gallons total)
10 5-gallon jerry jugs on deck + ship’s tanks, holding a total of 200 gallons of fuel
21 frozen dinners
10 lbs coffee; 3 boxes Lipton tea
292 bottles of water
3 cases Parmalat long life milk
8 boxes cereal
2 jars peanut butter, 2 Nutella, 1 Speculoos cookie butter, 4 jars berry jam and orange marmalade
14 loaves of bread
12 bags rice cakes
18 chocolate bars, 2 bags peanut M&Ms, 1 bag York peppermint patties, 2 bags peanut butter cups, assorted fruit and pudding cups, granola bars, mixed nuts, fruit bars, Chips Ahoy, peanut butter crackers, mini bags of potato chips, Cheez its, Olives to Go
25 cans: green beans, mushrooms, 3-bean salad, beets, corn, baked beans
4 jars sauerkraut and purple cabbage
3 heads cabbage, 2 bags romaine hearts, 2 heads iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, mini carrots and peppers, 2 packs precut celery stalks
Pasta and noodles: 9 bags regular, 3 gluten free
4 boxes instant mashed potatoes
5 boxes instant brown rice

Ship’s Library
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Sea Change by Peter Nichols
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis
Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections *by Nora Ephron
Autobiography of Neil Young (French version)
*Sick Puppy
by Carl Hiaasen
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Pacific Vortex! by Clive Cussler
Never Go Back by Lee Child
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
The RCC Pilotage Foundation Atlantic Crossing Guide
World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell
RYA Competent Crew

Gear Resources
• Gill North America (
• Patagonia (
• Dubarry (
• Reactor (
• Iridium (
• Delorme (
• Commanders’ Weather (
• NOAA/National Weather Service NW Atlantic Radiofax charts (
• Secur (
Flyer Transatlantic (
• Blue Sailing (



The crew of Flyer poses for a group shot before heading out across the Atlantic. Billy Black