04 Feb CLUBSWAN MEMBERS EXPERIENCE The great adventures of Swan 46-001 Troubadour
Gilles d’Ersu, proud owner of Swan 46 Troubadour, has shared with us his experience on board his Swan: “In April 2010, my wife Anne and I became the lucky owners of Troubadour in Stamford Connecticut. A superb swan 46, hull 001 of the German Frersdesign , with a new teak deck and a new Volvo engine. She had been delivered in San Francisco in 1983 and she won a few races on the west coast, including the SORC in 1985.
We then sailed to Saint Malo (France) with our children in 20 days and noticed with delight that Troubadour was a very good cruiser as well. The following two summers we cruised to Scotland to discover this marvelous country and, after that, we prepared to sail across the Atlantic Ocean heading to Patagonia.
We left Saint Malo in October and had to beat in Biscay bay in rough weather. Troubadour was a good choice since we managed to escape from a threatening coast against a 45 knots wind, thanks to her long 5 tons lead keel. Our idea was to sail 6 months a year so we crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Cabo Verde islands to Salvador de Bahia, then Rio de Janeiro and Piriapolis (Uruguay) where Troubadour was left on a hardstand.
During the fall 2013 we sailed down to Ushuaia and this leg proved to be quite challenging because of the bad weather we met from Magellan Strait to Lemaire Strait. In less than 10 minutes we faced a 50 to 60 knots wind and during 24 hours we were reaching in a rough and dangerous sea, followed by small dolphins! Going down in the saloon after your watch was a great relief as you would enter a calm and steady place. You would then think it was only 25 knots blowing outside. This is a great quality of these older heavier boats.
Then Beagle channel appeared and the landscape was awesome. Cold and windy, this channel is well protected and you sail on a flat sea. We finally reached Ushuaia beating under the snow.
After a good rest we sailed north along the Patagonian channels up to Puerto Mount (Chile). We were sailing in the daylight and we found protected “Caletas” (creeks) for the night. Sometimes the wind was too strong and we had to wait for a few days in a Caleta. It was a wonderful experience since one feels really isolated in the middle of all that wilderness!
The following years, Troubadour proved always to be a reliable vessel and we sailed amonst enchanting islands in the south Pacific Ocean: French Polynesia, Tonga, New Zealand, Marquesas’ islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, ending our cruising in Sydney where the boat is now for sale. Along these many years, meeting a lot of people belonging to different cultures has been a very enriching experience…”