“From the Bridge”

This blog is Part Four of Six Parts. It is from “Seawater Two….” A book in progress!

Castelo de Tarfaya

After a time I saw what I believed, at the time, to be a radio relay station located out on a desolate sand spit near Villa Bens. It was only later that I found out that it was Castelo de Tarfaya, a small fortification on the North African coast. Tarfaya was occupied by the British in 1882, when they established a trading post, called Casa del Mar. It is now considered the Southern part of Morocco.

In the early ‘20s, the French pioneering aviation company, Aéropostale, built a landing strip in this desert, for its mail delivery service. By 1925 their route was extended to Dakar, where the mail was transferred onto steam ships bound for Brazil. A monument now stands in Tarfaya, to honor the air carrier and its pilots as well as the French aviator and author Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry better known as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

As a newly acclaimed author in the literary world. “Night Flight,” or “Vol de nuit,” was the first of Saint-Exupéry’s literary works and won him the prix Femina, a French literary prize created in 1904. The novel was based on his experiences as an early mail pilot and the director of the “Aeroposta Argentina airline,” in South America. Antoine is also known for his narrative “The Little Prince” and his aviation writings, including the lyrical 1939 “Wind, Sand and Stars” which is Saint-Exupéry’s 1939, memoir of his experiences as a postal pilot. It tells how on the week following Christmas in 1935, he and his mechanic amazingly survived a crash in the Sahara desert. The two men suffered dehydration in the extreme desert heat before a local Bedouin, riding his camel, discovered them “just in the nick of time,” to save their lives. His biographies divulge numerous affairs, most notably with the Frenchwoman Hélène de Vogüé, known as “Nelly” and referred to as “Madame de B.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and the woman believed to be the mysterious “Madame de B.”

Captain Hank Bracker is the award winning author of “The Exciting Story of Cuba.” He was a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer, Master Mariner and the gold medal winning author of “Suppressed I Rise” Captain Hank Bracker has now completed “Seawater One,” a saga about life at sea and ashore, based on his experiences. Soon to be available from Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Stores. “Seawater One” is adult in nature and contains sexually explicit slices of life.