A French septuagenarian has “set sail” in a self-designed 10-foot-by-7-foot barrel, hoping to drift across the Atlantic Ocean driven only by ocean currents. Jean-Jacques Savin is now at sea alone on a three month adventure in his specially designed capsule. Mr. Savin will spend New Year’s and his 72nd birthday adrift in pursuit of his epic dream.
A 71-year-old Frenchman has embarked on an epic journey across the Atlantic on a barrel-shaped capsule heading towards the Caribbean.
Jean-Jacques Savin set off from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands and is hoping to finish the trip in the orange vessel, which will use ocean currents to propel itself, in about three months.
He is expecting to travel 2,800 miles (4,500km) and drop markers from the 3m (10ft) long, 2.1m (7ft) wide resin-coated plywood craft to help oceanographers study currents in the Atlantic Ocean.
The markers will help the international marine observatory, JCOMMOPS, study currents in the sea. Mr Savin himself will be the subject of a study on the effects of solitude in close confinement.
“The weather is great – I’ve got a swell of one metre and I’m moving at two or three kilometres an hour,” the former military parachutist told AFP over the phone.
“For the time being my capsule is behaving very, very well and I’ve got favourable winds forecast until Sunday.”
Mr Savin, also a former pilot and national park ranger, had been working on his capsule in a shipyards in Ares, a small commune on France’s southwest coast.
It has been heavily reinforced to resist waves and potential orca whale attacks. …
Read more: SkyNews
Updates on the journey are being posted on a Facebook page and the latest message said the barrel was “behaving well”.
In a telephone interview with AFP news agency, he said: “The weather is great. I’ve got a swell of one metre (3ft) and I’m moving at 2-3km/h… I’ve got favourable winds forecast until Sunday.”
… a 71-year-old Frenchman with a taste for adventure has found a new way to conquer the Atlantic Ocean: in a barrel.
The adventurer, Jean-Jacques Savin, set sail on Wednesday from El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, the Spanish archipelago west of Morocco. He will attempt to reach the Caribbean with only ocean currents and trade winds propelling his capsule, according to a Facebook page set up to document his project, where he plans to post daily updates including GPS coordinates tracking the journey. …
Mr. Savin has already crossed the Atlantic four times using a sailboat. His new venture comes decades after another Frenchman, Alain Bombard, set out from the Canary Islands to Barbados in a small rubber boat in 1952, subsisting only on seawater, plankton and raw fish.
… A bunk bed, a captain’s seat and a kitchen counter take up most of the interior, and there is barely enough space for a man to stand. Two doctors will study Mr. Savin’s health and behavior after months in such a confined space at sea. …
He set sail the day after Christmas, will celebrate the New Year and his birthday on the high seas, and hopes to reach Barbados or the French Caribbean in his barrel by the early spring.
… a solar panel that will give him enough juice for GPS and communications. The $68,000 Savin needed for this trip was raised mainly through crowdfunding; his adventure is being documented on Facebook.
This video is not in english, but it gives a nice view of Mr. Savin and his seafaring tiny home.
Here’s wishing this intrepid adventurer a safe and successful trip with calm seas, no orcas and fast currents.