A 71-year-old Frenchman — armed with a block of foie gras and a bottle of Sauternes — has set off to sail the Atlantic in a barrel.
Jean-Jacques Savin barreled out of El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands on Wednesday and headed toward the Caribbean, some 3,000 nautical miles away, in a bright orange, barrel-shaped capsule that will use ocean currents alone to propel him, the BBC reported.
He hopes to reach his destination in just three months, the outlet said.
“The weather is great. I’ve got a swell of one meter (3 feet) and I’m moving at 2-3 kilometers an hour… I’ve got favorable winds forecast until Sunday,” Savin told AFP shortly after he set off.
His resin-coated, plywood vessel is strong enough to survive attacks from orca whales and was built to withstand constant battering from the waves. It contains a sleeping bunk, kitchen, storage areas and a porthole in the floor that Savin can use to watch fish. It also has a solar panel that generates energy for communications and GPS positioning, and Savin will be dropping markers along his trip to help oceanographers study currents.
The former military paratrooper, park ranger and pilot has had some access to social media and his most recent update said the barrel was “behaving well” and the trip was off to a smooth start.