Frenchman, 71, Aims to Cross the Atlantic in a Giant Barrel

LONDON — Drifting in the ocean in a sailboat at the mercy of winds and currents can be a nightmare for a lot of. But a 71-year-old Frenchman with a style for journey has discovered a new means 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 try to attain the Caribbean with solely ocean currents and commerce winds propelling his capsule, in accordance to a Facebook web page arrange to doc his challenge, the place he plans to publish day by day updates together with GPS coordinates monitoring the journey.

Many folks have crawled into barrels to go over Niagara Falls, with some surviving, however nobody has been recognized to cross the Atlantic in a barrel fabricated from plywood.

Mr. Savin, who hails from the oyster-farming city of Arès, in the southwest of France, hopes to obtain the feat in about three months in an orange barrel-shaped capsule about 10 toes lengthy and 6 toes eight inches large. It’s smaller than a pickup and held upright by a concrete ballast.

The initial funding for Mr. Savin’s 55,000-euro (or $62,000) adventure came from a group including two French barrel makers; the rest was gathered via crowdfunding.

Drifting south and west from the Canary Islands, Mr. Savin expected to be at sea for his 72nd birthday, in January. For New Year’s Eve and his birthday, he has packed foie gras, a bottle of Sauternes white wine and a Saint-Émilion red, he told the French news service Agence France-Presse.

He said he would like to end up on a French island (the paperwork would be easier, he said), and he intends to take a flight home.

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