Frenchman begins quest to cross Atlantic Ocean in barrel

In this photograph taken Dec. 22, Jean-Jacques Savin stands on top of his barrel-shaped capsule.
Caption
In this photograph taken Dec. 22, Jean-Jacques Savin stands on top of his barrel-shaped capsule.

A 71-year-old man from France has begun his quest to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel-shaped orange capsule, relying solely on currents and tradewinds to steer him to the Caribbean, the BBC reported.

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Jean-Jacques Savin embarked from El Hierro in the Canary Islands. He is documenting his trip through a Facebook page and plans to post daily updates, including GPS coordinates, The New York Times reported.

Savin's cabin includes a kitchen, storage and a sleeping bunk, the BBC reported.

Savin, who lives in Arès in southwestern France, is riding in a capsule that is about 10 feet long and nearly 7 feet wide that is held upright by a concrete ballast, the Times reported. A solar panel generates power so Savin can communicate and post GPS coordinates, the BBC reported.

In his latest Facebook post, Savin said the barrel was "behaving well," according to the BBC.

Savin told the French news service Agence France-Presse in a telephone interview that "The weather is great. I've got a swell of 1 meter and I'm moving at 2-3 kilometers per hour. I've got favorable winds forecast until Sunday."

Savin has previously crossed the Atlantic four times on a sailboat, the Times reported.

For New Year’s Eve and his birthday (Jan. 14), Savin packed foie gras, a bottle of Sauternes white wine and a Saint-Émilion red, he told AFP.

Savin hopes to complete his trip in three months and wants to land on a French island.

"Maybe Barbados, although I would really like it to be a French island like Martinique or Guadaloupe," Savin said. "That would be easier for the paperwork and for bringing the barrel back."