Photo: Jean-Jacques Savin/Facebook

French Adventurer Completes Atlantic Crossing in a Barrel

by Eben Diskin May 10, 2019

A French adventurer has just successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel, from El Hierro in the Canary Islands to Martinique in the Caribbean.

Seventy-two-year-old Jean-Jacques Savin began his journey in late December and officially finished on April 27 when he entered the waters of Martinique over 2,800 miles away, after 122 days at sea. The barrel-like capsule traveled across the ocean simply thanks to the currents.

And after arriving safely in Martinique, Savin said, “It was an exhilarating voyage but also quite risky.”

As a former military paratrooper, Savin is used to harsh conditions, though spending four months in a nine-foot-long barrel is tough to prepare for. The barrel, with 64-square-foot of living space, contained a bed, kitchen, storage, and a small porthole in the bottom through which Savin can watch the passing fish. The barrel was designed to withstand crashing waves and attacks by marine creatures, and apparently, it did its job.

Throughout the journey, Savin sustained himself on a diet of freeze-dried food, freshly caught fish, and supplies offered by other ships he passed on his voyage.

If you want a truly detailed first-hand account of Savin’s voyage, you’ll be happy to learn that he began writing a book about the experience during his long days at sea. He hopes to publish it later this year.


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