71-Year-Old Man Sets Sail Across The Atlantic — In A Barrel

A Dream Ship


It’s not out of the ordinary that people want to do something they’ve always dreamed of when they retire. Some people travel to a country they’ve always wanted to see, some take up a new hobby, while others simply spend time with people they love. One man decided to do something way out of the ordinary, something rather dangerous, yet exciting.

Jean-Jacques Savin


Jean-Jacques Savin, a 71 year old French man is not your average retiree. Instead of relaxing at home, he decided to set out on the journey of his lifetime. He decided to sail the Atlantic Ocean but not by any ordinary means. Instead, he decided to rely on Mother Nature to get him from one of the smallest Canary Islands all the way to the Bahamas. How he’s doing it, will shock you.

A New Way To Celebrate


Savin is an ex-military paratrooper using his knowledge to guide him on a trip that no man has ever done before. He’s a adrenaline junkie looking for a unique way to ring in the new year and celebrate his 72nd birthday, and his plan will do just that.

A Crossing


Savin plans to travel through the Atlantic Ocean using a specially crafted barrel that will use the current of the ocean to guide the journey. Savin describes the journey as, “a crossing where the man would not be captain of his boat, but passenger of the Ocean.” Of course, a journey of this magnitude will need a lot of specialized equipment and plenty of survival equipment.

The Orange Barrel


The barrel itself took months to perfectly craft, which is 10 feet long and 7 feet wide. It has four windows and is primarily made from resin coated plywood to successfully absorb the shock of the intense waves it will come up against in the following months. Thankfully, we will get daily updates according to Savin,”Thanks to the modern means of communication, I will be able to indicate my position and give various information to the media throughout my journey.”

Much Needed GPS


It also has a stove, gas cylinders, and a GPS device which will all help him survive during the two to three month long journey. Savin says during his journey he will be traveling at “two or three kilometers an hour,” and the weather so far has been “great.”

Keeping Us Posted


The project was crowd funded by interested peers who will get updates daily via Savin’s Facebook page. Recently, he sent a message to everyone saying, “Good morning to everyone! Today everything is fine Position with GPS Coordinates: L 27.54615,- 18.23749.”

Sleeping Bunk


Inside the orange vessel he has a fully equipped sleeping bunk and a storage space for the special things he has brought with him. He decided to celebrate his birthday and New Years with two bottles of wine, a Sauternes white wine and the other red Saint-Emilion. Of course, he brought some food as well.

Full Kitchen

Among the freeze dried daily meals, he brought a block of foie gras to celebrate on the special days. He also has some fresh produce with him that will kick off his journey, but won’t last more than a few weeks. His kitchen looks much like the one on your ordinary small ship, allowing him to make just about anything he has ingredients for. You can see, he even has a kettle for afternoon tea.

Barbados Here We Come


He won’t have any sails or motors to guide him on his adventure, and according to his website, he will most likely land in Barbados,“although I’d really like it to be a French island like Martinique or Guadeloupe.” Many people that are following him on this journey via the web, comment uplifting messages as well as gestures of kindness. Doug Rose said, “Following from Tampa, FL. If you end up here, beer is on me.”

Killer Whales


The entire trip will be a total of 2,850 miles from the coast of West Africa to the final destination in the Bahamas. The only thing Savin fears is killer whales, because, “they can be aggressive.” However, the barrel is specifically crafted so that it can withstand any whale attacks.

Helping researchers


The barrel itself weighs around 45 kilograms when empty and he will be dropping markers for the JCOMMOPS international marine observatory. They will use the data to study ocean currents for further research. Not only that, but he will be studied too.

State of Mind


Psychologists will be keeping an update on Sevin’s psychological state during and after his journey, to see how he handles being alone in such a confined space. To help combat loneliness, he has brought a few things with him. One thing is for sure, he will have to keep himself entertained.

A Sight To See


Along with food and other necessary materials, he brought a diary to log his daily thoughts and events, a mandolin, and some books. He also has a porthole in the floor where he will be able to observe fish and other wildlife swim by. Hopefully he takes as many photos as possible on his journey and posts them so we all can see!

The Best Views

One thing is for sure, he has some of the views anyone can have. Just look at that! This isn’t the first time he has traveled across the Atlantic.

A Sailor


“Having lived for several years on my yacht, I have crossed the Atlantic several times. I have the soul of a sportsman and am using my retirement to set myself a number of challenges,” he told local news reporters. Just in case, he also has years of navigational training that will help him in case the currents don’t take him where he wants to end up.

A Developing Story


Because this is a developing story, we will update you on the status of Jean-Jacques and his incredible journey as the information is posted! In the meantime, let’s take a look at some more photos.

Enjoying Himself


Here is another shot of this magnificent machine. He is enjoying a nice view from the top of the famous orange vessel.

Before The Voyage


Here is a shot of the vessel before it set out for an adventure of a lifetime!

Best View In Town


Imagine waking up to this view every morning. Not so bad Jean-Jacques, not so bad.

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