A French man arrived at his Caribbean destination after spending more than 4 months floating across the Atlantic Ocean in a big orange barrel.
On December 26, 2018, Jean-Jacques Savin sailed off from the Canary Islands, off the African coast — traveling west in a barrel-shaped capsule he’d constructed himself. Savin, 71 at the time he departed, spent the initial four months of 2019 inside his drum, moving with no engine at about two miles an hour, and relying solely on the current of the ocean to steer his journey. He astonished locals last week as he drifted ashore on the small Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius soon after midnight, bringing a massive, 2,930-mile journey to an end.
“Everything has an end … finally, here I am at the end of this adventure,” he posted Friday on Facebook, after stepping foot on soil for the first time this year. A St. Eustatius diving center welcomed Savin, noting on Facebook that he was too furnished with a room at a hotel on the island, which possesses a population of a bit over 3,000. “Some joked and ask if they were arresting him on arrival for being so crazy,” a St. Eustatius resident told reporters. “Others, like myself, were fascinated by this journey and technology.” Savin journeyed alone in his handmade vessel, which measures roughly seven feet wide and 10 feet long and includes a bed and small kitchen, and storage space. He fed himself on wild caught fish from the ocean.
Savin tucked away a block of foie gras and a bottle of Sauternes white wine for New Year’s Eve. To celebrate his birthday in January, he too had a bottle of Saint-Émilion red. However the majority of Savin’s amusement came from the portholes in his vessel, through which he studied passing fish. Savin had plans to touch the Caribbean by late March, though missed the mark by just over thirty days.
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