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Jean-Jacques Savin, a 71-year-old former paratrooper, crafted a ship made from a barrel at the shipyard in Ares, southwestern France.(Photo: GEORGES GOBET, AFP/Getty Images)
Jean-Jacques Savin boarded a barrel-shaped capsule that took months to craft and set out Wednesday from El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, according to his Facebook page. He is attempting to navigate the vast Atlantic in pursuit of the Caribbean using only the wind and current to get him there.
Savin, a former military paratrooper, describes the challenge on his website as "a crossing where the man would not be captain of his boat, but passenger of the Ocean."
He is expected to spend the next two to three months aboard the orange barrel, which measures 10 feet long and just under 7 feet wide. It is made of polyester to endure shock and balanced with a weighted keel, and is complete with four windows, a stove, gas cylinders and a GPS tablet.
Jean-Jacques Savin is attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel only pushed by the ocean currents, from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean Sea. (Photo: GEORGES GOBET, AFP/Getty Images)
In addition to freeze-dried food, AFP News Agency reports that Savin brought along a bottle of Sauternes white wine and foie gras to celebrate New Year's Eve and a bottle of Saint-Émilion red wine for his 72nd birthday in January.
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"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," he said on his website. "This will be an opportunity to multiply the appearances of the barrel on the air."
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