Man to 'Float' Across the Atlantic Ocean in a Barrel, As Men Do


I like to think of myself as an adventurous person—last month I took a multi-sensory 5-hour bus from the Catskills to Manhattan, and the other day I ate a Lunchable. But I am not nearly as, uh, intrepid? as this Frenchman hellbent on bobbing his way to an early grave in a high-tech barrel, across the Atlantic Ocean, in winter.

Indeed, according to CNN, 71-year-old Jean-Jacques Savin departed the Canary Islands on Wednesday in a “sophisticated barrel-shaped capsule” he hopes will transport him to the Caribbean by the end of March. Savin, a former paratrooper, has outfitted his fancy barrel with a small kitchen, a bed, and a portal he can use to watch fish for “entertainment,” which seems like a thing that will be fun for about one full day before cabin fever makes you think all the fish are trying to kill you. Savin also brought with him a bottle of white wine, a bottle of red wine, and some foie gras, because he is French.

The barrel, which Savin built himself with the help of crowdfunding cash, relies on ocean current to move. So far, he’s made it about 19 miles. “The weather is great,” he told AFP news agency, according to the BBC. “I’ve got a swell of one metre (3ft) and I’m moving at 2-3km/h… I’ve got favourable winds forecast until Sunday.”

I truly do not see this story ending well, for him or for the fish that end up drinking his wine when the barrel cracks and sinks, but, hey, all the best.

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