Harken Derm

Going with the flow to the Caribbean

Published on December 27th, 2018

A 71-year-old Frenchman has set sail across the Atlantic in a barrel-shaped orange capsule, hoping to reach the Caribbean within three months using ocean currents alone.

Jean-Jacques Savin departed December 26 from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands for a three-month voyage he hopes will take him to Barbados, Martinique or Guadaloupe.

The former paratrooper had worked on his vessel for months in the small shipyard of Ares on France’s southwest coast.

Measuring 10ft long and nearly 7ft across, it is made from resin-coated plywood, heavily reinforced to resist waves and potential attacks by orca whales.

Inside the capsule, which weighs 990 pounds when empty, is a six-square-metre living space which includes a kitchen, sleeping bunk and storage. A porthole in the floor allows Savin to look at passing fish.

A former military parachutist who served in Africa, Savin has also worked as a pilot and a national park ranger.

He has stowed away a block of foie gras and a bottle of Sauternes white wine for New Year’s Eve, along with a bottle of red Saint-Emilion for his 72nd birthday on January 14.

Savin hopes currents will carry him naturally to the Caribbean without the need for a sail or oars – “maybe Barbados, although I’d really like it to be a French island like Martinique or Guadaloupe,” he quipped. “That would be easier for the paperwork and for bringing the barrel back.”

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Source: Daily Mail

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