Attempts to cross the vast expanse of oceans, traveling from one continent to another, using anything other than commercial means are not new, but an attempt on a vessel with zero propulsion? Well, that is new (and crazy, if I might add). Regardless of the lunacy, such is what French gramp, 71-year-old Jean-Jaques Savin, is currently doing. And I can tell you this: if we were to post about this a month late, it’d still be news because, current.
You see, Savin’s vessel, if you could call it one, has zero propulsion. Instead, Savin is putting his faith in the ocean currents, relying it to carry his vessel to his destination, the Caribbean. The retired military parachutist is currently en route in a homemade barrel-like watercraft, which he spent several months building, traveling at a slow-than-brisk 2-3 km/h (1.08-162 knots).
Savin set off from the Canary Islands, off the coast of west of the ocean, on Wednesday (December 26, 2018) and if our calculation is right, it would take Savin at least 3 months to reach his destination and that’s assuming that the current is in his favor throughout the entire journey. Also, the distance also depends on which part of Caribbean he intended to dock. In case you are curious… from where he set off to Cuba, the distance is over 6,000 kilometers (3,700+ miles!).
Now, that’s some serious mileage for a floating device to cover. Speaking of floating device… the barrel vessel may be small, but it has everything Savin needs to get on with the journey. The orange-red contraption appears to be equipped with solar panels, presumably to power the onboard electrical equipment (possibly for charging his satellite phone, if he has one) and on the inside, it is furnished with a kitchen, an office space, a bed and ample storage space for “assortment of food and supplies,” including a block of foil gras (because, French) and two bottles of wine (also because, French).
Hey, you gotta keep the French spirit high and mighty even you are out there alone in the open waters, ain’t it? But it is not all chill and no chore for gramp; Savin will be dropping off some markers on behalf of French oceanographic organization JCOMMOPS for the purpose of studying the ocean currents. As a boon, though, when he does that, he will have an opportunity to take a break outside to do some fishing or swim. Though, if I were him, I would rather not do the latter. Just saying… Damn you, Spielberg and your polyurethane rubber shark!
Anywho, because of the markers, the rest of the world will be able to track Jean-Jaques’ progress on a website. Last checked, Savin has made quite some distance (‘some distance’ by barrel and currents-only standard, that is). His last known location dated December 28, 2018, was at latitude 27.45727, longitude -18.36276. Though it is clear how far the distance he have covered so far. Also, it looks like the currents have taken his vessel slightly off the right heading at this point, but generally, I think he’s good for now. I think. Maybe?
I am absolutely wowed by his bravery, and for that, you can bet your ass I am stalking him on the aforementioned website. If you are equally awed like I do, you can also track Savin’s progress on his Facebook page where he managed to post some updates.