Frenchman completes Atlantic crossing in ‘wine’ barrel

A Frenchman has succeeded in a gruelling crossing of the Atlantic in a completely unpowered three-metre long ‘wine barrel’, sustained in part by the occasional tot of Sauternes.

Jean-Jacques Savin during the initial sea trials of his barrel before setting off late last year

The 72 year-old former-paratrooper turned adventurer and endurance athlete Jean-Jacques Savin spent 127 days adrift on the ocean’s currents in his craft ‘Le Vagabond‘ – he was entirely without propulsion by sail, motor or human means – slightly longer than expected before he crossed into the Caribbean after a 2,930-mile voyage late last month.

Savin set off from the Canary Islands on 26 December 2018, but after crossing the western meridian into the Caribbean he was blown back east by trade winds for a few days. He was later picked up by a passing Dutch oil tanker which took him to the island of St Eustatius last Sunday, and the end of his journey.

As reported by The Times, Savin said he had become very attached to his vessel, which was modelled on a large wine barrel, and in no particular rush to return to civilisation.

Followed by fish and ocean-going birds, he passed the calm days reading, swimming, playing the mandolin and fishing – as well as updating his Facebook page via a solar-powered link.

He also spent days at a time lashed to his bunk as giant waves and fierce winds crashed down on his three-by-two-metre craft.

As well as the fish he caught, he largely lived off desalinated water and tinned and freeze-dried food but, as only a Frenchman could, he did lift his spirits with an occasional glass of Sauternes. He celebrated his 72nd birthday in January with foie gras and a bottle of St Emilion.

One Response to “Frenchman completes Atlantic crossing in ‘wine’ barrel”

  1. When I celebrate my 72nd birthday in September it certainly won’t be in a barrel in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Seriously – well done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives
Maldives

Financial Controller

London City Bond
Barking, UK

Duty Manager

The Whisky Exchange
Great Portland Street, London

Spirits Advisor

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

International Sales Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Brand Marketing Executive

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Cellar Door Manager

House of Townend
Melton, North Ferriby, UK

Marketing Manager

The Whisky Exchange
Whitby Avenue, Park Royal, London NW10 7SF

Millésime Bio 2020

Montpellier,France
27th Jan 2020

Maisons Marques et Domaines Annual Tasting

London,United Kingdom
29th Jan 2020

Austrian Wine Tasting

London,United Kingdom
3rd Feb 2020
Click to view more