Thursday, May 16, 2019


16 May 2019: I am writing today from the seaport and historic whaling town of New Bedford Massachusetts. We are here attending the 45th annual conference of the North American Society for Oceanic History and the National Maritime Historical Society. We have two days of wonderful seminars, presentations of scholarly papers and talks, all on things maritime, both old and new. In speaking of new, here's an update on a piece we posted last Novemeber about the 71 year old French adventurer who attempted to cross the Atlantic in a barrel. and he celebrated his birthday at sea, so he was 72 when he bumped ashore in the Caribbean!

A Frenchman who set out on his solo journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a large, orange barrel, has completed his trip.

Jean-Jacques Savin, 72, departed from El Hierro, part of Spain’s Canary Islands, in December in a bright orange barrel. His vessel traveled by using just the ocean’s currents.
On April 27, Savin reached the Caribbean after being at sea for 122 days. He originally said he hoped to reach his destination in thrA few days later, Sevin was brought to Martinique where he is planning his return to months. A Dutch oil tanker transported Sevin and the barrel to Sint Eustatius. A few days later, Sevin was brought to Martinique where he is planning his return to France.
"It was an exhilarating voyage but also quite risky,” Savin said of his trip.
In an interview with The New York Times, the explorer said he was inspired by Frenchman Alain Bombard who wrote about his travels to the Canary Islands.
He told The Times he spent his days swimming, catching fish, replying to messages, cooking, reading and writing his book. He said his book is slated to be published in August.

Inside the 10-foot long barrel are a bed, kitchen and storage space. A porthole on the floor allows him to watch the ocean life.

Savin said there were two times he feared for his life: after an oil tanker and another ship got close to him.
The former military parachutist said the best thing about being out at sea is the freedom.
“It’s freedom. Complete freedom. It’s hard to convey. No one tells you what to do. There are no rules. It’s freedom.”

Clearly not for everyone, but the good news is he made it and history as well!

Until next time,
                                   Fair Winds,
                                     Old Salt


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