71 years old French man to cross Atlantic in a barrel shaped capsule

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Savin had worked on his vessel for months in the small shipyard of Ares on France’s southwest coast. Savin is 71-year-old and from France.

He set to sail across the Atlantic on Wednesday in a barrel-shaped orange capsule. His destination is the Caribbean wanting to reach there within 3 months and his only power will be the ocean current.

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“I’ve got a swell of one meter and I’m moving at two or three kilometers an hour,” Jean-Jacques Savin told AFP news agency by telephone after setting off from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands.

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

Measuring three meters (10 feet) long and 2.10 meters across, it is made from resin-coated plywood, heavily reinforced to resist waves and potential attacks by orca whales.

Inside the capsule, which weighs 450 kilograms (990 pounds) when empty, is a six-square-meter living space which includes a kitchen, sleeping bunk and storage. A porthole in the floor lets him search for 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 Martinique or Guadalupe.

Along the way, Savin will be dropping markers for the JCOMMOPS international marine observatory to help its oceanographers study the currents.

And he himself will be the subject of a study on the effects of solitude in close confinement.

Even the wine onboard will be studied: He is carrying a Bordeaux to be compared afterward with one kept on land to determine the effects of months spent tossed on the waves.

Savin has 60,000 euros (US$68,000) for his expedition.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.