French barrel sailor crosses Atlantic, arrives in Martinique

A French adventurer successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a plywood barrel, completing his journey on Thursday.

Jean-Jacques Savin landed on the Caribbean island of Martinique having left the Canary Islands on December 26.

He already declared his mission a success on April 27 when his resin-coated barrel drifted into the Caribbean after 122 days at sea at 5,800 kilometers (3,600 miles) traveled. His journey was propelled only by ocean currents.

Read more: French adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin barrels across the Atlantic

Five days after he announced his success, he was plucked out of the ocean by an oil tanker and taken to the Dutch island of Saint-Eustache (Caribbean). He and his barrel were then taken by tugboat to the French overseas French territory of Martinique.

“It was an exhilarating voyage but also quite risky,” Savin said after embracing his partner Josyane for the first time since his journey began.

Savin survived the journey on freeze-dried food, the occasional freshly caught fish, and supplies donated by ships he came across during the voyage.

He had a modest fan base on social media who could follow his floating adventure via a GPS tracker and regular updates on social media.

Read more: Man completes first unassisted solo trek across Antarctica

After his arrival he told his social media followers he was happy to enjoy a meal of eggs.

“My first few steps were difficult, it felt like being drunk,” Savin wrote in a post.

“It was my first hot shower with soap in 127 days… They offered whatever meal I wanted, I asked if it was possible to have two fried eggs.”

His friend told AFP news agency he was surprised that Savin had not lost more weight. Pierre Galzot, a doctor, nonetheless advised him to “get a full check-up.”

Savin is already talking about his next challenge, which might be crossing the Pacific in a barrel.

aw/jm (AFP, dpa)

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