Jean-Jacques Savin, 71, is a former military paratrooper and has set off on his own daring mission. His plan is to journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel-shaped capsule, designed and built by himself, with only the ocean currents to propel him on his way.

Savin left El Hierro in the Canary Islands of Spain on Wednesday and hopes to arrive in the Caribbean in around three months. While he has no engine or sail to propel him along his journey, he has kitted out the orange-coloured capsule with a kitchen, storage space with food and a sleeping bunk.

Former paratrooper heads off over the ocean

As reported by The Guardian, Jean-Jacques Savin isn’t just making his daring journey for the fun of it. As he travels across the ocean he will regularly be dropping markers so that oceanographers can study the Atlantic currents, his only means of propulsion.

The video below shows the interior of the barrel-shaped capsule, with its comfortable sleeping area. Savin will strap himself to the mattress when sleeping, to avoid being thrown around by the waves. A basic kitchen will allow him to cook himself meals as he goes and there is plenty of storage space for food and water. From the video, it looks like he may have a solar panel on the vessel for power, although this wasn't mentioned in the reports.

The barrel was crafted from resin-coated plywood and measures three metres (10 feet) in length and 2.10 metres (just under seven feet) in width. Savin’s living space is around six square metres and the barrel has a porthole so that Savin can watch fish as he travels.

Facebook updates on Jean-Jacques Savin’s journey

Savin is obviously “connected” as he travels, as he is making regular updates to his Facebook page.

The latest post was made on Thursday and translates to say the message was coming “live from the barrel.” He wished his followers a good morning and wrote that everything is fine. Savin then gave his latest GPS Coordinates as L 27.54615,- 18.23749. His previous post on the 26th December said that the barrel was “behaving well.”

The BBC quotes a telephone interview between Savin and AFP, where the intrepid sailor said the weather was great.

He said he had a swell of one metre (three feet) and was moving at 2-3 km/hour. Savin added that there were favourable wind forecasts up until Sunday.

Savin is a former military paratrooper who has also been employed as a pilot and a park ranger. He is confident the ocean currents will be sufficient to take the barrel on its journey of 4,500 km (2,800 miles) across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

When asked where he hopes to make land, Savin said maybe Barbados. However, he did say he would prefer it to be a French island, like Guadaloupe or Martinique, as this would make things easier to bring the barrel back home.

Savin raised the necessary money for his journey mainly through crowdfunding where donations reached €60,000 (£54,000).