Jean Jacques Savin did not set the sail but is all ready to roll through the Atlantic in an orange "barrel", propelled by the ocean currents.
Jean-Jacques Savin left the Canary Islands, off the coast of west Africa, on Wednesday, in a sophisticated barrel-shaped capsule he spent months crafting.
Savin will drop markers throughout the trip to assist an worldwide marine observatory in its research on ocean currents.
It contains a sleeping bunk, kitchen, storage areas and a porthole in the floor Savin can use to watch fish.
Mr Savin is a former military paratrooper and has also worked as a park ranger and a pilot.
Throughout the voyage, Savin will leave markers for the Global Ocean Observing Systems Coordination (JCOMMOPS) worldwide marine observatory so oceanographers can learn more about currents.
Savin hopes to reach the Caribbean in three months, relying on only the ocean's currents to get him there.
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He is traveling at "two or three kilometers an hour" (one to two miles an hour) and intends to (literally) barrel his way across the ocean with the help of currents alone, he told the AFP news agency in a telephone interview after setting off.
According to media reports, it it is made from resin-coated plywood, heavily reinforced to resist waves and potential attacks by orca whales.
'For the time being my capsule is behaving very, very well and I've got favourable winds forecast until Sunday'. It has about 65 square feet (6 square metres) of living space - enough room to sleep, cook and store Savin's goods, which include wine and foie gras. Scientists will also study how solitude and close confinement affect him.
"Maybe Barbados, although I'd really like it to be a French island like Martinique or Guadeloupe", Savin told Agence France-Presse.
Even the wine will be subject to a study comparing bottles kept on board to those back on dry land.
Mr Savin's €60,000 (£54,000) budget for the trip has been partly crowdfunded and covered by barrel-makers. Landing on a French island, he noted, would make the paperwork easier for a French citizen like himself.