After two years at sea, Guirec Soudee and his first mate Monique have grown rather fond of each other. Close quarters on Soudee’s sailboat would naturally foster such a relationship, but Guirec is a 24-year-old human and Monique is a hen.
Guirec, who is from Brittany in France, began his trip around the world with Monique in May 2014. After starting from the Canary Islands, Spanish territory near Africa’s west coast, the duo sailed to St Bart’s in the Caribbean before floating into the Arctic last August.
Monique has now traveled more than almost any human on earth.
“She was only about four or five months old when I found her, and had never left the Canary Islands. I didn’t speak any Spanish and she didn’t speak any French, but we got along.”
A photo posted by Guirec Soudée & Monique (@voyagedyvinec) on Jun 19, 2016 at 11:26am PDT
Guirec had planned to bring along a pet for company, but a hen wasn’t originally on the cards.
“I thought about a cat, but decided it would be too much effort to look after it,” he says.
A photo posted by Guirec Soudée & Monique (@voyagedyvinec) on May 16, 2016 at 8:45am PDT
“The hen was an ideal choice. It doesn’t need that much looking after and I’m able to get eggs at sea. People told me it wouldn’t work, that the hen would be too stressed and wouldn’t lay eggs. But there was no problem, she laid eggs straight away. She adapted to it perfectly – she was very comfortable very quickly.”
A photo posted by Guirec Soudée & Monique (@voyagedyvinec) on Jun 11, 2016 at 8:55am PDT
While she is free to roam the deck most of the time while at sea, Guirec makes sure to put her back into her coop when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
“At the beginning, I was very worried – there would be huge waves and she might stumble, it would look for a second like she might go overboard, but she would always regain her footing. She’s very brave.”
Guirec and Monique plan to head through the Arctic and down the Bering Strait towards Nome, Alaska. We hope they never stop!
Check out some behind the scenes footage of their travels below! Share and spread some smiles.
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