Exploration

Sailing Around The World With a Chicken

Guirec Soudée has been sailing around the world for two years with the company of his pet chicken, Monique.

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If you could sail around the world with only one companion, who would you choose? Guirec Soudée chose his pet chicken.

Soudée, a 24-year-old from Brittany, France, has been sailing around the world for two years now, reports the BBC. Every country he sails to, Monique the hen is by his side. He found her in the Canary Islands and knew right away they were meant to be best buds.

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"I didn't speak any Spanish and she didn't speak any French, but we got along," Soudée joked to the BBC.

He'd always wanted a companion for his journey and originally thought about bringing a cat, before deciding it would be too much work to look after on a boat. Upon meeting Monique, Soudée realized a hen was the perfect choice.

Not only is Monique quite low maintenance, but she lays eggs as well -- something that's always a plus in a situation storing a lot of food can be a challenge. She lays about six eggs a week on average, even in cold climates like Greenland, where Soudée and Monique are currently docked.

And what happens when the weather at sea gets rough? Usually Soudée lets Monique roam freely about the the 39 foot (11.8-meter) boat, but when the winds get particularly bad he makes sure she is secure in her hutch so she doesn't accidentally fall overboard.

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Another thing Soudée must be mindful of is quarantine regulations in every country he visits. He and Monique had one encounter with customs officials in Canada. He was permitted to keep her, but he knows they might not always be so lucky.

Although Monique can get on his nerves from time to time, Soudée says she's much better than having a human companion aboard. "She follows me everywhere, and doesn't create any problems. All I need to do is shout 'Monique!' and she will come to me, sit on me, give me company. She is amazing," he told the BBC.

After Greenland, Soudée and Monique will head down the Bering Strait to Nome, Alaska. From there the destination is undecided, but Soudée will certainly consult Monique on where the pair should travel to next.

Want to know more about the Bering Strait and how it's becoming a new passage for global trade routes? Check out this video: