The man sailing the world with a chicken

Since their chance meeting in 2013, Guirec Soudée  and Monique have been inseparable. Photo / Facebook, Voyage d'Yvinec - Guirec Soudée
Since their chance meeting in 2013, Guirec Soudée and Monique have been inseparable. Photo / Facebook, Voyage d'Yvinec - Guirec Soudée

A French sailor has worked out a handy arrangement with his first mate, Monique. In exchange for a diet of seeds, grubs and the occasional fish, she provides him with fresh eggs.

If you hadn't already guessed, Monique is a chicken.

Twenty-four-year-old Guirec Soudee picked up his unusual travelling companion in the Canary Islands back in 2013 and the pair became fast friends.

Soudee decided the little red hen would make for great company, as well as being a constant food source - only for her eggs, of course - so he decided to take her along on his next voyage.

"I knew she was the one straight away," Soudee told the BBC.

"She was only about 4 or 5 months old then, and had never left the Canary Islands. I didn't speak any Spanish and she didn't speak any French, but we got along."

In May 2014, the seafaring pair set off on a trip across the Atlantic, heading to St Barts - documented on Soudee's blog and Facebook page.

Monique must not have minded the sea too much, as she laid an impressive 25 eggs during the 28-day voyage.

After tiring of the tropics, the duo decided to hit the high seas once again and set sail for Greenland in June last year.

While in Greenland, Soudee and Monique lived in a fjord, in order to prove it's possible to enjoy a sustainable existence away from the conveniences of modern life.

Soudee said there were a lot of advantages to having a pet with him on board, rather than another person.

"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."

The pair will soon resume their journey around the world and Soudee is working on a series of children's books about travelling with a chicken.

His first book, titled The Transatlantic Voyage of Monique, will be published in France this year.

- nzherald.co.nz

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