• Monique the chicken and Frenchman Guirec Soudee are sailing around the world together. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
This little red hen is living your dream life.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

16 Jun 2016 - 3:13 PM  UPDATED 16 Jun 2016 - 3:13 PM

Have you heard the bedtime story of the owl and the pussycat who went to sea in a beautiful sea-green boat? Well, this is the story of the chicken and the Frenchman who are sailing around the world on an 11.8-metre boat.

Guirec Soudee, 24, from Brittany, and Monique, a red hen originally from the Canary Islands, have been travelling together since May 2014 and have visited the Caribbean, the Arctic, Canada and Greenland. 

Monique takes in the view from the deck and lays about six eggs a week, while Soudee is the captain of the ship and takes care of everything else.

For the past two years they have lived together, mostly in harmony. "I won't lie, she can get on my nerves sometimes," Guirec told the BBC.

Having learnt a thing or two about travelling the waves after working on a prawn trawler in Australia when he was 18, Soudee decided on a life of adventure, but wanted to bring a pet along on his travels for company.

"I thought about a cat, but decided it would be too much effort to look after it," Guirec said.

"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."

In fact, life at sea seems to suit Monique. She doesn't ever get seasick, she is not a wimp, she loves to eat flying fish, and she dreams of visiting the North Pole, according to Soudee. She's also tried paddle boarding, surfing, swimming, skateboarding and windsurfing.  

Monique is free to roam the deck on the boat most of the time, but goes inside if the weather gets bad. 

"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," he says.

"But when there are bad winds now, I'm much more careful and she goes inside."

Over the past northern hemisphere winter, Monique and Soudee have been hunkered down in a frozen fjord in northwest Greenland, where he's been living off a limited diet of pasta, rice and Monique's eggs, and working on a children's book recounting their adventures.

Their next voyage will see them crossing the northwest passage to Alaska - Soudee will be the youngest person to ever attempt it, and Monique will be the first hen.

You can follow their adventures here.