There are some stories that start with the word “Florida Man” and end somewhere normal and this is no exception. Reza Baluchi had a common dream: to travel from St. Augustine, Florida, to New York, to travel all the way to the sea in a balloon-filled barrel.
He has been planning long-distance voyages for some time on what could be called a loose vehicle, previous trips in the Bermuda Triangle to “chewing gum for marine sickness” without protein bars, tuna, seawater filters, Gatorade, and more, and his own design. “I’ll show people what you want to do, do it. Don’t listen to anyone,” he told local news station Fox told5, “Run after your dreams.”
He traveled 48 kilometers (30 miles) away from New York, where he was washed and reported to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook, “The occupant suggested he leave the St. Augustine area yesterday and move to New York, but encountered some complications that brought him back to shore.”
“The US Coast Guard was contacted and rushed to the scene to take the case and ensure that the ship/occupants complied with the USCG for their safety.” Perhaps trying to not think about what this week was like when the younger and older passengers arrived in space, Baluchi’s $45,000 “bubble” got into trouble and washed ashore in Flagler County on Saturday morning.
This is not the first time Baluchi has had bubble problems, his Bermuda trip ended in disappointment in 2014. After getting lost, he approached the Coast Guard after asking several fishermen to go to Bermuda. He ignored the coast guard’s advice not to go on his trip anymore but later activated his locator beacon, and the Coastguard rescued him 70 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida. He tried to return to Bermuda in 2016 to “promote world peace”; despite warnings from the Coast Guard that he would face imprisonment and/or a $40,000 fine if he attempted such a trip without an escort.
He was brought back to shore shortly after he started his five-month voyage. Again, he was warned about how he was endangering his and the Coastguard’s lives, which did not seem to have sunk.