Today is January 7. Ta-dah!! On this day in history…1785: Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries wafted from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in a gas balloon (hilarious details below). And what better way to honor geekkind’s first successful air crossing of the English Channel than by re-blogging Luke’s (kayakhiptster’s) First Insanely Entertaining Video Shot From His Crazy-Ass Drone? If Blanchard and Jeffries had time-warped to our side of the pond, this is what the balloonists would’ve seen: Luke and Felix crossing from Greenwich, Connecticut to Great Captains Island via kayak. Click and weep:
As for Blanchard and Jeffries… history.com reports: The two men nearly crashed into the Channel along the way, however, as their balloon was weighed down by extraneous supplies such as anchors, a nonfunctional hand-operated propeller, and silk-covered oars with which they hoped they could row their way through the air. Just before reaching the French coast, the two balloonists were forced to throw nearly everything out of the balloon, and Blanchard even threw his trousers over the side in a desperate, but apparently successful, attempt to lighten the ship.
Luke and Felix had no such mishaps and reached their destination, trousers and all.