83-year-old Japanese man ready for more after crossing the Pacific solo


Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie, 83, has just become the world’s oldest person to complete a solo, non-stop trip across the Pacific Ocean – and he says he’s still “in the middle of my youth” and that he has not finished yet.

Horie returned home as he sailed through the Kii Strait off the west coast of Japan early Saturday, completing his solo trans-Pacific journey in 69 days after leaving a marina in San Francisco in late March.

After spending the night on his 19-foot-long, 990-kilogram Suntory Mermaid III just off the coast on Sunday, Horie was towed to his home port of Shin Nishinomiya Marina, where he was cheered by local residents and supporters, some holding banners that read: “Welcome, Mr. Kenichi Horie!” Approaching the port, Horie, standing in his boat, took off his white cap and waved his hand. Then he got off the boat, took off the bonnet and bowed deeply on the pier before he was presented with bouquets of roses.

“Thanks for the wait!” said Horie, tanned and with his white hair longer than usual.

He was carrying a supply of medicine from San Francisco, he said, but only used eye drops and band aids during his more than two months at sea.

“It shows how healthy I am,” Horie said. “I’m still in the middle of my youth.” He said he “burned out my whole body and soul” on the trip, but says he’s ready for more.

“I will continue my work to be a latecomer,” he said.

It was the latest record for the octogenarian adventurer, who in 1962 became the first person in the world to complete a non-stop solo voyage across the Pacific from Japan to San Francisco.

Sixty years later, he is doing the opposite.

Shortly after leaving San Francisco he encountered a storm, but the weather gradually improved and he reached Hawaii in mid-April earlier than expected.

He had some difficulties towards the end with a few days back due to a strong tide. He wrote on his blog on Friday that he had made it but was exhausted, and he took a nap after making sure his yacht was on course to the finish line.

Horie has made other long-distance solo voyages, including sailing around the world in 1974. His last expedition was the first since his 2008 nonstop solo trip on a wave-powered boat from Hawaii to the Strait of Kii .

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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