TOKYO (AP) — Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie at 83 simply turned the oldest particular person on the planet to finish a solo, nonstop voyage throughout the Pacific Ocean — and he says he’s nonetheless “in the middle of my youth” and never accomplished but.
Horie returned dwelling as he crossed the Kii Strait off Japan’s western coast early Saturday, finishing his trans-Pacific solo voyage in 69 days after leaving a yacht harbor in San Francisco in late March.
On Sunday, after spending the evening on his 19-foot (6-meter) -long Suntory Mermaid III simply off the coast, Horie was towed into his dwelling port of Shin Nishinomiya, the place he was cheered by native residents and supporters and banners that learn: “Welcome back, Mr. Kenichi Horie!”
As he approached the harbor, Horie, standing in his boat, took off his white cap and waved. He bought off the yacht, took off the cap once more and bowed deeply on the pier earlier than he was introduced with bouquets of roses.
“Thank you for waiting!” mentioned Horie, who appeared tanned and along with his white hair longer than regular.
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He carried a inventory of medication from San Francisco, he mentioned, however solely used eye drops and Band-Aids throughout his greater than two months alone at sea.
“That shows how healthy I am,” Horie mentioned. “I’m still in the middle of my youth.”
He mentioned he “burned all my body and soul” on the journey however says he is prepared for extra. “I will keep up my work to be a late bloomer.”
At a news conference at the yacht harbor later Sunday, he said becoming the oldest person to make the feat was a dream come true. “It was my great joy to have been able to make a challenge as a real goal and safely achieve it, instead of just holding onto it as a dream.”
“I want to be a challenger as long as I live,” he mentioned.
It 1962, he turned the primary particular person on the planet to efficiently full a solo nonstop voyage throughout the Pacific from Japan to San Francisco. Sixty years later, he traveled the other route.
This time, his preparation throughout the coronavirus pandemic was filled with uncertainties involving vaccine necessities, testing and different logistics. “It was like walking on thin ice,” he mentioned.
Soon after his departure from San Francisco, he was confronted with a storm, however the climate regularly improved and he reached Hawaii in mid-April forward of schedule.
He had some struggles towards the top with a number of days of pushback from a powerful tide. He wrote on his weblog on Friday that he had succeeded however was exhausted, and he took a nap after feeling assured that his yacht was heading in the right direction to the end line.
Horie has accomplished different long-distance solo voyages, together with crusing world wide in 1974. His newest expedition was the primary since his 2008 solo nonstop voyage on a wave-powered boat from Hawaii to the Kii Strait.
Despite crusing on his personal, know-how resembling ship monitoring and communications allowed him to remain in contact along with his household and different individuals all through the journey. “I imagine my next voyage would be even more fun,” he mentioned.
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