83-year-old Japanese man becomes oldest man to sail alone in Pacific


An 83-year-old Japanese man on Saturday became the oldest man to cross the Pacific Ocean on a solo, nonstop route.

Kenichi Horie’s two-month journey began in March in San Francisco, United States, and ended when he arrived in western Japan’s Kii Strait on Saturday morning.

He covered around 8,500 kilometers (5,282 mi) on a 6 meter yacht, the Suntory Mermaid 3rd.

Decades ago, in 1962, at just 23 years old, he had already taken a similar route, but in the opposite direction, from Japan to San Francisco, thus becoming the first and youngest person to sail alone in the Pacific Ocean.

According to German network Deutsche Welle, the trip brought Horie notoriety – at the time, he crossed without a passport, meaning he entered the US illegally.

Still according to the vehicle, in April of this year, still at sea, he wrote on his blog that during the 1962 voyage, he “was constantly anxious” and worried about the possibility of being caught.

“But this time it’s different, I’m being helped by a lot of people and I have their support through tracking systems and wireless radio. I couldn’t be more grateful,” he said of the most recent trip.

“Don’t let your dreams become just dreams. Have a goal and work towards it and a beautiful life awaits,” Horie told CNN on a satellite phone.

He told the network that some parts of the journey were challenging, but that he had spoken to his family every day by calling them on his satellite phone. “If I didn’t call at least once a day, they were worried,” he added.

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