TOKYO -- Japanese adventurer KenichiHorie, aged 83, just became the oldest person to cross the Pacific Ocean solo and nonstop. He said he is still in his youth and has not finished yet.
Horie returned home after crossing the Kii Strait off Japan’s western coast on Saturday. This was his trans-Pacific solo journey in 69 days, having left a yacht harbour in San Francisco in March.
After spending the night on the 19-foot Suntory Mermaid III, a 990-kilogram (2.182-pound) Suntory Mermaid III, Horie was pulled into Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor, cheered by his supporters and local residents.
Horie stood in his boat as he approached the harbor. He removed his cap and waved as he went. He got out of the boat and removed his cap. After bowing deeply to the Pier, he was presented bouquets with roses.
Horie, who was tanned with his white hair longer that usual, said "Thanks for waiting!"
He said he had a stash of San Francisco medicine, but used only eye drops and band-aids for his two months at sea.
Horie stated, "That's how healthy I am." "I'm still in my youth."
He stated that he had "burned every part of my body and soul" during the trip, but he said he is ready for more.
He said, "I will continue my work to become a late bloomer."
This was the latest record-setting accomplishment for the octogenarian explorer, who became the first person to solo cross the Pacific from Japan through San Francisco in 1962.
Sixty-years later, he took the opposite path.
He was confronted with a storm shortly after he left San Francisco. However, the weather improved over time and he arrived in Hawaii in April ahead of schedule.
There were some difficulties towards the end, with some pushback from strong tides. On Friday, he wrote that he had succeeded but that he was tired. He then took a rest after feeling confident that his yacht was on the right path to the finish.
Horie has also completed solo long-distance solo journeys, including a 1974 sailing tour around the globe. This was his first solo nonstop voyage since 2008, when he traveled from Hawaii to the Kii Strait on a boat powered by waves.