83-Year-old Sets World Record Sailing Alone Across the Pacific Without Stopping

Kenichi Horie

A Japanese man has once again completed his favorite pastime of sailing across the Pacific Ocean without stopping.

The undeterrable Kenichi Horie did it once before when he was 23, and probably didn’t expect to be pulling the same stunt 60 years later. But that’s just who he is.

Embarking on the 27th of March in his 2,182 lb. (990 kg), 19-foot-long (six-meter-long) sailboat the Suntry Mermaid III.

Horie sailed solo for two months across the world’s largest ocean before arriving in the Kii Peninsula in western Japan at 2:39 a.m. local time.

“Don’t let your dreams just stay as dreams. Have a goal and work towards achieving this and a beautiful life awaits,” Horie told CNN over a satellite phone.

Making no port calls, Horie nevertheless called his family every day to check in.

The Guardian reports that he will arrive in Cape Hinomisaki this Saturday, after which he will be towed to his home port in order to appear at an arrival ceremony in Nishinomiya city in the Hyogo prefecture.

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It’s not his first award ceremony, because it’s not hia first trans-Pacific voyage. As a 23-year-old used car parts salesman, Horie became the first person ever to make a non-stop, unaided voyage across the Pacific, during which he ate only rice, canned food, and had a single radio for communication aboard a plywood vessel no less.

“I had the confidence that I would make it—I just wanted to take on the challenge,” Horie said.

When he arrived under the Golden Gate Bridge, 94 days later, he was promptly arrested, as he had neither a passport nor money. When mayor George Christopher heard what he had done, though, he gave Horie an honorary visa, and he became a mini-celebrity.

The boat in which he arrived in is held at the National Maritime Museum in California with a placard that reads “Recall for a short moment, if you will, the deed of a young Japanese, who loved the yacht and the United States of America.”

Kenichi Horie has actually crossed the Pacific many times, often on yachts build of recycled materials, like beer kegs, plastic bottles, or aluminum cans. One was even solar powered. He does these things, and hopes to continue doing them until age 100, to raise awareness of the irreplaceable resource that is the ocean.

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“I didn’t think I’d be sailing at 83 but I’m still healthy and I didn’t want to miss this chance,” he told CNN. “Challenges are exciting so I’d like to keep trying.”

(WATCH the NBC video for this story below.)

SAIL the Adventure Story Over to Your Buddies…

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