AMAGASAKI, Hyogo – Japanese sea adventurer Kenichi Horie, 83, becomes the world’s oldest sailor to solo non-stop passage across the Pacific Ocean.
Horie, a resident of Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, left San Francisco a little over two months ago and is expected to die as soon as April 4.
The sailor left the San Francisco shore under the Golden Gate Bridge on his yacht Suntory Mermaid III on the morning of March 26 — or March 27 Japan Standard Time. After being spotted off the Hawaiian island of Oahu on April 16, it is sailing steadily west with the trade winds. Despite struggling with calm conditions and a seasonal rain front in waters near Japan, by 8:30 a.m. on June 1, Horie had reached a point approximately 170 miles (270 kilometers) from his destination. Upon completion of its voyage, the Suntory Mermaid III will be towed to Homeport Shin Nishinomiya Marina in the city of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and an arrival ceremony is scheduled there.
Horie became the first person in history to successfully undertake an uninterrupted solo yacht voyage across the Pacific in 1962 at the age of 23. He left Japan for California on that trip 60 years ago, but this time he’s tackling the 5,500-mile journey from the opposite direction. In a press conference ahead of his departure, Horie said he was most looking forward to “reaching the goal.”
(Japanese original by Kayo Inada, Hanshin Bureau)