Japanese yachtsman, 83, becomes oldest person to sail solo across Pacific

Japan’s most famous yachtsman continues to add to his legacy.

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Sixty years after becoming the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean in a nonstop, solo voyage, Kenichi Horie did it again Saturday. The 83-year-old adventurer became the oldest person to complete the feat, The Associated Press reported.

In 1962, Horie sailed from Japan to San Francisco. On Saturday, he arrived in the waters off Japan’s Kii Peninsula at 2:39 a.m. local time, completing a journey that began in San Francisco on March 27, The Guardian reported.

“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.

Horie said that his boat, the 19-foot, 2,182-pound Suntory Mermaid III, was to be towed after the sunrise for an expected arrival at his home port of Shin Nishinomiya yacht harbor in the evening, according to the AP.

Horie made no port calls during his trip and was spotted near Oahu in Hawaii on April 16, CNN reported.

In 1962, Horie was a 23-year-old spare car parts salesman when he navigated the Pacific on the Mermaid, a 19-foot plywood boat, according to the National Parks Service website.

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

Horie left Nishinomiya on May 12, 1962, and sailed through under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge unannounced 94 days later. He had no passport or money, and Horie said that San Francisco’s then-mayor, George Christopher, granted him a visa.

In 1964, Horie wrote “Kodoku: Sailing Alone Across the Pacific,” which chronicled his first solo crossing across the world’s largest body of water. Asked why he wanted to sail solo across the Pacific, Horie, who was 23 when he achieved the feat, said, “Well, I crossed it because I wanted to.”

“If you make up your mind to do something--if you are determined to do it -- there is only one way to go about it,” Horie wrote. “Work out your own ideas on the general course you are going to follow and stick to them; stand on those basic ideas and assume responsibility for your actions.”

Horie sailed solo around the world in 1974, according to the AP. His latest voyage was the first since he sailed solo nonstop on a wave-powered boat from Hawaii to the Kii Strait, the news outlet reported.