Japanese sailor and environmentalist Kenichi Horie has completed a 110-day solo voyage across the Pacific Ocean in a boat propelled by wave power to claim another world first. Weak waves and opposing ocean currents delayed his arrival, which was originally set for late May.
“When waves were weak, the boat slowed down. That’s the problem to be solved,” the adventurer told reporters Saturday from aboard his catamaran Suntory Mermaid II off the Kii Peninsula in western Japan. The 9.5 metre (31-foot) boat is equipped with two special fins at the front which can move like a dolphin’s tail each time the vessel rises or falls with the rhythm of the waves.
Horie, who will turn 70 in September, reached his destination in the channel between the main Japanese islands of Honshu and Shikoku just before midnight (1500 GMT Friday) after covering some 7,000 kilometres (3,780 nautical miles) from Hawaii without a port call.
“The feeling is yet to sink in,” Horie added, according to the Jiji and. “I want to go home as soon as possible and eat home-cooked meals.”
Horie first made world headlines in 1962 when, at the age of 23, he became the first person to sail solo across the Pacific. He embarked on the three-month voyage from his hometown of Nishinomiya near Kobe despite breaking Japanese law, which did not allow its citizens to sail on their own out of the country, and without a passport or money.
He was arrested upon arrival in San Francisco but the city mayor freed him, gave him a 30-day visa and made him an honorary citizen. News of his achievement made him a hero back home in and his book of the voyage “Kodoku (Alone in the Pacific)” was made into a film. – yahoo