Japanese adventurer KenichiHorie, 83, just became the oldest person to make a solo, nonstop journey across the Pacific Ocean. He says that he is still in his youth and has not completed the trip 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 Suntory Mermaid III, 19 feet (6 meters) long, just off the coast, Horie was pulled into Shin Nishinomiya by his supporters and local residents. Banners with the words “Welcome Back, Mr. Kenichi Horie!” were displayed.

Horie stood in his boat as he approached the harbor. He removed his cap and waved as he approached. Before he could get off the yacht, he took off his cap and bowed down on the pier. He was then presented with rose bouquets.

Horie said, “Thanks for waiting!” He appeared more tanned than usual and had his white hair longer.

He said he had a stock of San Francisco medicine, but only used it for his two months at sea.

Horie stated, “That’s how healthy I am.” “I’m still in my youth.”

He admitted that he had “burned my soul and body” during the trip, but he said he is ready to do more. “I will continue my work to become a late bloomer.

He said that becoming the oldest person to accomplish the feat was a dream come real at a news conference held at the yacht harbour later Sunday. It was a great pleasure to be able to set a goal for myself and successfully achieve it.

He said, “I want to challengers as long as my life,”

He became the first person to solo travel the Pacific from Japan through San Francisco in 1962. He traveled the opposite route sixty years later.

His preparations for the coronavirus pandemic were full of uncertainties, including testing, vaccine requirements, and other logistical details. He said, “It was like walking across thin ice.”

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.

He struggled 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.

Even though he was sailing alone, technology like ship tracking and communications enabled him to keep in touch with his family throughout the trip. He said, “I can imagine my next voyage being even more fun.”