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Kenichi Horie Passes Hawaii in Good Spirits

When we last reported on Kenichi Horie’s solo voyage from San Francisco to Japan on April 8, he was a little over halfway to Hawaii. Kenichi and Suntory Mermaid III are now 30 days into the journey, and the images we have seen indicate that all is well with the 83-year-old sailor.

Kenichi Horie
Kenichi is looking pretty good after his first 21 days at sea.
© 2022 Kenichi Horie

As Kenichi passed Oahu, Hawaii, on April 16, he smiled and waved for the cameras, and at one point appeared to be preparing to hand off a bag to another boat. His accumulated trash perhaps?

Kenichi Horie
What’s in the bag? And was it coming to or going from Suntory Mermaid III?
© 2022 Kenichi Horie
Kenichi Horie passing Hawaii
Oahu provides a dramatic backdrop for the 19-ft Suntory Mermaid III.
© 2022 Kenichi Horie

The farther Kenichi sails, the briefer his logbook entries become. There’s only so much one can say about a day spent alone in a boat on the ocean, but as he approached and then passed the Hawaiian Islands, his brevity alluded only to a positive attitude. (Again, we may have missed a few nuances in the translation.)

He is eating well. April 20: “I also have an appetite. I changed from twice a day in the morning and evening to three meals. Curry rice in the morning, cornflakes in the day, and curry rice in the evening. I take this kind of menu once every two days. I am in good physical condition.”

Kenichi is enjoying the ability to communicate — unlike during his first crossing 60 years ago. April 21: “Three TV and radio interviews continued. I don’t think I’ve ever been interviewed during the voyage. For that reason, the indescribable ‘freshness’ after the interview is likely to become a habit.”

And between stretches of rough weather, he has even managed to wash his hair. April 24: “A weak southeasterly wind continues. It is traveling at 2.5 knots. I shampooed because the wind was weak. At the same time, I washed my whole body with seawater. I stopped wearing seawater from my head*. I didn’t wipe my body with a towel and left it to the trade winds. I’m happy.” (*We’re taking this to mean Kenichi rinsed his head with fresh water.)

Kenichi Horie tracker image
Almost halfway there.
© 2022 Furuno

We’ll continue to keep an eye on Kenichi Horie’s voyage and bring you updates. In the meantime, if you’d like to follow his journey daily, you can do so here: Suntory Mermaid III Logbook.


  1. Jeff Martin 2 years ago

    Thanks for the link to Kenichi’s logbook. His entry from 19 April:
    Johnston Island is approaching. On July 8, 1962, a high-altitude nuclear explosion experiment was conducted 400 km above the island. At that moment, I heard that the streets of Hawaii disappeared all at once, and I couldn’t use the radio or telephone. At this time, the first mermaid was just approaching the north of Hawaii.
    It was 11:00 pm on July 8th, Honolulu time. He was lying in the cabin listening to the radio. Somehow it flashed. After about 10 minutes, the clouds covered the western sky with an eerie reddish tinge. And from that day on, I couldn’t hear the radio at all for 4 days. A noisy radio. And an eerie red cloud in the dark sky. Fallout may fall. There is no escape. I was really scared.
    It wasn’t long before I learned about the effects of electromagnetic pulses from high-altitude nuclear explosion experiments. I don’t think there are many Japanese people who have been directly affected by this experiment.
    The only electronic device in the first mermaid was a small radio. Suntory Mermaid III includes radios, satellite phones, GPS and tracking systems. Daily safety confirmation is an absolute requirement on current voyages. If you can’t use any of the electronic devices, you won’t be able to sail.
    The world is flooded with electronic devices that are incomparable to 60 years ago. The world will be irreparable with one weapon.
    A few years ago, the story of an electromagnetic pulse bomb was reported. Never use it, whether it’s an experiment or a production! .. This year I especially think about passing through the waters near Johnston Island.

  2. milly Biller 2 years ago

    Thank you for this John. I was wondering how he was doing. It sounds as if he has found an easy pace with his daily life at sea.

  3. Memo Gidley 2 years ago

    To make this look so easy at 83 years young…so nice to see!

  4. Suzi Beatie 2 years ago

    I love how his shirt is so clean, crispy and white after so many days at sea, no scruffiness at all! It’s amazing how put together he looks! Hi Kenichi! 🙂

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