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‘Voyage of Inspiration’ Reaches Japan

On Saturday, blind sailor Hiro Iwamoto  accomplished his dream and made the 6,000- mile crossing from San Diego to Fukushima, Japan, aboard Dream Weaver, an Island Packet 40. As we reported in the March issue of Latitude, Hiro, along with his crew and visual navigator Doug Smith, departed from California on February 24 to make the “first blind, nonstop Pacific crossing,” according to the Japanese Blind Sailing Association.

Hiro Iwamoto, foreground, and Doug Smith practiced for their Pacific crossing before leaving San Diego for Japan in February.
© 2019 Voyage of Inspiration

This was Hiro’s second attempt at the crossing. His first was an ill-fated attempt in 2013 when his boat was hit by a blue whale during a typhoon. Although the crew was safely rescued, the boat was lost.

When addressing Japan’s Kyodo News Agency at Iwaki Sun Marina, Hiro said that completing the challenge was a “dream come true. I’m the happiest person on Earth!”

The goal of the trip is not only to break down barriers about disability, but also to give hope to the Fukushima victims of the 2011 tsunami.

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