2008/07/05

Mermaid II Completes Its Journey

Kenichi Horie on the Suntory Mermaid II wave powered boat has reached his goal in the Kii Channel between capes of Hinomisaki, Wakayama Prefecture, and Kamodamisaki, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan.



His voyage began March 23rd when he left Honolulu, Hawaii. Powered only by wave action on the 33 foot all aluminum catamaran's flipper propulsion system, he was expected to make Japan by late May. Small waves and contrary currents made for a slower crossing.


Mr. Horie covered 6100 km (about 4000 miles) in 109 days using wave power alone. He also had a 650 watt solar electric system that powered his lights, radio, and microwave oven.

Omedetou gozaimasu Horie-san! Congratulations on yet another inspiring ocean voyage demonstrating the principles of recycling and sustainable energy. Who knows how this wave propulsion technology might be improved and implemented in the future?

As Kenichi Horie said before leaving Hawaii, "Oil is a limited power source, but there is no limit to waves."


11 comments:

jam said...

Good on him! Show to the world our future direction should be concentrating on the use of renewable energy!

Don Snabulus said...

Excellent. I hope he enjoyed his sushi and sashimi.

Happysurfer said...

I always marvel at people who accomplish such feats. Very courageous indeed. Thanks for sharing the story, PandaB.

ladybug said...

This is quite an accomplishment! Did he use GPS or the old Sextant, Stars and Sea Charts method?

Just wondering, analog naval navigation might be a skill worth learning as well...

Pandabonium said...

Jam - we don't have a lot of time to learn that lesson, do we?

Snabby - I'll be he did. I wonder if he ran out of beer?

Happy- Me too. Such people are inspiring for us to challenge ourselves.

Ladybug - He had GPS. However, it would not surprise me if he had a backup sextant and knows how to use it.

My dad and brother sailed from California to Hawaii back in the 70's when there was no GPS, but they used LORAN (a radio based navigating system). Dad had learned to use a sextant anyway and it was a good thing - 3 days out they lost all electrical power.

The Moody Minstrel said...

A wonderful testimony to courage and tenacity...both of which seem to be in sadly short supply these days.

ladybug said...

Hmmm the word LORAN rings a bell, maybe from a National Geograpic article. That trip your brother & dad took must have been very interesting!

Thank goodness my dad taught me to read maps at a very young age, it seems quite a few people depend on GPS & Google maps to get anywhere nowadays.

Long ago I learned how read geologic maps, took a military map reading class (sucked at the compass part though), and have had some woodsman-type backcountry training, but should probably brush up on it.

The scary thing about the military map reading class was they really, really emphasized the locations of schools and churchs. "That's where people gather, and you can use them as headquarters, since they are well built" - I realized in a horrible flash that's where they would go to kill poople and take over.

This was taken as part the ROTC..I needed just a couple credit to reach full time and the Ethics class I wanted was full.

Talk about ironic.

Pandabonium said...

Ladybug - then there were the two guys from Seattle who on a drunken whim decided to sail to Hawaii. They had no off shore navigating skills at all. They made it to Hawaii though, by following the jet contrails!

LORAN stands for LOng RAnge Navigation and works by timing the difference between synchronized signals received from two low frequency radio transmitters. Good system still - if you've got power.

Lrong said...

I have never stopped marvelling at this guy Horie-san... how many folks at past 70 can do such a feat... wooh...

Pandabonium said...

Lrong - when I read about such achievements I think to myself, "OK, what MY excuse?!" Inspiring stuff.

bonnie said...

Ha! I've been watching his site & nothing nothing nothing...I was just coming over to say hey, where's Kenichi?

In Japan?

GREAT answer! Yay!