Yoh’s Circumnavigation

The ketch AHODORI 2 is a 21-foot plywood boat built by her skipper Yoh Aoki in his back yard taking 2 years to build.
When Yoh was 22 years old, he left Osaka, Japan for the circumnavigation of the globe by himself.
And he luckily sailed home on 1974 after 3 years and 2 months of a lonesome journey on the sea, calling at San Francisco, Acapulco, Galapagos islands, Easter island, Buenos Aires, Cape town and Sydney.
No such small boat like a 21-foot had attempted to sail around the world via Cape Horn when Yoh completed his journey.

His 1972 Cape Horn passage was miraculous Yoh says. A wave he recalls as being about 100 feet high turned his vessel upside down before another wave somehow righted the craft. “The upside-down boat had started sinking because a lot of water came into the cabin.”

His boat is registered on the Guiness book of record as the smallest boat ever circumnavigated the world via Cape Horn. The record is also introduced to Captain Joshua Slocum Society’s book. His boat AHODORI 2 is now on display at the Banpaku Museum Park in Osaka.

Yoh’s book Ahoudori and Myself is well known, as well as his recent books Inner Sailing 1, Inner Sailing 2 and Inner Sailing 3 are best selling  in Japan and Korea as sailing text books.

Yoh Aoki is also conducting a monthly Zen meeting at Zigenin temple in Osaka. Feel free to join the meetings if you are in Osaka.

Ahoudori’s story told in Japanese is here.


11 Comments to Yoh’s Circumnavigation

  1. Hi Yoh

    I don’t know if you remember, we met you in Sydney in 1974. We were the American family (mother, father, 2 boys and 1 daughter) aboard the motorsailer “Quest” from San Diego and we had a crew member from Aomori, his name is Mori Taihei. I think we were 2 or 3 slips away from you. I never forgot the name of your boat and I told the story of your voyage to many people because I thought it incredible that anyone would venture onto the oceans in such a small vessel. I left Quest in Sydney but my parents continued to circumnavigate and arrived back in San Diego after an 8 year voyage. Taihei is retired and living in Manila but his sister continues a family scallop fishing business in Aomori. I hope you’ll be in touch. Best regards, RC.

    • Hi Ryan,
      It’s such a great to hear from you after 39 years! Is your parents alright?
      I remembered that you invited me a dinner aboard “Quest ” when we were 2 or 3 slips away in Sydney.
      Yes keep in touch.

  2. Hi Yoh! I attended your presentation in Tempe AZ this evening. I am so glad I could attend in person. I hope someday to learn sailing. My Father and I had a dream to build a boat. I am so glad you were able to enjoy this great adventure that we can all dream of.

  3. Hi Yoh

    I am trying to get in contact with Jiro Toshishige from the boat Syuraku who I meet in Santa Cruz Ca and gave him lots of contacts throughout the South Pacific-do you know of him or have a way to contact him-he was a member of the Kansai Yacht Club and I think wrote some cruising guides to Japan. When I met him years ago he and his wife had crossed the North Pacific via the Aleutians and were working their way down the West Coast of America.

  4. Hi Yoh. Good story. Real one. Congrats!
    You never visit Valparaiso port? I ask u because i attend a japannese friend in small boat there… May be a yamaha 21…?
    Hug u and keep safe

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