Japanese Sailor Wintering in Kodiak Harbor



Japanese sailer Katsumi Moritaka in front of his boat, the Only You, tied up in Kodiak’s Saint Paul Harbor. After a long voyage from Japan, Moritaka is overwintering in Kodiak. Jennifer Canfield photo

Jennifer Canfield/KMXT

Hundreds of boats are docked at downtown Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor. In one of them lives a 74-year-old Japanese man who left his recycling business in Osaka to travel across the Pacific Ocean. KMXT’s Jennifer Canfield visited with him.

Katsumi Moritaka’s friend told him that the sailboat trip from Osaka, Japan to Dutch Harbor only took 25 days. Moritaka spent 44 days at sea. With help from translator Kazue Barnes, Moritaka says he explains that he wasn’t prepared.

— Katsumi 1

Before Moritaka arrived‑ starved and delusional- in Dutch Harbor, his boat, Only You had suffered engine trouble and a torn sail. He says though the first leg of his trip was dangerous, it was also new and exciting

— Katsumi 2

After Dutch Harbor, he came to Kodiak where he has remained the last two months. He plans to stay until May. Meanwhile, the 74-year-old Moritaka is taking English as a Second Language classes at the college and prepping his boat for the next leg of his adventure.

He says he’s been sailing around Japan for over 35 years and had seen pretty much everything there was to see there. After Kodiak he plans to circumnavigate the Pacific Ocean stopping in Vancouver, San Francisco, Puerto Vallarta, Tahiti, Australia, Indonesia and finally returning to Japan. He expects the entire trip to take 2 ½ years.

Moritaka says he’s happy to be wintering here

— Katsumi 3

I’m Jennifer Canfield


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