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Harry Heckel, Jr., sailed solo around the world twice. He was 78 when he completed his first circumnavigation. He was 89 when he completed his second. After his wife's death in 1989, Harry became a solo sailor.
In all, Harry visited 54 countries and islands, including China, South Korea, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. He evaded pirates off Somalia, and was deliberately sideswiped by Chinese fishing boats. In Yemen, Harry was presented with a burqa-shrouded woman since he had no wife. A small village in Japan threw him a reception as the oldest sailor in the world.
In June 2007 in Newport News, Harry received the Joshua Slocum Society International’s Golden Circle Award for his solo circumnavigations.
Now 97, Harry lives with his son and daughter-in-law in Virginia.