Beijing: Chinese sailor Guo Chuan on Friday became the first sailor from the country to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe.
Aboard a 40-foot (12.2 meters) monohull, the 48-year old returned to the northeastern port city of Qingdao, his home town, after a gruelling 138-day, 21,600-nautical-mile voyage.
Guo jumped into the sea for celebration before his yacht pulled over, and swam towards the dock to meet his wife and sons, who joined hundreds of local citizens and sports officials at a welcome ceremony.
"I am so happy that I can again see so many people, so many people who care about me," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Guo as saying.
"I can`t even believe I made it. If this is real, I am the happiest man in the world. I don`t have to eat those awful dehydrofrozen food anymore, and I can sleep as long as I want while not worrying about winds and fishing nets.
He said he will not have to wash his hair with seawater either and can enjoy a hot shower.
Following an string of failures, ranging from equipment failures, a fishing net barrage off the Chinese coast, a fast-moving tropical storm, Guo was forced to prolong his journey whish he expected to complete in 125 days.
"I had to stay focused always to adjust the sail and make the yacht move," Guo recalled.
Guo said that next time he would bring more delicious food as he didn`t want to be semi-starvation anymore during the voyage.
Starting from Qingdao, Guo piloted his yacht eastwards across the Pacific Ocean to Cape Horn in Chile, sailed into the Atlantic Ocean, then went into the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa before crossing the Sunda Strait in Indonesia to return to Qingdao.
Guo is the first and only professional offshore sailor in China. In 2011, he became the first Chinese who participated in the Mini Transat sailing event and successfully sailed across the Atlantic Ocean single-handed in a mini yacht of 6.5 meters.