MAJURO, MARSHALL ISLANDS (CNN) - After 13 months out on the water, Jose Salvador Alvarenga is finally headed home.
The apparent castaway boarded a plane, leaving the Marshall Islands for Hawaii.
The initial plans for his repatriation to El Salvador were postponed, last week, when his health took a turn for the worse.
His story of surviving 13 months in the Pacific Ocean was initially met with skepticism, but details from the day he appeared in the Marshall Islands have only appeared to add weight to his story.
Islanders say, when they first saw him, they saw an extremely weak man on a battered boat wearing nothing but tattered underwear.
They also saw a live bird tethered by its foot, apparently about to become Alvarenga's next meal.
Rescuers say, once he was back on dry land, he ate as if he hadn't had a decent meal in months.
They say they communicated with him through a mix of drawings and charades, enlisting the help of the mayor's son - who helped using the limited Spanish skills he picked up from the animated children's series, Dora the Explorer.
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