When it comes to historic circumnavigations, most mariners are aware of voyages by Magellan (his fleet made it all the way around even if his journey ended in the Philippines), Joshua Slocum, Bernard Moitissier, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dodge Morgan. Unfortunately, not as many are aware of another historic circumnavigation: that of Marvin Creamer in 1982 aboard his 36-foot cutter, Globe Star. Creamer, a longtime sailor and geography professor at Glassboro State College (now called Rowan University) in New Jersey, made the trip at age 67 without the use of any instruments — no sextant, no watch, he didn't even use a compass.
Creamer navigated on his circumnavigation using zenith stars at night, sun direction and wind direction during the day, plus a number of other savvy navigational tricks. An astounding feat, Creamer studied pre-industrial navigation methods, weather records and other data to assemble a background of knowledge that allowed him to make the journey. He returned to Cape May, New Jersey on May 18, 1984 — 510 days after departing.
These days, Creamer is 100 years old (on January 24) and still going strong in Pine Knoll Shores, N.C. As reported in the local newspaper, The Shoreline, Creamer still splits his own firewood and mows his own lawn. Last fall, Creamer was honored at Rowan University where a monument was unveiled to commemorate his impressive voyage. At the center of the monument, named "Endeavor", is a pole that signifies the mast on Globe Star. Directional signs on the pole indicate various destinations around the world, from Moscow to Rome to Sydney. The monument helps students and visitors to learn from Creamer's amazing geographic knowledge. Check out the Globe Star site here.