Tuesday, December 21, 1982 was a cold winter day on the Delaware Bay. Overhead, jets were bringing passengers laden with Christmas gifts to Philadelphia International Airport. Boat traffic on the bay was understandably light. A few days earlier, the sleek new 36-foot steel-hulled sloop Globe Star was covered with fresh snow at her berth in Greenwich. The vessel and its Captain were about to embark on a historical voyage around the world - without navigational instruments!

Many years of preparation, planning, practice and study had gone before and now, it was time. Marvin Creamer, 66, was retired and ready to fulfill his life's ambition. In the first chapter of his book, The Voyage of the Globe Star, Creamer writes:

“We needed a favorable wind to carry us southeasterly toward the Gulf Stream and away from freezing temperatures. The northwest gale would do the job in spite of the thick cloud cover of an advancing cold front. Without instruments of any kind we needed a source of direction until we were safely away from land. By positioning the offshore gale directly astern we could be sure of the direction we wanted and a rapid attainment of desirable sea room… There was no doubt that the decision to sail that very night was the right one… A few days earlier, nighttime temperatures had dropped into the middle teens. Freezing weather that could rupture water tanks and ruin the thirty cases of stowed food was a real possibility. If we were to ward off a costly postponement that might result in a year's delay, it was time to make a run for it. Whatever weather we were sailing into would be mild compared to what we could expect in the Indian and Pacific oceans, especially in the critical areas around southern Africa, Australia, and South America. As for starting off at night, nearly a year of nights lay ahead. One more wouldn't matter. The simple fact was that the wind was blowing in our direction and, moving from land to sea, it would not have time to create a nasty sea until it had blown itself out. Another simple truth is that you cannot move a sailboat without wind. It is a most unusual storm that does not provide usable air. In general, calms are the sailor's enemy, not storms.”

Egyptians had sailing ships as early as 3500 BC. Vikings sailed wide expanses of the North Atlantic and Polynesians sailed the Pacific using only the elements of nature to guide them. But Captain Marvin Creamer is the only person in recorded history who has circumnavigated the globe without the use of navigational instruments.

Only a hand-blown hourglass was permitted to measure watches aboard the 36-foot Globe Star. The retired Geography Professor relied solely on his knowledge of our solar system, ocean currents, winds and forms of life. His expertise and experiences on three Atlantic crossings without instruments also proved helpful in preparing for this feat.

Shortly before Christmas, 1982, only a few, mostly pessimistic reporters covered Creamer's departure, but on May 20, 1984, a huge crowd of enthusiastic fans, prominent politicians, camera teams from TV stations and reporters from area newspapers converged on National Park, NJ, on the Delaware River opposite Philadelphia Airport, to give Creamer a rousing hero’s welcome.

Creamer's rise to fame in 18 short months is understandable, but it is difficult to understand how such a singular historical event could so soon be forgotten! Creamer wrote a book, The Globe Star Voyage, soon after his return, providing invaluable resources that every serious navigator should read. A number of publishers were approached, but all felt that there were not enough potential buyers to warrant publication. Creamer's historical feat gradually faded into oblivion, so much so that ten years later, in 1992, a German sailor wrote a book, Transatlantik in die Sonne, in which he claimed to be the first person in the history of navigation to "purposely attempt an ocean crossing without any navigational instruments." (translated from the author's personal website, http://www.bobbyschenk.de/)

Thanks to modern technology, Marvin Creamer's book is finally available on a DVD in Microsoft Word, PDF and text formats. Also included on the DVD are two hour-long podcast interviews with Creamer made by FurledSails.com, hundreds of photographic images of newspaper and magazine articles, photos of the voyage itself and two Power Point presentations that were shown in National Park, NJ during the 25-Year Celebration.