Globe Star left Cape May December 21, 1982 and sailed to South Africa by way of Dakar, West Africa and Cape Town.
From there, she sailed to Australia, New Zealand, Cape Horn, the Falkland Islands, and along the South American coastline
northward by Cape Verdes and Bermuda, finally ending at the point of departure. Marvin returned to Cape May on May 17, 1984.
Eleven and a half of the eighteen months were spent at sea.
The GLOBE STAR completed a successful circumnavigation of the globe, skippered by Professor Marvin Creamer of New Jersey.
Creamer navigated without the use of compass, sextant or electronic instruments! He eschewed even a wristwatch, but took
an hourglass for changes of watch! Actually, a sextant, clock, compass and radio were sealed in a locker below deck in
event of an emergency, but these remained sealed for the entire journey, which was attested to and notarized by proper
The boat was equipped with a transmitter which sent signals at regular intervals so that the Coast Guard knew of the
boat's whereabouts. When it malfunctioned, the media reported the crew missing. After the Globe Star reached port, Creamer
called his wife, who had more confidence in her husband's abilities than in electronics!
During his circumnavigation, Marvin gleaned much additional knowledge about navigating by nature alone. He discovered that
he could depend entirely on the sun, moon and stars -- if they were visible. In overcast and stormy weather, he studied
currents and wind patterns. But he also found that the composition and color of the sea, cloud formations, the horizon,
drifting objects and different types of birds or insects were valuable sources of information. Creamer obtained his
latitudes by identifying a star with known declination that happened to transit through his zenith, directly overhead.
After a lot of practice, he was just as aware of his longitude as was an eighteenth-century mariner, so he had only to
sail down a parallel of latitude for landfall.
On one occasion a squeaking hatch served as a navigational aid. Marvin had lost direction in a prolonged dead calm. With no
visible stars and currents to guide him, he could little more than sit and wait. When the wind finally began to blow, a
crew member moved the hatch cover, which made a loud squeaking noise. Deductive reasoning told Marvin that dry air coming
off the Antarctic had caused the squeak. Moist air would have lubricated the track. Following the direction of the dry air,
Marvin was able to get back on course. On May 13, 1984, after 510 days at sea, Marvin Creamer neared the end of a voyage
which had begun as a fantasy in his teenage mind. A normal house fly which landed on the GLOBE STAR hinted that he was
about to become the first person in recorded history to circumnavigate the globe without instruments. Victory was near!
Four days after the fly’s visit, following a night of wrestling with heavy sails, the exhausted skipper had just crawled into
his bunk when he was awakened by repeated shouts. Overhead, a U.S. Coast Guard chopper circled the GLOBE STAR. Off the
starboard bow, Creamer spotted a red marker, the “F” marker just 15 miles south of Cape May. At 1 p.m. on May 17, the GLOBE STAR
entered Cape May harbor having logged 30,000 miles with 17 months at sea. Creamer wrote in his record of the journey, "It has
been a jolly romp!"
Using only environmental clues, Creamer had sailed around the globe in a grand feat of record-breaking proportions. Creamer
proved what he always believed — that it is possible to circumnavigate the globe in a small boat without instruments.
The soft-spoken 68-year-old retired geography professor became an American hero much admired by those he met during his
adventure. Creamer and his crew members docked at Capetown, South Africa; Hobart and Sydney, Australia; Whangora, New
Zealand; and Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Christmas 1983 was spent in the Falklands where they unknowingly made
port at a top secret British military installation. “We were the talk of the Royal Air Force,” Creamer writes. “They treated
us like kings, but they thought we were crazy.”
“What we demonstrated,” he concludes, “is that information taken from the sea and sky can be used for fairly safe navigation.
How far pre-Columbians sailed on the world’s oceans we do not know; however, it is my hope that the GLOBE STAR voyage will
provide researchers with a basis for assuming that long-distance navigation without instruments is not only possible, but
could have been done with a fair degree of confidence and accuracy.”
Creamer has always been a doer as well as a dreamer. Today, Creamer resides in Pine Knoll Shores, N.C., Although Creamer
still has a 17 foot sailboat, he generally stays on dry land.
Known articles by and about Creamer and his voyage around the world
See also: Links Page
Rowan professors Denis Mercier and Paul VonHoltz collaborated in editing and setting Creamer's account
of the voyage in book form, titled The Globe Star Voyage, a 171-page autobiographical story
including pictures and newspaper articles. This has unfortunately never been published.
A two-page article about Creamer's circumnavigation appeared in the July-August 1984 issue of New
Jersey Outdoors Magazine.
An article by Creamer appeared in the Ocean Navigator July/August 1985, pages 30-35, published
by Navigator Publishing Company, of 18 Danforth St., Portland, ME 04101. Written by Greg Walsh, the
article was titled, A Natural Navigator, Marvin Creamer is the world's premier no-instruments voyager.
Creamer gave a speech a the Institute of Navigation annual meeting, Annapolis, MD in June, 1985,
entitled The First Circumnavigation Without Instruments: A Small Step Backward
Speeches by Creamer to the Delaware Valley Geographical Association, Treadway Inn, West Chester, Pennsylvania:
November 1981: A Geographer’s Odyssey—Sailing the Seas by Stars Alone
November 1984: Voyage of the Globestar—A Non-Instrument Circumnavigation