Fair Winds, Sailor

Professor Marvin Creamer…a true adventurer

Rummaging through the news today, as I do each morning despite the way it makes my blood boil, I came across an obituary for a professor from New Jersey, Marvin Creamer. Professor Creamer passed away last week at the age of 104, and while that number is remarkable, what’s really remarkable about the late professor is what he did aboard a 36-foot cutter back in the 1980s.

Professor Creamer sailed that cutter, the Globe Star, around the world with a crew and it took them 513 days.

“Wait,” you’re saying. “What’s the big deal? Lots of people have done that…some solo, some nonstop, some in record time.” All true. But what Professor Creamer did is really amazing.

He made the trip with no — as in: zero — navigational instruments. No compass, no sextant, no radio, no clock…let alone a GPS, a radar or some other newfangled electronic gizmo.

Think about that for a second and you’ll likely be as amazed as I am. Nothing to tell him where he was or which direction he was headed. Nothing, except the sun, the stars, the moon, the wind and waves, the ocean currents and water color.

Like I said: amazing. Here’s the obit for this true adventurer:
Marvin Creamer, a Mariner Who Sailed Like the Ancients, Dies at 104

Reminds me of when I was looking at boats back about eight or nine years ago and I lamented to the broker with whom I was working that a particular boat didn’t have this or that piece of electronic equipment. Dave, in his own unique style, didn’t miss a beat and replied, “Yeah, I’m constantly amazed at how Columbus and Magellan got anywhere without any of that stuff.” Touche, Dave, and thanks for the kick in the pants.

Here’s to you, Professor Creamer! Thank you for showing us what we can do if we just set our mind to it. Fair winds!

Update from a Pandemic-stricken World

Good thing Plum Island is just south of that state line so the ocean’s nice ‘n’ toasty compared to nearby New Hampshire.

Hey there,

Been a long time since I last checked in so I figured it was time. And as we all know, things have gotten a little strange since then…

Last post was in December when a friend in Maryland happened to be in the same marina as Further and sent a couple of photos. I visited Further three months after that (four months after I had her hauled out of the water) when I interviewed for a job in Annapolis (apparently didn’t get it). That was the first week of March. Two weeks later, the world shut down.

I’ve been hunkered down at the family home on Plum Island, Massachusetts, and truth be told, it’s been a great place for self-isolating. It’s a big house that had no visitors after Christmas so it was clean; the island was quiet so getting out the house for a walk or run was pleasant; the beach stayed open for walking; we even had waves every so often for surfing. All in all, I hunkered down quite comfortably, and for that I am very grateful.

What’s all that got to do with Further, sailing and the ocean? Well, this: I got a kick out of this recent forecast from the National Weather Service. As we’ve moved into late spring, things have finally warmed up — but, of course, the ocean takes longer. So while the air recently hit the high 80s (with high humidity, to boot), the water stayed in the 40s. And that prompted the NWS to issue the following Beach Hazards Statement:


* WHAT...Please check with state and local authorities regarding
guidelines for allowed activities. The warm air temperatures
around 80 may cause people to underestimate the dangers of the
cold water temperatures which are currently only in the upper

* WHERE...In New Hampshire, Coastal Rockingham County. In Maine,
Coastal Waldo, Coastal Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox
and Coastal York Counties.

* WHEN...Through this evening.

* IMPACTS...The cold water temperatures can quickly cause
hypothermia to anyone immersed in the water. Anyone on boats or 
paddlecraft should use extreme caution to avoid this threat.

Included in the warning was the photo that accompanies this post. What cracks me up about it all (and why I’m posting about it) is that the warning just stops at the state line. So…the ocean in Seabrook, N.H., poses a threat but just over the line in Salisbury, Mass., everything’s fine?! Hoo boy…

Anyway, I got a kick out of it. Hope you did too.

As for what’s next for Further ’n’ me, well, that’s TBD. My brother arrived here at Plum Island a couple of days ago after spending the winter in Ventura, Calif., and the plan is for us to do some work on the house (he’s a carpenter). I’ve spent the winter going through our parents’ stuff so that’s done. Our goal is to get the house ready to sell and then, well, who knows? It will break my heart and crush my soul to sell this house but there’s really no way to keep it so…

The Chesapeake is open again and friends have resumed sailing so…it’s time. And I miss Further and being on the water. So, I’ll keep you posted.

On The Hard

Golden sunshine on a cold December morning.

A friend and teammate at the yacht brokerage in Annapolis sent me some photos of Further in her winter home on the hard in Maryland. She looks good (to me anyway) in her winter attire, if a bit forlorn at being out of the water. The shrink-wrap job looks good, too, so that will help her weather the weather, so to speak.

Who knew the elf was a sailor?!

All things considered, it made me feel very relieved to get these photos. Sad, yes, which I’ve already documented. But I feel good knowing that my baby is safe and sound for the coming months, and that I won’t have to worry (as much) about her while I’m up here in New England battling the elements and figuring out what’s next for us both. That relief makes me realize I made the right decision.


Thanks to Susan Meredith for the photos. Check out her bio…Susan knows boats. If you’re looking to buy or sell a boat in the mid-Atlantic region, drop her a line at: susanm@sjyachts.com or call her at 443-995-0906.

That’s “Mr. Smith” to you…