Over the Horizon: Legendary Circumnavigator and Past President Charles Blaisdell

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Jul 112018

Legendary Circumnavigator passes away
Past President Charles Blaisdell

Charles “Charlie” Blaisdell

Charles “Charlie” Blaisdell

When Charles “Charlie” Blaisdell went over the horizon on July 1st, he had led the fullest of lives—travels, adventures and a commitment to making the world a better place. He served as president of the Circumnavigators Club and honorary president of the Circumnavigators Foundation. Just five months short of 103, he worked as an attorney right up until the end.

Born in Brooklyn in 1915, he attended Dartmouth and Columbia Law School. He joined the Circumnavigators in 1965. During his storied career, he served, among other things, as an FBI agent, his exploits recounted in the newspaper link below.

Charlie was known for his friendly smile and ability to make people laugh. A true gentleman, he will be missed by all. The Circumnavigators send out their deepest sympathy to his beloved wife Beatrice and his family.

Read the 2014 article about Charlie from Westchester Magazine:
Pound Ridge’s Charlie Blaisdell, Former FBI Agent, Hunted Nazis And Helped Jail Mobsters

July 2018 Circumbits

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Jun 302018


The LOG is on its way

The new edition of our historical publication The LOG is arriving soon. It is filled with great stories and photos from our members and news about the Club. If you do not receive your copy in the next couple of weeks, please contract Tracy at headquarters by email at club@circumnavigators.org.

 

About The LOG and the Website

We are always looking for information, news and feedback about our two main vehicles of communication. Please send us your comments when you review the new issue. Also, please do not throw out the issue after you read it. It is an important “tool” for our Club in spreading the word about the Circumnavigators. Pass it on to your friends and neighbors, or return you copy to your Chapter or headquarters if you do not want to save it. The Log comes out twice a year, and our web site is updated on a regular basis with current news and info. We encourage members to pass on their best photos for possible use on the site or in The LOG. Let us know about your travels for “All Over the Map” and about personal “happenings” for Scuttlebutt on the site.

 


Mark your calendars

 

Although it seems like a long way off, please mark your calendars for our Order of Magellan event to honor Hall of Fame astronaut Robert Crippen. The event will be held in Naples FL on March 22, 2019. It isn’t too early to consider lodging and transportation for this major event.

 


Scuttlebutt Online…

For nearly a century, The LOG has carried a section called Scuttlebutt with news and info about our members. With the LOG only coming out twice a year, this news is far from timely, so we are now running Scuttlebutt on the website every month. Please send us news!

A Visit to America

C. Helen Jenkins, UK Chapter President and International Secretary, visited Los Angeles recently as she participated in the Million Dollar Round Table financial event. She met up with C. Neil Mandt, the Emmy-winning film producer, and Australian C. PJ Bryne who was also attending the event.

Neil and Helen. Notice the array of Neil’s awards in the background.

Million Dollar Round Table PJ and Helen far from their homes

Million Dollar Round Table PJ and Helen far from their homes

 

Circumnavigator honored 

Bradford with Major BA HAKU, African Union Commander at Mogadishu Airport, Somalia.

Bradford with Major BA HAKU, African Union Commander at Mogadishu Airport, Somalia.

C. Bradford Gary, Palm Beach Chapter, has been honored as donor of the year by the Stimson Center. He served on the Board of Directors at Stimson and was involved with these Stimson projects over the years: Arctic Navigation for Commercial Vessels, Improved Border Controls for Biological Pathogens and Sub-Sahara Africa Regional Defense Review. The Stimson Center announced, “We work to combat the world’s greatest threats to global peace and prosperity, and our efforts would be impossible without the generous financial support and involvement of our donors. This year’s honoree, Mr. Gary, is a perfect example of the outsized impact a single individual can have in furthering our mission.”

 

Congratulations to Aviator 

C. Matt Guthmiller, youngest aviator to fly solo around the world, has graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Matt received the Guinness World Record for his aviation achievement.

 

Member recognized as Top Traveler

Albert Podell, New York Metro, recently concluded a year of hard traveling to seldom-visited venues to reach his goal of topping the Wikipedia “List of People by Number of Countries Visited.” Although Al had visited every one of the world’s 196 recognized countries by 2014, the Wikipedia criteria include eleven de facto, but not widely recognized, “countries” like Somaliland, Transnistria, and Palestine, some of which Al had visited previously. To achieve his goal of 206, Al traveled with Quark Expeditions on a rare 33-day cruise (featured in the upcoming issue of The LOG) that crossed Antarctica and ended in Cape Verde after which Al flew to Casablanca, and then down for four days in Western Sahara, which was created after a 16-year-battle for independence from Morocco. This May he flew via Ukrainian International Airlines to Moldova in central Europe, from which he visited the breakaway republic of Gaugazia and also returned to Transnistria to take photos to document his visit. He then took a 22-day drive through the entire Caucasus Mountain range that ended in the nation of Abkhazia, which had broken away from Georgia in 2008. From there he flew via Sochi and Moscow to Lanarca in southern Cyprus and took a several-hour taxi ride to the Turkish enclave known as Northern Cyprus, reaching 206 quasi-countries and a tie for top traveler. Al was unable to visit the republic of South Ossetia in the heart of the Caucasus because Russia only granted him a double-entry visa instead of the triple-entry visa Al had requested. He plans to visit there next spring, which would bring his total up to 207, for sole possession of first place. “During the past year,” he said, “I was concerned that either Catalonia or Kurdistan would succeed in their movements for independence, requiring me to head to the airports to keep pace.”

 


The Last Shot

C. Lisa Brighton, Michigan Chapter, took the stunning shot of Lake Superior. Members are invited to send us their best photos for The Last Shot.

C. Lisa Brighton, Michigan Chapter, took the stunning shot of Lake Superior. Members are invited to send us their best photos for The Last Shot.

 

Luck to you!


David A. Mink
President
davidamink@me.com

 

June 2018 Circumbits

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Jun 012018


Hall of Fame Astronaut to receive Magellan honor

The Order of Magellan, the Club’s highest honor, will be awarded to highly decorated space pioneer, Commander Robert Crippen at an event on Friday, March 22, 2019 in Naples, Florida. Robert, a member of our Palm Beach Chapter, flew into space four times. He was the commander of the mission that included Sally Ride, the first woman in space who also received the Order of Magellan in 1985. The commander has received numerous honors, among them the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and induction into the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame. Please plan to join us next March in sunny Florida to honor this American hero. More details will follow.

 


Annual Meeting held in New York

President Ellen Parke banged the historic whale-tooth gavel for her last time as she opened the Annual Meeting on May 18. New officers and governors were inducted at the event, and Circumnavigators thanked Ellen for her four years of service as president. New officers are David Mink (President), Dan Peterson (First Vice President), Brad Vogel (Second Vice President) and Helen Jenkins (Secretary). Gordon Whiting continues his role as Treasurer. New Board members are Greg Rider, Lion Curran, Kristen Koontz, and John Constable.

Ellen Parke welcomed new members Eric Oborski, Evan Rice, Vicki Levi, and Domitilia dos Santos.

Circumnavigator and author Evan Rice (Washington DC Chapter member) gave a fascinating presentation on his world travels.

 


Coming to this web site

In the weeks to come, we will be adding a new feature to this site to allow interaction among our members in a forum style. This will be used to share travel information and experiences. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, Carol Narup of the Chicago Chapter has query for our members. Does anyone use MASA Medical Transport Solutions? If so, how do they like it. Please reply directly to Carol by email to carol@narup.com.

 


Scuttlebutt Online…

For nearly a century, The LOG has carried a section called Scuttlebutt with news and info about our members. With the LOG only coming out twice a year, this news is far from timely, so we are now running Scuttlebutt on the website every month. Please send us news!

Circumnavigator on Cuba mission 

C. Barbara Hagstrom  (New York Metro) recently went to Cuba on a venture with Earthwatch. Here is her report:

Recently I joined a global organization called EARTHWATCH that matches “citizen research” volunteers with first class scientists from more than 40 field research expeditions around the globe. My 12-day expedition took me to the Cordillera forests of Central Cuba to work with top researchers who are closely monitoring plant and animal populations before Cuba faces a historical transition into a more-developed Cuba. Cuba’s isolation, created by the United States embargo in 1958, has created an astounding richness in ecosystems and species, making Cuba a global priority for biodiversity conservation as it comprises important habitats for migratory, resident, and endemic birds and many of the country’s unique reptiles and amphibians. Central Cuba is also home to the island’s fastest growing agriculture and tourism sectors, with most rural communities living near protected areas and relying on natural ecosystems and their wildlife. We researched the mountainous forests of Lomas de Banao Ecological Reserve and the fresh wetlands of Tunas de Zaza Wildlife Refuge. Each day we broke off in teams to measure out “transects” to measure the type of plants and trees, plus the number and type of birds, amphibians and reptiles. It was arduous work as the jungle-like undergrowth is very thick, machetes were definitely needed at times. The accommodations were minimal and to reach La Sabina Reserve it was a four-hour trek up 1,000 feet. I rode a mule which I discovered was a very sure-footed animal and up to the task of navigating a narrow, steep, stone riddled trail. It was not for the faint-of-heart. This project will be ongoing for three years with six teams.

 

Newspaper features Circumnavigator 

C. Tom Ambrose (Palm Beach Chapter) was recently featured in THE COASTAL STAR newspaper, which covers the Palm Beach Coast, in a story about his 40-year geological trek around the world exploring for petroleum in the seven countries where he lived. In Cuba, in 1957, he drilled the deepest oil well ever completed on the island. Later under the Castro regime he continued exploration until 1960 when he joined the Cuban exodus to Miami and then on to Southeast Asia to seek more oil. During eight years in Indonesia and Singapore Tom and his wife Thora fell in love with Bali Island, so upon moving to Florida in 1990 they built a Bali inspired house with backyard temple which offers the sense of living in Bali without having to travel the 22,000 -mile round trip. To read Tom’s unique story of global expatriate living and travel click here.

 


The Last Shot

C. Albert Podell just returned from an awesome/awful (depending on the weather) adventure to the south Atlantic. He saw countless penguins, including this happy group. You will read about Albert’s trip in the next issue of The LOG, coming out in the early summer.

C. Albert Podell just returned from an awesome/awful (depending on the weather) adventure to the south Atlantic. He saw countless penguins, including this happy group. You will read about Albert’s trip in the next issue of The LOG, coming out in the early summer.

 

Luck to you,


Tracy Sancilio
Executive Director
club@circumnavigators.org

May 2018 Circumbits

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May 012018


Last Call for Annual Meeting

This is a reminder that our Annual Meeting will be held at the Penn Club in New York City on Friday, May 18. The meeting, open only to members, will begin at 11:00 AM, followed by luncheon and program that are open to both members and guests. Our guest speaker will be Circumnavigator Evan Rice of the Washington DC Chapter. Evan has travelled extensively off the beaten track and written the book, “Wayfarer’s Handbook”. Also, please remember to send in your ballots for new officers and governors.

Click here for PDF announcement 

Click here to register for the Luncheon Online

 


Do you use Facebook?

If you use Facebook or are considering it, members should be aware that Circumnavigators Club has a Group page. This is a safe and secure page that is open only to Circumnavigators by invitation. In recent days, we have had a lively dialogue recounting members’ longest flights. This was spurred on by the announcement by Singapore Airlines to operate the longest non-stop flight—19 hours.

Click here for more about the Singapore Airlines flight

Click here for the link to the Circumnavigators Facebook Group Page 

 


Scuttlebutt Online…

For nearly a century, The LOG has carried a section called Scuttlebutt with news and info about our members. With the LOG only coming out twice a year, this news is far from timely, so we are now running Scuttlebutt on the website every month. Please send us news!

Circumnavigator at the North Pole 

Circum Bill Ashley (Washington DC Chapter) ventured to the North Pole and even took along our Club flag. Notice the “warmers” at his feet. He traveled with a small group of Polar Explorers and arrived at the Pole by helicopter from Barneo Base Camp, run by the Russians. He found the temperature at minus 25 degrees F, but fortunately no extreme winds. The group did the usual champagne reception, “walk around the world” and lots of photography. Congratulations, Bill!

 

New book by Circumnavigators 

Artist and writer Circum Henri van Bentum, a recent cancer survivor, has published another children’s book in collaboration with Circum PJ Heyliger, who created the delightful and whimsical illustrations in watercolour.  Henri is based in Victoria, BC while PJ makes her home in Paradise Valley, AZ. PJ is a member of the Desert Chapter.

Over the past two years, Circums van Bentum and Heyliger have published four children’s books, making a Quartet.  Part adventure, part mystery, the latest book, called “The Quickest Claw in the Reef”, brings to life an eclectic cast of characters.

The story tells us about  —   but wait! We’re not going to share any spoilers, after all, it’s a mystery.

You can find this educational and fun book, for the young and young-at-heart, on Amazon.

 


The Last Shot

Dreaming of Spring flowers? Marilyn Varcoe of the Naples Chapter viewed the Tulip festival in Holland and came up with this gorgeous shot. Every month, we are looking for great photos for The Last Shot. Please send us your shots!

Dreaming of Spring flowers? Marilyn Varcoe of the Naples Chapter viewed the Tulip festival in Holland and came up with this gorgeous shot. Every month, we are looking for great photos for The Last Shot. Please send us your shots!

 

Luck to you,


David A. Mink
Chair, Communications
davidamink@me.com

The Desert Chapter April 2018 Meeting

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May 012018

The Desert Chapter held their April meeting at the Arizona Country Club and welcomed Washington DC chapter member Bob Burnett.

Naples Chapter April 2018 Luncheon

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Apr 302018

The last luncheon of the Naples Chapter took place on April 8, 2018, at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club. Eighty-three members met to enjoy the interesting presentation given by our member Walter Slack. Walter spoke of the relaxing barge trip which he and his wife took last summer in France. They enjoyed the beauty of the French country side, and the many gourmet meals served by their own Cordon Bleu Chef, on the luxury barge “Apres Tout”.

 

Click here to visit the Naples Chapter’s website and see more photos
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