Chinese New Year Dinner in New York

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Feb 132019

On February 12th, Circumnavigators and guests celebrated the Chinese New Year at Evergreen Restaurant in New York City. A delicious dinner was served while Cs. Suzanne Frye and Sue Murphy shared their photos from a recent trip to Harbin. There was a fortune cookie contest where guests had to guess the number of cookies. C. Lois Kahan was the winner!

Naples Chapter February Luncheon

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Feb 122019

The Naples Chapter held its monthly speaker luncheon on February 10, 2019, at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club. Michael Balian gave a very interesting presentation of his trip to the Sun Doong Caves in Vietnam. With a group of 10 explorers they had to overcome many hardships and challenges to do the three mile long journey, through the spectacular caves, only recently discovered; 135 guests and members attended.

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

February 2019 Circumbits

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Feb 012019

A very sad note…Over the Horizon
A Tribute to Ellen Parke

By David A. Mink

During the Circumnavigators Club’s 117 years, there have been some truly extraordinary leaders. Past President Margaret Ellen Parke represents the best of them. Ellen passed away shockingly and suddenly at the end of a cruise to the Caribbean in the last days of January. She felt ill at the end of the cruise and was taken to a hospital upon the ship’s arrival in Miami. She passed away during an evaluation. As of this writing, many details of the incident and plans for funeral arrangements are still unknown.

Always modest, Ellen might have disagreed with our assessment of her great leadership, but consider the facts.

She made her first circumnavigation at the age of 12. Her father, Everett Parke, was a naval commander and diplomat whose career required many moves during Ellen’s early years. Among her “residences” was Saigon in the early 1960s where she spent seventh and eighth grades. While living in Norway, she first heard about the Club from Circumnavigator Mark Austad, then the U.S. Ambassador. Ellen asked the Ambassador if she could join the Circumnavigators, but was politely informed that the Club did not admit women.

Ellen was disappointed (and annoyed) but within a year, she was contacted by Ambassador Austad and told that the Club’s by-laws had been amended to allow women membership. He enthusiastically sponsored her whereupon she became one of the first woman Circumnavigator in May 1984. 

Back in Washington, DC in 1984 she found there was no presence of the Club in the Nation’s Capital and considered resigning. But she received a call from Club President Bob Peterson asking if her if she would lay the groundwork establishing a DC Chapter, and the rest is history.

Besides her active participation in the new Chapter (her father and mother became members), she held numerous positions in the Club and Foundation, culminating with her four years as President which concluded just last May.

Ellen’s passion for travel and the love of the world (and, of course, the Nationals) were truly contagious. This writer was privileged to know her for about a decade, and found she was vivacious and enthusiastic, always on the mission to make the world a better place through love, friendship and understanding.

We will all miss her.

On a Happy note…Wedding vows for C. Barb Roy and Robert Greene.

Barb and Robert were married in Naples, Florida, on January 25. Barb is the former President of our Naples Chapter and a long-time active leader of the Club. The wedding news resulted in a major story in the Sunday New York Times, which even mentioned the Circumnavigators Club. Congratulations to Barb and Robert!

Click to link to the New York Times article

New President for Singapore

President Michael Palmer and Past President Richard Hoon.

Outgoing Chapter President Richard Hoon passes the gavel to new President Michael Palmer. C. Palmer, partner in a notable law firm,  has held a number of important civic and political positions in Singapore. He served as a member of Parliament and speaker of the House. He is former chair of the National Police Cadet Corps. Our thanks to C. Hoon and best wishes to the new Chapter President.

Change in Nominating Committee

President David Mink appointed the Nominating Committee for 2019 in early January. An update has been made – Second Vice President Brad Vogel will take the role Nominating Committee Chair in place of Past President Ellen Parke.

Brad Vogel –  Second Vice President, Nominating Committee Chair
Bill Holm – Past President 
Jim Lungo – Board of Governors
Sue Murphy – New York Metro
Tina Nicholson – Board of Governors

Did you get your new issue of The LOG?

The LOG has been mailed to all members. If you have not received a copy, please contact Tracy Sancilio at headquarters. The new issue is packed with interesting stories and outstanding photos. As always, we appreciate any feedback. We are now working on the next issue which will be published next summer. Let us know if you have any good ideas for stories or photos. Make sure to send us photos and brief news about your travels for the All Over the Map feature.

White-knuckle tour

In The LOG, C. Albert Podell described his harrowing experience in the Caucasus. Albert reports that he has gotten feedback from several members about why he didn’t bail out after the first terrifying day. He explains,

“The problem is that, in those mountains, the only airport from which they could connect to a place (like Moscow) that had flights back to the States, is in Vladikavkaz, eight days drive further on, and if they wanted to turn around and fly from Makhachkala, where the drive began, there is no transport to get them back there. But I’m pretty sure that the friendly hermit would not mind if they stayed with him for a few days, although all he can offer for sustenance is week-old bread, vodka, unpasteurized milk, and dog food.”

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!

Journey aids Alzheimer fight

C. Edwin Galkin (New York Metro) has recently completed his third circumnavigation by small plane. This trip was billed “Flight for the Cure” and was designed to bring awareness to the world of this terrible disease. Ed, along with his co-pilot Marty Balk, completed the round-the-world trip in Ed’s Cessna 210. It was quite an adventure which can be followed on the web site Ed’s journey will be featured in The LOG next summer. Congratulations and thanks to Ed and Marty.

Icy paradise

Cs. Sue Murphy and Suzanne Frye (New York Metro) visited the Ice Festival in Harbin, China. Sculptures and buildings were made out of clear ice and then turned colorful by reflected lights.

The Last Shot

C. Ann Swinford (Michigan Chapter) took this shot of Emperor Penguins on Snow Hill Island in Antarctica.

Do you have a good photo for The Last Shot? Please send to

Luck to you!

David A. Mink
International President

Naples Chapter Luncheon

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Jan 152019

The Naples Chapter of the Circumnavigators Club met January 13, 2019, for their monthly speaker luncheon at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club. Ninety-six members and guests attended.

We were given a presentation by our member Roger Baker, of the historic Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. We heard of the past glory and present charm, of this 16th century Spanish colonial town, making it the number one tourist destination in Mexico and in the World. The town was nominated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008.

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

Naples Chapter Holiday Party

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Jan 152019

The Annual Holiday Party of the Naples Chapter took place Sunday, December 9th, 2018, at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club. It was a very formal and festive event. We enjoyed the very special Christmas Dinner, and the music entertainment.

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

January 2019 Circumbits

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Jan 022019

Organiverse, Henri van Bentum

Happy New Year to all our
Members, Family and Friends!

As the Circumnavigators Club enters its 117th year, we look forward to an exciting, eventful year, which will include our Magellan Award event in Naples in March. We know our members will continue to travel far and wide and we ask everyone to share their experiences.

Canadian Circumnavigator Henri Van Bentum and his wife, Natasha, join us in the New Year wishes with Henri’s artistic renderings of the Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Year. These paintings are “Organiverse”, created by Henri dot by dot.

Top: Organiverse Mandala #25 of #100, Helios Edition, Henri van Bentum; Bottom: Top: Organiverse Mandala #25 of #100, Starry Night Edition, Henri van Bentum

A Lordly Affair

The U.K. Chapter held its 10th Annual Dinner at the House of Lords with about 60 members and guests in attendance. The event was hosted by Lord Richard Faulkner, formally known as Lord Faulkner of Worcester. Also attending was Lord Peter Inchcape, formally the Earl of Inchcape. The festive event included a tour of the chambers, a presentation by Circum Kane Avellano who circumnavigated by motorcycle. Circum Douglas Nickson, a relatively new member from Washington State, made a brief presentation about his decades-long project to duplicate the House of Lords library in his home. This was his first time to see the actual library. A number of Americans, including this writer and his wife Dottie, attended the memorable dinner. Thanks to Chapter President Helen Jenkins for organizing it.

Wild about Harry

Harry Houdini is among the most illustrious of the Club’s early members. The magician was the “rock star” of this time, known to just about everyone. John Cox operates a web site Wild About Harry, and we recently reached out to John when he spoke about Houdini at the New York Historical Society. John is the ultimate expert on all things Houdini, but he never heard about his connection to the Circumnavigators. He was overjoyed to get new info and never-seen photos of Harry. He posted the following item on his blog, which can be viewed via the following link.

Houdini and the Circumnavigators Club

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!

It’s Sir Michael Palin

Michael Palin, perhaps best known for his role in Monte Python, was The Circumnavigators Club Magellan honoree in 2009, in recognition of his travel documentaries and writings. Now Michael has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Palin said, “I have been a knight before, in Python films. I have been several knights, including Sir Galahad. I don’t think it will (sink in) until I see the envelopes addressing me as Sir Michael Palin.” Congratulations to our Magellan awardee.

A festive wedding

Circumnavigator Elizabeth Rider was recently married to David G. Schiff at Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, Ct. Elizabeth is the daughter of Foundation President Greg Rider and wife Kathy.

(L-R) Kathy and Greg, the newlyweds, and guests Elizabeth and Foundation Treasurer Jeff Kelly

The Last Shot

Circumnavigator Gunther Winkler took this stunning shot in Patagonia, Argentina near Lake Viedma, which is surrounded by mountains and glaciers. Gunther reported that shortly after he took this photo, a fierce wind blew him over and he landed on his backside. Gunther and his wife Maria are new members of the Naples Chapter.

Do you have a good photo for The Last Shot? Please send to

Luck to you!

David A. Mink
International President

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