September 2020 Circumbits

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Aug 312020

Let’s Have Some Fun

We have had enough of the pandemic, cancelled trips, lockdowns and the like. It’s time to look on the bright side and find ways to have some fun while staying close to home. We are going to pass on a few recommendations and ask Circumnavigators to give us other good ideas for this forum. So here it goes—-This writer is strongly recommending a series on Netflix that should wow every Circumnavigator. It is “Somebody Feed Phil”. Phil visits cities around the world to sample their cuisine and culture. It is very informative and funny, too. Also, do you have Alexa? Everyday ask Alexa for “Geo Quiz” which is created by National Geographic. You’ll get six questions—different everyday—to test your knowledge of geography. Questions range from simple to difficult. Please send us your recommendations to share.

The Most & The Least

First VP Dan Peterson (Chicago) has passed on a link to a ranking of some of the highs and lows in world locations. It’s a fascinating look at our world.
Link to The Most & The Least (pdf)

We have our work to do

How are our students doing in geography? Watch this video. It’s only a small sample so we can assume (and hope) most students do a lot better.


The Annual Meeting will be held virtually via Zoom on October 14. Invitations and the ballot are in the mail to members. Also, if you have visited all seven continents and not received your certificate, please check to make sure you are listed as a qualifier. Go to the membership tab on this web site and check out qualifiers.


Circumnavigator’s Book

Angela McLean (At Large, Kansas) has put out a book based on her travels, Around the World in 101 Photos. Angela made a nice tribute to the Circumnavigators Club in the acknowledgments. The book can be purchased on Amazon and a portion of the purchase price is going as a donation to the Circumnavigators Foundation. Congratulations and thank you, Angela.

It was a Zoom Party

New York Metro held a Virtual Cocktail Party which offered a fun social time along with guest speaker Eli Lewien, who shared stories from his travels around the world, including quarantine for two weeks in Sydney. Poor guy was only allowed three beers a day!

The Last Shot

After the storm comes a rainbow! Paul Buescher (Pacific NW) took this shot at the southern point of New Zealand’s South Island.

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

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President

August 2020 Circumbits

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Aug 032020

Welcome to August

The summer is winding down and it isn’t a season that will be very memorable for most Circumnavigators. No travel, no parties, no Chapter events, no sports and the list goes on. However, as we have been often told: “This too shall pass.” Meanwhile the Club has some news and questions for our members.

Our Annual meeting, postponed from its usual May date, has now been set for Wednesday, October 14 at 5:00 EDT. It will be a virtual event using Zoom technology. The meeting will cover the usual required agenda, followed by a short presentation: Tales and Traditions of the Circumnavigators Club. Members will receive an invitation with further details along with an election ballot for Club leadership positions.

The LOG Needs Your Help

Do you have a collection from your travels? Katie Koontz’s Collectors Corner is looking for a collection to feature. Also, we are looking for photos that depict the pandemic for the Photo Spread. Please send info on these matters to You can send photos by attachment for consideration.


Gulfstream is discontinuing production of its famed Gulfstream Five after decades of outstanding service. Circumnavigator Bradford Gary, Palm Beach Chapter, recalls circumnavigating on this plane in record time 30 years ago. He participated in this historic flight which circled the globe non-stop from the state of Georgia to New Jersey. He participated as an observer. The flight took 54 hours, a record that stood for many years.

When You Can’t Travel

Circumnavigator Ann Swinford, Michigan Chapter, isn’t used to not being on a trip. So she has been engaging in heavy duty gardening which has included a screen for her to rotate the numerous flags she has hauled home from all over the world.

The Last Shot

Norm and Susan Dailey (DC Chapter) completed their forth circumnavigation before the pandemic. In this photo, Norm is jumping on the Gate of Heaven in South East Bali. He reports, “Getting this shot requires you to put on a sarong and when it is your turn, a local photographer takes a photo with your own camera. The reflection is a special effect, accomplished by using a mirror directly under the lens.

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

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President

Chicago Chapter Foundation Scholar Zoom Meeting

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Jul 102020

Foundation Scholar, Christopher LaMountain circumnavigated the globe last summer. His topic was “A Global Song: Investigating the Global Diversity of Baha’i Temple Music”. (There are only 8 Baha’i temples on our planet. And the only Baha’i temple in North America is a ten minute walk from the Northwestern temple).

On June 6, Christopher presented to the Chicago Chapter via Zoom. First he explained an overview of his trip, then showed a YouTube video of his trip. His 32 minute YouTube impressed everyone with its contents and technical polish. And, of course, there were musical selections in his YouTube. This was a great way to share Christopher’s experience during a time of social distancing. 

Luck to You Christopher!

July 2020 Circumbits

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Jul 022020

Update on Club Events

As we have previously reported, The Order of Magellan event scheduled for November 12 in New York City has been postponed due to the uncertainties of the pandemic. This important event will be rescheduled in 2021. The date is to be determined. Our Annual Meeting originally scheduled for May in NYC has been postponed and will now be held “virtually” using Zoom. Details to follow. Chapters are wrestling with how to schedule their events in the fall, and are hopeful that regular events will be ongoing for the next season.


The Board of Governors held its first meeting using Zoom technology and it was a great success. The Board members were able to interact in both a business and social manner as if they were in the same room. We are exploring ways to use Zoom to create events and “parties” for Chapters and members throughout the world. If you are interested, we suggest you familiarize yourself with Zoom or reach out the Club headquarters for more information. At the meeting, three new members were approved. Welcome to Richard and Janice Aaron (Chicago) and Karen Serret (Naples).

Have You Been to 7 Continents?

Circumnavigators who have visited all seven continents will soon be receiving their official certificates. So far, about 50 members have reported this achievement. If you qualify, go to the membership tab on this site to see if your name is listed.

The certificate shown recognizes venerable Canadian Circumnavigator Henri van Bentum who is about to turn 91. Luck to You, Henri.

We are sorry to report that Circumnavigator Douglas Nickson, Pacific NW Chapter, passed away in June. Readers might remember that Douglas was recognized in a recent issue of The LOG for his home replication of the House of Lords library which he got to see for the first time at the UK Chapter’s House of Lords dinner. Our condolences to his wife, Karen, and family.


Left to right: Herme de Wyman Miro with Arthur Benjamin and Mara Schainuck alongside “Lexi” & “Charlie” just prior to their planned wedding at THE BEN, West Palm Beach’s newest Autograph Collection Hotel. Herme, who is 100, is the “grand dame” of charity in Palm Beach and was Maid of Honor.

Palm Beach Circumnavigator Arthur Benjamin is known for his dedication to animal rescue. He and his new wife, Mara, dedicated their wedding to the cause. However, the wedding which was featured in Palm Beach Society magazine, had to be postponed because of the pandemic. Although disappointed, the couple were married privately in Utah and the big wedding party will take place next year, dogs and all. You can give the Benjamins a wedding present by going to Congratulations to the Benjamins!

The Last Shot

Circumnavigator Jennifer Teague, Washington DC Chapter, took these shots of the deserted O’Hare Airport in Chicago. She describe the scene as “surreal”.

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Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President

June 2020 Circumbits

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Jun 012020
circumbits June 2020

Staying at Home

With most Circumnavigators staying close to home during the pandemic, there isn’t much to report. Most Chapter events have been cancelled or postponed, and the Club is looking for options to hold our Annual Meeting. It was good to hear that Circumnavigators in Singapore and the United Kingdom are doing fine in these circumstances. Please let us know if you have any personal or travel news to report. We know that there have been a host of cancelled trips. Stay safe and healthy!

Annie Glenn Passes Away

Annie was the wife of Astronaut and Statesman John Glenn who received the Circumnavigators Order of Magellan. Annie was an outstanding person who accomplished much in the field of speech disorders. She died at the age of 100 from the deadly Covid-19. She was a “celebrity” at the Magellan event in New York City in 2001. Jeff Kelly, past president, remembers Annie as warm, friendly and fascinating.

The Glenns along with then-president Jeff Kelly and his wife Elizabeth.

Assistant Treasurer Named

Circumnavigator Jim Franch, Chicago Chapter, has been appointed to this new position to help with the Club finances. Jim is a Certified Public Accountant with many travel experiences.

Jim in Brittany, France at Saint Malo Cap Frehel.

Time to Remember

As pointed out in a recent Circumbits, this is a good time for Circumnavigators to look back on their past travels and organize their photos and memories. Circumnavigator Thomas Stratton-Crooke (Shaker Heights, Ohio) sent us this picture of him with a colorful doorman at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore way back in 1956.

The Last Shot

Circumnavigator Sandy Schopbach, Michigan Chapter, took this shot at Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.
Circumnavigator Sandy Schopbach, Michigan Chapter, took this shot at Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Ha long literally means “descending dragon”. The islands are said to be giant emeralds that were once the teeth of Vietnam’s Mother Dragon and her children, who left them behind to create an impossible-to-penetrate barrier against foreign invasion. 

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

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President

May 2020 Circumbits

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May 012020

Challenging Times

We hope all Circumnavigators and families are staying safe and healthy during the current pandemic. Our postponed events and cancelled trips are minor issues compared to the serious problems caused by the coronavirus. Assuredly, we will be back on the road again soon.

Scholars Trips on Hold

Our two Foundation scholars were getting ready for their around-the-world adventures when the pandemic crisis caused their trip to be put on hold. We hope the scholars will be able to make their trips when the situation gets better.

Amanda Davis

To make a donation to the Foundation click here. 

Hard to Stay Home

Circumnavigators Geoff and Marilyn McGrath miss traveling during the Stay at Home restrictions. They are reading and working on projects, including plans for their next circumnavigation. Their customized license plate says it all!

Circumnavigators Geoff and Marilyn McGrath

Over The Horizon Lawrence I. Brown
Larry, pictured here at a black-tie dinner held at the Union Club in New York City in the late 1990s when then International President Howard Matson asked Larry to introduce the guest of honor, the former Queen of Sikkim, Hope Cooke.

Lawrence I. Brown, who served as the Club’s Executive Secretary from the mid-1950s until the mid-1960s died of the deadly coronavirus,

April 12th, in Stratford, Connecticut. Larry was a life member of the Circumnavigators Club.

After graduating the University of Michigan Law School and returning to New York, Larry found himself handling the day to day affairs for our Board of Governors. Doing an excellent job, the Club kept him on!

Larry eventually became one of the premier maritime attorneys. He traveled around the world frequently, visiting his client roster which included many firms based in Panama, Liberia and Vanuatu.

Larry and his wife, Barbara, remained active in the club for many years. 

The Circumnavigators Club extends its deepest sympathy to his wife, Barbara and to his family.

Our Changing World

Circumnavigator Fred Myers, Naples Chapter, called our attention to a story in the Wall Street Journal about how travel has been impacted by the pandemic. Here Fred reviews the piece.

Back in 1914, one could travel to and from many, if not most countries in the world without ever seeing or using a passport. In so many words, that was revealed in the memoirs of Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig, and was used to open a recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “A World of Hardening Borders.”

The article, written by Yaroslav Trofimov, the WSJ’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, continues by saying that the travel freedom ended with World War I when nations became more protectionist, a condition that existed until after World War II. That’s when again, the world became more international, a trend marked by the emergence of such entities as NATO, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.N. In the meantime, travel between countries became much easier. Hundreds of millions of people have since roamed the globe and crossed borders for a myriad of reasons such as vacationing, studying, or buying a second property.

As Circumnavigators, we can strongly relate to that because we’ve been a part of it. What we haven’t gained from personal experience, we’ve gathered from what our fellow travelers have told and shown us. Only rarely has there been reason to dwell on border crossing problems.

Within only a few weeks, however, the coronavirus pandemic played havoc with everything related to travel. Most worrisome is that it has sparked the resurgence of the nation state with its accompanying surveillance of the citizenry and threat to human liberties.

Even veteran historians have been taken aback by how quickly most all national borders have closed, blocking trade, as well as outsiders. That, in turn, threatens solidarity, even within the European Union. Checks and balances are eroding. A trend toward more nationalism is growing stronger even in the face of an increasing awareness that the pandemic can be controlled only by nations cooperating with one another.

Complicating the issue is social media with its ability to empower a nation’s internal factions that oppose the established order. In one way or another, the pandemic has also renewed racial tension and amplified the widening gap between those with financial means against those who are without.

Of far greater importance is the global economic meltdown, the discord over China being accused as the source of the virus, and the real or perceived failure of the U.S. to fill its traditional role of leading the world out of a crisis.

These are only a few highlights from the nearly 3,000-word article that makes for interesting if not urgent reading. Be prepared, however, to feel an emotional mix of concern, worry, and frustration along with hope as you think of all the beautiful and startling places you’ve seen and the wonderful and engaging people you’ve met along the way.

If nothing else, we as individuals and as a club can pledge ourselves to the cause of helping all people of the world not only understand themselves, but also understand the nation in which they live and the earth we all call home.

“A World of Hardening Borders” appeared in the Saturday/Sunday, April 18-19, 2020 issue of the Wall Street Journal.

The Last Shot

Jon Dill
Anxiety and worry might be keeping many from getting a good night’s sleep but this slumbering lion is at peace with the world. Thanks to Jon Dill, Naples Chapter for this shot taken in South Africa.

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Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President

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