April 2020 Circumbits

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Apr 022020

Who would have thought?

How quickly our world can change in so many ways. No need to rehash the pandemic with Circumnavigators who, we are sure, are fully up on the news. We know it will cause serious disruptions for our Club of travelers. Just to recap some recent Club news, our Annual Meeting for May 15 in New York City has been postponed. We are shooting to reschedule sometime in September or early October, Inshallah. Below are two pieces from Circumnavigators related to the pandemic. Stay safe! 

Lessons Learned From 10 Days’ Detention 

By Susan Gary, Palm Beach Chapter 

My husband Brad and I spent ten days confined to our cabin aboard the Silver Shadow in Recife, Brazil. We were among more than 300 passengers from 18 countries. A passenger was taken to a hospital on March 12. As a result, the ship was not allowed to depart that evening as planned. Passengers were immediately confined to their cabins. Armed police patrolled the dock 24 hours a day. When repatriation plans were announced a week later, we were stunned to learn that the U.S. passengers could not depart with the other passengers. 

We were caught in the coronavirus pandemonium. What happened after our initial detention was the surprising and most disturbing part of the story. As a result, we developed new lessons learned and recommendations for future travel. These are in addition to the usual list that include, for example, taking an extra set of passport photos. 

Here is what we suggest going forward: 
Identify a private company (Kroll or Securitas, are examples) that specialize in challenges that may arise as a result of international travel. Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. typically have consultants with the experience, resources and relationships at the highest levels of the U.S. government and foreign countries to solve such problems. 

On our ship, we received very little communication from the ship regarding our circumstances; communication was generic when it did occur. We would have engaged a private company to better understand the situation and develop options. 

Secondly, we would recommend carrying more cash. Like most travelers today, we rely on the convenience of ATM’s in foreign countries, credit/debit cards, PayPal and other ways to avoid carrying cash. Cash has disadvantages; it can be easily stolen or lost. I was reminded of the advantages of cash however during a trip to Africa years ago. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we were released by drugged military personnel only after offering him $100 cash. 

Another recommendation: secure a second passport. When you embark on a cruise you typically surrender your passport and it is not returned until you disembark. If we had that second passport, this would not be a concern. While a second passport is allowed by the U.S. Department of State, there is an additional cost and process. In retrospect, it would be worth the cost and effort. 

Lastly, establish relationships with your federally elected officials. This is a critical piece. It was our congressional delegation from Florida that did the most for us. They provided crucial support, constant contact and worked tirelessly on our behalf. Representative Lois Frankel from the West Palm Beach and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio were the heroes. 

We have travelled to 140-150 countries; met with Fidel Castro, visited the ruins of Persepolis while President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in office and visited South Sudan after their tumultuous separation from Sudan. We have seen a lot of this world and have been greeted with smiles from the capital of Yemen to the marketplaces of Somalia. 

The cruise to South America reminds us of the new hurdles international travelers face in today’s world. We are all learning new ways to make our future travels safer. 

Making The Most of Staying Home 

By Howard Matson , International President 1994-1998 

The pandemic has caused most, if not all, Circumnavigators to make ourselves comfortable in our homes for the duration.  We are the group that needs little motivation to go to the corners of the world. There is no such thing as boredom in our travels.  I often think that the genetic code of becoming a member of our historic organization includes a chromosome that’s activated by a new vista or adventure. 

As my daughter, wife and I enter our 17th day of self-quarantine, I was particularly touched by an essay recently published by the Swiss philosopher, Alain de Botton. He is the author of several bestsellers, including  The Art of Travel.  Some may recall that he was the individual selected in 2009 to be the “writer-in residence” at Heathrow Airport where he spent a week sitting in the middle of terminal.  A Week at the Airport published in London is the result of that week. 

De Botton writes, “…. Another thing we can do is to return to travels already taken.  This is not a fashionable idea.  The idea of making a big deal of revisiting a memory sounds a little strange…or sad.  We are careless curators of our own past.  We push the important scenes that have happened to us to the back of our minds.  However, I argue that regular immersion in our travel memories could be a critical part of what could sustain and console us.  In our neglect of our memories we are like spoiled children who toss these memories aside to seek fresh thrills.” 

This concept really hit a nerve.  I’ve been revisiting my travel shelf where I keep more than a dozen old travel journals.  There is more than a little self-reflection of “I did this?!?” as I reread the journal of my first solo summer in Europe at seventeen.  Were three months of unlimited travel via Eurailpass only $199?  Did I really leave Copenhagen after three nights because $12 nightly was too expensive?  My journal recounts that I was thrilled to arrive in Madrid and find the pensione on Avenida Jose Antonio for $2.90.  And, rereading the two volumes of my 1983 six-month trip around the world impressed again upon me the importance of this trip shaping my life and outlook. 

If just armchair thinking is not enough, then Circumnavigators give yourself a project.  Collect those old photos and put together a book.  Share this book with your children and grandchildren which may give them the  “bug” to travel.  I have another shelf of my grandmother’s diaries from trips in the 1950s to Europe and one recording my grandparents’ 1962 circumnavigation of the globe.  Reading them is to enter another world:  the Queen Mary, the Orient Express, the Tehran Hilton, the Peninsula and I reminisce how these diaries motivated me when I read them at the age of 10 or 11. 


Scuttlebutt

Dog Lovers Alert

Circumnavigator Paulette Cooper Noble, president of the Palm Beach Chapter, is an author of many books. Her latest is Dog Secrets: Fun and Fascinating Things Your Dog Wants You to Know. Unfortunately for Paulette, she purchased 200 copies of her own book for a book event that was cancelled because of the pandemic. She now has all these copies on hand and would be very grateful if some fellow Circumnavigators would like to buy one. This cost is $28.  It is a wonderful book for dog lovers and can also make a great gift. She will autograph it to you, and if you wish, your dog.  To place your order, send an email to club@circumnavigators.org. 

On a Happy Note

Circumnavigator Henry Restarick reports: Since it was our 40th, Janet and I decided to celebrate our anniversary in Las Vegas.  It had been 14 years since our last visit to the Lost Wages.  Our plan was to see all the new sights and revisit some of our old favorite spots.  I planned a surprise 40th renewal wedding for Janet by taking her blindfolded from a casino to down the aisle of an old one-room redwood church built in 1941.  The church is the oldest building on the Las Vegas Strip and is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places.  Notable weddings in the church include Betty Grable, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Dinah Washington, Judy Garland, Cindy Crawford, Angelina Jolie, Mickey Rooney, Robert Goulet and many others.  Also, a movie wedding of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret were filmed there.  I can’t believe Janet actually said “yes” again!” 


The Last Shot

Circumnavigator Lisa Brighton, Michigan Chapter, captured this beautiful shot of a fisherman on Inle Lake, Myanmar at dusk.

Do you have a good photo for The Last Shot? Please send to club@circumnavigators.org.

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President
davidamink@me.com




Annual Meeting Postponed

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Mar 232020
annual meeting postposed May 15, 2020

The Circumnavigators Club has decided to postpone its Annual Meeting, scheduled in New York City on May 15. We are disappointed to make this decision resulting from the uncertainties of the current coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions in New York. The meeting will be rescheduled in 2020 when the situation is clear.
We thank our guest speaker, author Patricia Schultz, and all the members who planned to attend from around the country for their understanding.

Luck to you in these trying times!

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David A. Mink
International President
davidamink@me.com




March 2020 Circumbits

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Mar 022020

Spring is on its way

Welcome to March with spring flowers and warm temperatures coming soon. Circumnavigators aren’t seasonal travelers; they travel year round. But spring does offer some new travel opportunities. We would like to remind members to send us a photo or two and a couple of lines about their trips to be used in The LOG feature All Over the Map. It is a great way to share travel experiences.


Singapore Tradition

The Singapore Chapter started 2020 in its traditional fashion by holding its Annual General Meeting followed by cocktails and dinner in January. A wonderful evening of great food and wine and many a song was sung supported by its usual band.

President Michael Palmer’s review revealed a full membership with a waiting list, finances in very good health and a calendar full of excellent monthly events. The President gave special mention to the Singapore Chapter being invited to open the Singapore Stock Exchange market trading by sounding the gong.


Save the dates


Members are invited to attend upcoming events in New York. On March 12, the Club will receive a presentation from Circumnavigator Edwin Galkin who has done three circumnavigations in his single-engine plane and is planning to head off for his fourth Round-the-World trip. Edwin’s mission is to increase awareness and support to fight Alzheimer’s. On April 22, the guest speaker will be Elizabeth Sharland, actress and author who has written numerous novels and books about theater and travel. Invitations will be sent soon. On May 15,we will hold our Annual Meeting with guest speaker Patricia Schultz who wrote “1000 Places to See Before You Die”.


The Last Shot

Circumnavigator Phyllis Heyliger, Desert Chapter, is professional painter. Here her cat Chui Paka posed for this whimsical shot along with Phyllis’s painting of a bigger feline in Africa.

Do you have a good photo for The Last Shot? Please send to club@circumnavigators.org.

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President
davidamink@me.com




February 2020 Circumbits

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Feb 032020

The LOG is in the Mail

An exciting new issue of The LOG is on the way with a collection of great stories and photographs as well as Club news. This issue shows that Circumnavigators don’t shy away from some of the world’s most forbidding locales. We have stories from Syria, Iraq, Somalia along with our cover story about a journey to the former Soviet republics known as the “Stans”. Please give us your feedback after you read The LOG


Save the Date

Come join us at our next New York event on March 12th where Circumnavigator Edwin Galkin (New York Metro) will share his experience of his third around-the-world flight, raising funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, in his single-engine airplane in 2018. He is now planning a fourth circumnavigation in his Cessna 210, departing New Jersey in late March and returning in May. Don’t miss this special event. Details are coming soon.


Tribute to Kobe Bryant

Circumnavigator Neil Mandt (Los Angeles) had the experience of meeting the NBA Super Star on several occasions. Kobe along with eight others died tragically last week in a helicopter crash. Neil, a film maker and director, recalls that Kobe was a classy guy and a true gentleman. He will be missed.


The Last Shot

Circumnavigators Geoff and Marilyn McGrath (Pacific-Northwest Chapter) recently completed their second circumnavigation. Their journey took them to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Hanoi and Singapore. Some of the highlights included Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace and the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, the Bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand, and Halong Bay in Vietnam. One of their special experiences in Bangkok was the opportunity to visit a small community of artisans who hand make alms bowls for Buddhist monks. The Last Shot shows the magnificent Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Do you have a good photo for The Last Shot? Please send to club@circumnavigators.org.

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President
davidamink@me.com




January 2020 Circumbits

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Jan 022020

Happy New Year!

The Board of Governors sends best wishes to all Circumnavigators, family and friends for a wonderful 2020. In the new decade, it will be important for all of us to embrace our mission of making the world a better place through friendship and understanding. The world needs our help! Safe and happy travels to all. And, it definitely wintertime, as shown by Circumnavigator Lisa Brighton (Michigan Chapter) at the Eben Ice Caves on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Circumnavigator Lisa Brighton (Michigan Chapter) at the Eben Ice Caves on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Singapore Chapter On the Air

The Singapore Chapter was accorded an enormous honor recently when it was invited to “sound the gong” to open the market on December 24 at the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX).

This the same as ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange but given the Singapore culture, they bang a Chinese gong. The event was televised live on CNBC.

Chapter President Michael Palmer presided over the event and made a speech explaining the Circumnavigators Club, its inception, history and principles and the essence of our Singapore Chapter.

Invited on stage to join him were Graham Bell (Vice President) and Mr. Ang Hao Yao who is a stalwart of the Chapter and has served in many different positions on the Chapter Board and is currently in charge of International Relations.  They were hosted in the gong banging by Mr. Tan Boon Gin, CEO SGX RegCo. Eighteen Chapter members were in attendance to witness the event.

Congratulations to the Singapore Chapter!

Click here to watch the video of the ceremony.


International President David Mink Appoints Nominating Committee

2020 Nominating Committee

Brad Vogel –  Nominating Committee Chair, Second Vice President

Dan Peterson – First Vice President

Bill Holm – Past President 

Peter Mosse –Past President

Tina Nicholson – Board of Governors

Constitution, Article VI, Section 4:
The Nominating Committee shall be obliged to consider for nomination any member in good standing for elective office, provided however, the Nominating Committee shall have received on or before February 1, a petition in behalf of such candidate(s) in writing and executed by fifteen members of the Club in good standing.


The Last Shot

Circumnavigator Bradford Gary (Palm Beach Chapter) took this shot of Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean near the Russian Coast. His story about this adventure will be featured in the upcoming issue of The LOG, due to be published at the end of this month.

Do you have a good photo for The Last Shot? Please send to club@circumnavigators.org.

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President
davidamink@me.com




December 2019 Circumbits

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Dec 022019

Ken Burns Legendary Filmmaker to Receive Order of Magellan

Photo Credit: Evan Barlow

The Circumnavigators Club is delighted to announce that the world’s premier documentary filmmaker will receive our highest honor, The Order of Magellan. Ken Burns will join a distinguished list of honorees, including Walter Cronkite, John Glenn, Edmund Hillary, and Sandra Day O’Connor, who have been honored since the award was established in 1961.

The Order of Magellan will be awarded to Mr. Burns on November 12, 2020 in New York City. Since this event is nearly a year away, details and an invitation will be sent to members sometime in 2020.

Mr. Burns has been making documentary films for over 40 years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridgein 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts:  An Intimate HistoryJackie Robinson; Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War; The Vietnam War; and, most recently, Country Music.

A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time,” and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time. In March 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “… Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period.”

Mr. Burns’ films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including sixteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, he was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Last Call for The LOG

The next issue of The LOG will be published in January. We have all the features stories and photos that we need. However, it is not too late for members to submit a photo and a line or two about recent travel for the column All Over the Map. Please submit these no later than December 15 by email attachment to davidamink@me.com.


Bougainville, Anyone?

Circumnavigator Albert Podell wants to go to this island nation to keep his designation of having visited every country on earth. Bougainville has now become the newest nation with its independence from Papua New Guinea, and it isn’t easy to get to. Albert, author and adventurer, says, “ I can’t quite figure out how to get there and wonder if any Circumnavigator has any recent experience in visiting there.

“Both the Bougainville airports have been closed for over a year for safety reasons, ranging from stray animals on the runways to the locals using them as a drag strips.. There used to be a passenger ferry, the Rabaul Queen, that went from Port Moresby to Bougainville, but it sank with 173 lives in 2011, as many of these Micronesian ferries have an inclination to do.” He adds, “Maybe members from Naples or Palm Beach could give me a lift on their yacht.”  Luck to you, Albert! You will need it!


The Last Shot

Looks like cell phones are just about everywhere. These Uzbek “tourists” are visiting the palace of Kiva, and one is taking time to use her phone. Photo is by Gunther Winkler, Naples Chapter, who will recount the visit to the “Stans” with his wife Maria in the upcoming issue of The LOG.

Do you have a good photo for The Last Shot? Please send to club@circumnavigators.org.

Luck to you!

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David A. Mink
International President
davidamink@me.com




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