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.

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

Luck to you!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is davidsig.gif

David A. Mink
International President

© 2012 Circumnavigators Blog
Website by CIncinnatiMedia
Circumnavigators Club | 50 Vanderbilt Ave. | New York, NY 10017
Phone: (201) 612-9100 | E-mail
Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha