Many creative achievements are born out of passion. Marv Creamer's passion for sailing led him to risk safety, security and even sanity to satisfy the life-long desire of sailing around the world. But Marv didn't just sail around the world like any modern sailor; he did so without the use of navigational instruments. No sextants or compasses were used to guide him on his long journey -- only sky and water.
Marv was born in 1916 and raised in southern New Jersey. From the time he was a young boy, he held a fascination for the universe. He would spend hours staring at the night sky, wondering how the stars could guide him on many an imaginative journey. As he grew older, he developed an interest in the sea and in sailing. At first it seemed an impossible dream, but after many years of contemplation Marv was determined to combine both of his interests: Why not sail the world using only the stars as a guide?
The responsibilities of raising a family and holding down a teaching career in the Geography Department of Glassboro State College forced Marv to put his dream on "hold" for some time. Finally, retirement from teaching allowed Marv the time to seriously prepare for his trip. Although the same plans had been swimming around in Marv's head for ten years prior, now was the time to tend to all minor details.
Marv estimated that the trip would take a year-and-a half to complete. He lined up a crew that would average three members on different segments of the journey. Of course, he stocked up on all the necessities: plenty of food, water and toiletries. And he allowed for emergency relief by packing medicine, splints and scalpels in case he had to perform any minor operations. But, without the proper navigational instruments, Marv could not foresee what supplies he might need should he become lost at sea.
On December 21, 1982, Marv and his first crew set out from Cape May, New Jersey, on the 36-foot Globe Star. After passing through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, then around Cape Horn to the Falkland Islands and paralleling the South American coastline, Marv and company docked back into Cape May on May 17, 1984 ?a long seventeen months later. During that time Marv learned much about the care-taking abilities of nature. While he thought he could depend entirely on the stars and the disposition of the waters for guidance, he didn't expect the unexpected. Marv found that the wind, the color of the sea, different types of birds, and even the "squeak of the hatch" served as the instruments that directed Globe Star to its many destinations.
The squeak of the hatch
In one segment of his trip, Marv lost direction in a prolonged dead calm. With no visible stars to guide him, he couldn't do much else but sit and wait. When the wind began to blow, one crew member happened to move the hatch cover. Unexpectedly, it made a loud, shrill noise. Deductive thinking told Marv that dry air coming off the Antarctic caused the squeak, since moist air would have lubricated the track. Following the direction of the dry air set Marv on the proper course . . . . Another example of creative problem solving at its best!