In 1984, Marvin Creamer sailed around the world without a compass, sextant, clock, radio or even a wristwatch, making him the first recorded person to make a circumnavigation without navigational instruments. Instead, he observed the wind, waves and the sun by day, and the moon and stars by night.
During the trip, Creamer and his crew braved storms, windless days, tankers in fog, whales, Cape Horn and a run-in with the British military. He called all of it “a jolly romp” and joked that he had made “one small step back for mankind.”
Creamer died this week at 104 years of age. This New York Times obituary tells the story of his amazing accomplishment and the life that led to it.