Candidate Profile

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History - Maritime
Franz Schneider enjoys giving talks on cruise ships because of his love of the sea. A sailor all his life, Franz became active in ocean racing as a teenager. He sailed many thousands of miles with Ted Turner, starting with races from Bermuda to Copenhagen in 1966, and from California to Honolulu in 1967. In the 1970s, Franz was Turner’s navigator in many ocean races including the classic Newport to Bermuda, and Miami to Montego Bay races. He was also the founder of Landfall Navigation, a firm that offers navigational supplies and services.

Onboard, Franz will give several talks about ocean racing, as well as several about navigation, including celestial navigation. Franz’s first voyage was as a child on the classic liner Queen of Bermuda, starting his passion for ocean liners. He will give a talk about some of those experiences, including passages on the last two liners powered by steam: the Norway (built as the France), and the Regent Sun (built as the Shalom). Franz also has given talks on topics ranging from psychopaths to estate planning. 

When not at sea, Franz has a dual career as an academic and a professional money manager. A holder of three degrees from Harvard University, he has taught there since 2001— most recently teaching courses about Psychopaths, and Law and Psychology. He holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. For the past 27 years, he has also been a private trustee as well as a registered investment advisor.
1. Ocean Racing with Ted Turner I – Transatlantic & Transpacific
Franz started racing with Ted Turner in 1966 when Ted competed in a 3,600-mile race from Bermuda to Denmark with his Cal 40 yacht Vamp X. In this talk, Franz starts with a video clip taken aboard another of Ted’s boat during the start of an ocean race. Then, a brief history will be given of how races across the Atlantic started in 1866, and continued sporadically since. The primary focus of this talk is the 20-day race with Ted in 1966, along with some highlights from a race to Honolulu in 1967 in Ted’s yacht Vamoose.

2. Ocean Racing with Ted Turner II – The Bermuda & Jamaica races
Franz became Ted Turner’s ocean racing navigator, starting with the 1973 Miami to Montego Bay race in Ted’s one-tonner, Lightnin’. Franz will discuss why the Jamaica race became his favorite, navigating Ted’s winning performances in 1973 as well as in 1979 with his 61-foot sloop, Tenacious. Another favorite race is the legendary Newport to Bermuda race, and Franz will describe some of the most memorable Bermuda races that he participated in between 1964 and 1994.

3. The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
This talk examines an extraordinary ocean race that started in 1968—a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world race that offered a prize of 5,000 pounds to the winner. There were no eligibility requirements, and one of the nine starters was Donald Crowhurst, a businessman in his 30s with little ocean sailing experience. He soon realized that neither he nor his boat were not up to the task, and so ceased radio transmissions and stayed in the Atlantic— sailing in giant circles— while the other competitors circumnavigated the globe.  

Then, when the others were on their way back to the finish, he resumed radio transmissions giving positions that indicated that he might actually win the race.  Unfortunately, he had gone mad during this time— keeping two logbooks, one with his faked positions and a real one documenting his deception.  However, before he would have finished, he jumped overboard, and some weeks later his abandoned sailboat with the two logbooks was found adrift in the Atlantic.
The story is now back in the public eye due to two recent movies, one (“Crowhurst”) released last year, and another (“The Mercy”) scheduled for release this year, which stars Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz.

4. The Art and Science of Navigation
As an experienced navigator, Franz introduce passengers to navigation— setting out some basics, and then describing specific navigational techniques, starting with the most basic tools that Columbus used, and ending up with the present day’s high tech navigational solutions.

5. The Vanishing Art of Celestial Navigation
Since the time of Columbus, mariners have used the sun, moon, and planets to guide their voyages. With the mid-18th century development of accurate time-keeping devices that could go to sea, it became possible to navigate the world’s oceans with a precision of about one mile using celestial navigation. Indeed, until the truly worldwide GPS system was introduced in the 1980s, all ships—and many airplanes—still carried sextants when navigating far from land. Should there be interest, this talk will be supplemented with a hands-on session to see how a sextant is used. 

6. A Life on Liners
As a child, Franz’s family often visited his grandmother in Bermuda. Their voyages on the classis liner Queen of Bermuda started Franz’s passion for ocean liners, and he will talk about some of those experiences. Other classic liners included in Franz talk include: the Ocean Monarch, sometimes called the Millionaire’s Yacht; the French liner Antilles completed in 1953; the Regent Sun, originally Shalom, completed in 1964; and the Norway, originally built as France in 1962. The latter two ships were the last ocean liners powered by steam.

Franz also gave talks on these additional topics during two cruises to Cuba:

Cuba's Beautiful Cars; Surveys the classic cars seen in Cuba— with pictures. Talks about how their owners maintain them.

Operation Mongoose: The CIA and Cuba; Examines the CIA’s covert operation designed to overthrow the Castro Regime.

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Ten Days in October 1962; Reviews the crisis that tested President John F. Kennedy, and almost ended in nuclear war.

In addition, Franz has given talks ashore on these topics that might be of interest aboard cruise ships:

- Psychopaths -- what they are and why, with some case studies

- All About Trusts – An introduction to estate planning

- Investments that can boost your income in retirement
No Cruise Experience details provided.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Star ST181115 Cultural Cuba 7 Miami, Florida Thursday, November 15, 2018
Viking Star ST181108 Cultural Cuba 7 Miami, Florida Thursday, November 8, 2018