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Seven Seas Cruising Association announces 2019 U.S. East Coast Gams

by Barb Hart 3 Jun 2019 05:34 PDT
Seven Seas Cruising Association © Seven Seas Cruising Association

SSCA announces three Gams in 2019 for those who are interested in living aboard their sail or power vessel and cruising to distant ports. Founded in 1953 by six liveaboard couples in California and now with members worldwide, SSCA is the oldest and largest worldwide organization supporting the liveaboard cruising lifestyle. Today's SSCA remains true to the traditions of its original memberssharing cruising information, fostering camaraderie, and leaving a clean wake.

Each year, SSCA hosts meetings or "Gams" in various locations with the largest and most attended currently held on the U.S. East Coast. The name was taken from the term used by Whaling Ships who would "have a gam" when two boats met far from home in calm seas. Both captains met on board one ship while both first mates met on the other, and the ships exchanged men so that they could all socialize and share news from home. SSCA hosts Gams to allow all interested cruisers to learn and share information, as well as to socialize and meet new cruising companions.

The 29th Annual Penobscot Bay Gam will be held on July 26th and 27th; at the Maine Sail, Power and Steam Museum in Rockland. This event includes the traditional dinghy raft-up on Friday and a pot-luck lunch and gathering on Saturday followed by a discussion with Brian Perkins, Regional Director of the Americas at the Maine Stewardship Council. A free tour of the Maine Sail, Power, and Steam Museum will complete the day. This informal, convivial GAm traditionally allows coastal Maine cruisers to meet those who've crossed oceans and circumnavigated and has been the starting point for many who have begun their own ocean voyages.

The 33rd Annual Annapolis Gam will take place on September 27th -29th at the Maryland Yacht Club in Pasadena. This is the second year we've enjoyed the hospitality of the Maryland Yacht Club, located at the entrance to Rock Creek. This Gam has an ambitious agenda designed to appeal to both new liveaboard cruisers and those with years of experience.

In 2018, Cecelia and George Dahl, of S/V Ring of Kerry, attended Annapolis as new members of SSCA, saying afterward, "Looking back on the Gam, we consider this one of the most valuable investments we have made in our new lifestyle. We gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge and met some wonderful people. The workshops were right on point for our needs. Surprisingly, the experience went well beyond the workshops; it seemed as if every conversation resulted in an important take-away -- a tip, a warning, an idea, insight, affirmation or encouragement often regarding topics we would never have considered asking about ourselves."

In November, SSCA Board of Directors will welcome cruisers heading south for the 2019 Annual General Meeting and Gam at its new location in, St. Augustine Florida. "We are looking forward to hosting SSCA's Annual Meeting in this historic port," said SSCA Board President Ed Kelley of S/V Angel Louise.

In addition to these multi-day events, SSCA members frequently develop and host Mini-Gams and lunch or breakfast meetings focused on one or two topics, such as Rescue at Sea, Communication, and Navigation Software. All of the Gams are open to non-members as well as members. To learn more and to register to attend, go to www.ssca.org/events.

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