We are currently on a dock in Rock Hall, MD awaiting a part to replace the new alternator that was put in over the summer...frustrating to say the least! Our plan is to finish the repairs and head up the Potomac to Washington, DC next week.
I’m feeling a bit inadequate these days. Dean and I just attended our first Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam in Maryland and met some incredible cruisers. Some of these people have lived on a boat for 20 + years and traveled to exotic ports all over the world. They know how to dismantle and rebuild their fuel system, water maker, and diesel engine (and I’m suspecting, do it just for fun.) The women are just as resourceful as the men which is the source of my lowered self esteem...I haven't even done an oil change.
I should back up a moment and explain a few things...
What’s cruising? Cruising is the name of our new lifestyle. People who live aboard their boats the majority of the time call themselves “cruisers.” Some cruisers live on sailboats like us, but others are on trawlers or other types of boats. What we all have in common is a sense of adventure for the sea.
What’s a gam? When you Google the term gam, you will be told that it is a term describing the shapeliness of a women’s leg. Also, the acronym GAM is used on internet dating sites to denote a Gay Asian Male. Keep scrolling to the additional definitions and you will ultimately find that a gam is a gathering of boaters. Whaling ships used to have a gam and rendezvous out at sea to exchange news and mail.
What is the Seven Seas Cruising Association? If you live & travel on your own boat (or if you hope to someday), membership in the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) is the best $65 you can spend. Here are the benefits we receive as members:
Instant friendships where ever we cruise. We have already been in touch with SSCA “hosts” in Washington, DC so when we arrive next week they can help us find resources and get repairs (which we hopefully will not be needing!)
Website with a lot of information for cruisers. On the Discussion Forum you can follow conversations of people with the same questions and concerns that you have - like finding ways to communicate while at sea or finding the best weather forecasting tools.
The SSCA Bulletin is a monthly electronic/print publication written by members of SSCA. From it’s articles we have determined places we want to go (currently Nova Scotia is looking very interesting) and places we want to avoid (lots of problems off the coast of Venezuela...still.)
Seven Seas U is their online education series that teaches essential topics for cruising. Navigation, safety at sea, boat systems and marine weather are but a few of the courses that you can take from their experienced instructors. While you don’t have to be a member of SSCA to take these courses, you do get a discount if you are.
Leave a Clean Wake
The Seven Seas Cruising Association is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization with several thousand members all over the world. The group encourages its members to leave a “clean wake”. By promoting environmentally friendly boating practices, the organization supports research and policies which protect the oceans.1