Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Gam

In olden times, friendly ships would pass at sea and come up against one another. The crews would lean over the sides of the boats and exchange news and stories from the lands they came from. This was known as a gam.

The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) is a 10,000 member organization of experienced cruisers. You can't become a voting member until you've lived on your boat for a year and have met a variety of other experience requirements. There is an emphasis on cruising outside of the country and around the world. When they have a rendezvous of members, it's called a "gam". Tonight was the last night of the Annapolis SSCA 2009 Gam. The last couple of days have involved seminars, information exchange, and eating. There is always eating when cruisers get together.

The dinghy dock for this harbor is pretty full. Amazingly, no one complained. No one made a fuss. No one is calling for new rules to be put in place to limit access to the dinghy dock. After all, a busy dinghy dock is a good thing, isn't it? Of course, my own dinghy, lost in the maze above wouldn't be allowed to pull onto the Castine dinghy dock because the Castine dinghy dock is full of rules and nonsense. And they wonder why the dinghy dock there is never full. There's a lesson there.

We gave 4 different 45 minute sessions about ActiveCaptain and internet access on boats today. It was extremely well attended with scores of questions and follow on discussions over dinner with many people. My throat is sore from all of the talking. Isn't ice cream a cure for that?

After dinner we took a cold, wet ride back to the boat. The harbor is ablaze with some 90 boats all anchored. The anchor lights make a beautiful light show that isn't captured very well by video and really needs to be seen in person. Tomorrow the boats will start to pull anchor and head off in many varied directions. The news has been exchanged and it's time for each of us to continue on with our journey.

1 comment:

Mark and Michele s/v Reach said...

Hi Karen & Jeff,
We enjoyed your sessions at the gam and meeting you over discussions at our dinner table. After exploring more of the Bay, we're heading south next week too. Hope to run into you out there so we'll look out for aCappella.
Michele & Mark
s/v Reach

P.S. Of course, we've been using ActiveCaptain ever since and have been recommending to friends. We hope to contribute to it when we can offer more info than what is already there!