16th annual SSCA Down East Gam

More than 140 sailors aboard more than 60 boats from all over the U.S. and Europe attended the 16th Annual Seven Seas Cruising Association’s Down East Gam in Broad Cove, Gilkey Harbor, Islesboro, Maine, from August 4 to 6. Frequent Ocean Navigator contributors Dick and Kathy de Grasse hosted the event at their Islesboro cottage along with co-hosts Alex and Diane Allmayer-Beck, aboard Ariel III of Belfast, Maine. More than 40 dinghies rafted behind Ariel III for the Friday evening cocktail party.

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear as sailors landed their dinghies on the beach in front of the cottage and came ashore carrying their contribution to the varied, tasteful and plentiful potluck lunch. Sea stories and reunions begun at the Friday afternoon dinghy raft-up cocktail party continued as each boat crew assembled on the lawn.

After each boat and crew was introduced, Norm Woods of Integrity presented the Radio Widower’s Award to Roger Ford, whose wife Bonnie is one of the Cruiseheimer’s Net daily managers. Dave Scott took the opportunity to encourage sailors to tune into the Cruiseheimer’s Net each morning on 8152 kHz, USB, at 0830 EDT, and to encourage sailors with problems of one kind or another to join in the tech net held each week.

Guest speakers included Ken McKinley of Locus Weather, Camden, Maine, who gave us a sneak preview of his full weather course held the following week in Rockland, Maine, and provided many hints on weather routing for normally slow moving sailing vessels. Shining Star Captain Bob Jeanette, aided by his wife Angela, took on the always-controversial subject of heavy weather anchoring.

The 2007 Down East Gam is scheduled for August 3 to 5 in Islesboro. The Gam is open to all boats cruising in Maine.

Dick and Kathy de Grasse

By Ocean Navigator