Sixty-one boats and 147 sailors attended Dick and Kathy de Grasse’s 24th annual Downeast Gam in Gilkey’s Harbor, Islesboro, Maine in August.
Crews included a mix of sailors from all over the world representing the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), Ocean Cruising Club, Waterway Radio and Cruising Club, and many new attendees. There were more than six circumnavigators present in the group, and about half the sailors in attendance had sailed at least one ocean on their own keel.
The host boat, SV I Wanda, sailed by Mary and Christian Verlaque, had 41 dinghies tied behind it during the Friday afternoon hors d’oeuvres cocktail party raft-up. After lunch on Saturday, everyone enthusiastically acknowledged the attendees as Mary Verlaque read through the list.
The guest speaker was Captain Skip Strong, co-author with Twain Braden of In Peril, the story of maneuvering a 688-foot loaded oil tanker off the Bethel Shoal in Florida in order to save a disabled tug and a NASA barge that carried a liquid fuel tank for the space shuttle.
Pam MacBrayne and Denis Moonan of SV Glide spoke about their 2014 sailing trip to the Arctic. The 25th Downeast Gam is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 1, 2015.