Penobscot Maine Gam to gather sailing cruisers in July

May 11, 2017

Rockland — The 27th Annual Seven Seas Cruising Association Penobscot Maine Gam is scheduled for July 28 and 29 at the Maine Sail, Power and Steam Museum, 75 Mechanic St.

In days of old, when whaling ships encountered one another in calm seas, they would heave to and the crew would line up at the railing to shout news across the water. This was called a gam. An SSCA Gam is a get-together of members, with an emphasis on camaraderie and sharing of cruising information.

This event also begins on the water — with a dinghy raft-up and cocktail party on Friday afternoon, during which cruisers will tie alongside one of the mother ships, pass platters of snacks, and share cruising stories. Continuing a tradition of nearly three decades, the Penobscot Maine Gam is free to attend and is being organized by local cruisers.

This year, Keith Davis and Nicki Dunbar of S/V Sionna will be hosts ashore and provide information on Rockland and Penobscot Bay. Dick and Moira Benzel, aboard S/V Equinox, will be the hosts on the water and the featured speakers at the potluck lunch and program, which will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 29. The Benzels will have just returned from cruising on Cuba’s north coast and will present a discussion about this cruising ground only recently opened to U.S. sailors.

Like other cruisers who will attend, the Benzels have extensive experience cruising throughout the North Atlantic, Europe and the Eastern and Western Caribbean. As with all SSCA Gams, there will be opportunity for all to share their stories, lessons and cruising information. The Penobscot Maine Gam will be accessible by both land and sea.

Capt. Jim Sharp and his facility will provide the use of dinghy docks, an event tent, picnic tables, and other amenities, as well as museum tours. Visitors can use a sextant, watch a working Foucault pendulum, and learn about the boats that cruised and worked in Penobscot Bay under sail, steam and power.

The Seven Seas Cruising Association is the oldest and largest worldwide organization supporting the liveaboard and cruising lifestyle. SSCA celebrates its 65th Anniversary in 2017. The Penobscot Maine Gam is open to all boaters. To register, or for more information, go to ssca.org or call Keith Davis at 450-1933.

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