Saturday, October 3, 2009

Meeting Old Friends and Making New Friends at the Gam

The Random House Dictionary defines “gam” as:

1. a herd or school of whales.

2. Eastern New Eng., Naut. a social meeting, visit, or the like, as between whaling vessels at sea.

3. (of whales) to assemble into a herd or school.

4. Naut. (of the officers and crews of two whaling vessels) to visit or converse with one another for social purposes.

5. Eastern New Eng. to participate in a gam or social visit.

[1840–50, Amer.; perh. dial. var. of GAME1]

Well, socialize is exactly what we did this past weekend at the annual Annapolis gam of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA). This is a great association. The SSCA promotes cruising, has members from around the world, and hosts annual gams in places such as Annapolis, Florida, and Maine. There now are many locations where local members get together for breakfasts, potlucks, and happy hours. For more information, see the SSCA website (LINK). Featured at the gam were presentations on practical topics such as safety at sea, diesel engine troubleshooting, and weather, as well as fun topics like cruising the channels of Chile and rounding Cape Horn. But the main event is meeting up with old friends and making new friends. Steve and Lynn of Celebration, our friends and former neighbors in St. Pete, attended. We hadn’t seen them since Key West in May, so we were delighted to get together. They introduced us to folk that they have met while cruising in Chesapeake, such as Carl and Carrie on Sanctuary, Kim and George on Adagio, and Frank and Joanne on Fantasy Island, and we met many other folk for the first time. It was really cool to be able to talk with people like Travis, who just bought a boat and will actually be moving onto it at the St. Pete Municipal Marina next month – small world again! (We advised him to get onto the North dock, which is the most fun.) We went to SSCA gams for years as cruiser-wannabes, soliciting advice from those already out there, and it was great to be able to return the favor.

Unfortunately, Anne was a very bad girl, and never took any pictures at the gam (of which there were many great opportunities). So you have to look at another sunrise in the anchorage in the Rhode River, where the gam was held. Perhaps I’ll just start a sunrise blog…

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