It’s Wednesday morning and only a few days until cruisers from all over arrive in Essex for the 5th annual Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) Summer Solstice Gam. George and I have been running this event for five years now and we are very excited about what’s in store for the nearly 100 that will show up for two plus days of seminars and great food. We have an excellent lineup of speakers, perhaps our best yet.
In particular, I can’t wait to hear the keynote talk by Mike Toglias, the author of Finest Hours, the story of the rescue of the SS Pendelton off of Cape Cod in 1952. A rescue by the USCG widely recognized as the most heroic in the history of the service. Mike will share the story of the rescue and the making of the movie of the same name by Disney a few years ago. As a rule, “sailing” movies are generally terrible, think Waterworld, Wind and perhaps the worst ever All is lost with Robert Redford, but don’t get me started.
Anyway, Finest Hours is quite a good movie. Check out this extended 3 1/2 minute trailer. And see the movie if you haven’t. It’s on Net Flix and other streaming services.
We’ll be holding the event at the Essex Yacht Club beginning with a BYOB cocktail party aboard Gem a “large” catamaran that will be visiting for the weekend. The owners of Gem did a similar trip south last winter to the Caribbean as me and Brenda.
Following two days of seminars we will finish up with a pot luck pizza party at the nearby CT River Museum on their deck. That’s a fabulous place to watch the evening light on the river. On the off chance that you are moved to join in the fun we have a few slots left so just show up on Friday evening at the club or on Saturday morning to sign up.
While we are partying in Essex with our cruising buddies, it seems that the “big boys with their super big toys” are whooping it up in Bermuda as the finals for the America’s Cup are underway and yesterday was the first of three days of superyacht racing.
When Brenda and I were in Antigua over the winter we were surrounded by a seemingly endless number of monster sailing yachts, many of which are now racing off of Bermuda. This video was posted today by the event’s organizers. In spite of the scale of these magnificent yachts, I expect that attendees at our SSCA event spend many more nights aboard and sail more miles each year than the owners of these monsters. However, it is fun to spend time at these regattas, that’s for sure.
I know that as few years ago Brenda and I were invited to race aboard Marie a 180′ Vitters built ketch in the Newport Bucket Regatta. What a thrill to be on the water aboard such a magnificent yacht. This video gives you a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be aboard a “superyacht” and sail in one of these regattas. Let me tell you, while the sailing is amazing, the food is fabulous too. “would you care for a lamb kabob or a lobster roll?” No, I am saving myself for desert. In the evenings, at the docks, there are amazing parties and I wrote this post about the “yacht hopping” experience.
So, I guess that the question is “where is the best place to be if you’re super?” and I guess that depends. For me, super yachts aside, I vote for Essex and our Summer Solstice Gam this weekend and for the 5th year at the Essex Yacht Club. Sure there’s lots of “super” stuff going on in Bermuda but I’ll take my cruising friends.
However, don’t get me wrong. I we are asked to sail on Marie again… Nope, we won’t say no. Yes, that was super too. Mega super for sure.