SSCA gathers for Maine rendezvous
On August 5, 2000 we hosted the 10th annual Down East Rendezvous of the Seven Seas Cruising Association at our home at Gilkey Harbor on Islesboro, Maine. The event brought together 73 boats and 163 sailors from all over the world on what turned out to be a picture-perfect Down East day. Among the sailors attending, well-known in the annals of world voyaging, were circumnavigators and authors Michel and Jane DeRidder of Magic Dragon, who were crewing with Steve and Linda Dashew aboard Beowulf, and the former non-stop singlehanded and circumnavigation record holder Dodge Morgan.
The impressive liveaboard fleet consisted of offshore cruising boats ranging in length from 26 to 80 feet. The sailors gathered for camaraderie and a potluck lunch overlooking the harbor and anchored fleet. The group discussed a host of subjects of interest to sailors, including ports of call, weather, anchors, cooking, and electronics.
Guest speaker Dodge Morgan quoted from his book and the log of American Promise and spoke about the rationale behind his passage south of the great capes of the world. The highlight of his talk was a description of the psychological effects of five months of solitude aboard a small boat at sea. When he stepped off the boat in Bermuda, after completing his record-setting voyage (first American to solo non-stop and fastest solo voyage at the time), he wanted to relax quietly on land and regain his composure but was immediately surrounded by news media. He would have liked to have been an observer on shore watching his own arrival rather than facing hordes of people. Sounds much like the late, great sailor Bernard Moitessier, who kept on sailing while leading the first solo circumnavigation race of 1968 rather than face an uproarious homecoming.