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Old 06-02-2013, 02:46   #1
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I am curious how many Cruisers Forum participants are members of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA). www.ssca.org If you aren't a member maybe you should look at it.

I have found it to be a great resource and guide for learning more about cruising and offering support and education as we became more involved in full-time cruising . It is a non-profit run by and for cruisers. In effect, the SSCA helps active cruisers cruise and someday-to-be cruisers start cruising. If this is what you do or want to do, it is one of the real bargains around.

We found the SSCA to be our biggest advocate when we left for Europe in May of last year. Norfolk's Joan Conover, an SSCA Cruising Station Coordinator, and her husband Greg, were longtime cruisers on their boat Growling Tiger. When we arrived they took the SSCA members on the trip leaving from Hampton under their wing, helping in countless ways. They told us who to talk to for needed services, helped us with weather planning, gave advice on how to prepare, gave us rides to various chandleries and acted as mentors while we were preparing for the passage. They basically made us feel like we had friends supporting us in our efforts. And we did!

Part of the SSCA mission is to support cruising and to advocate for cruiser rights. Whether it's lobbying to protect anchoring rights in Florida, or live-aboard rights in Georgia, the SSCA operates as a voice and as an advocate for cruisers. They actively support environmental causes with clean wake initiatives and with an active Cruisers Committee Board help address the "big-picture" issues that many sailors, me included, are to busy to spend much time thinking about.

The SSCA website offers a plethora of educational events and resources including online "webinars." If you want to learn about cruising and sailing, this is a great resource. They also started http://www.sevenseasu.com/,SSU, an online learning site. The Cruising Stations, around 150 around the world, are another key support structure for the SSCA. Hosts can be contacted in advance for information and logistical help in planning a trip, and during your stay for local assistance. Basically, they are supporting the camaraderie that cruising is all about. We plan on using these services as we travel the Med later this year.

By the way, Dave Skolnick, the President of the SSCA, is an active participant on this forum, and has been for a long time - known here of course as "Auspicious." He is a longtime cruiser and racer and has sailed to and from Europe, in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and every where else apparently. It seems as though everybody working for SSCA is or has been an active cruiser, so they know what we are up against.

There are, I think, something like 10,000 members around the world, which makes them big enough to have the impact that a large scale provides. The price to join is something like 50 or 60 bucks a year, and it's definitely something cruisers should at least consider. It can either help you directly or it can advocate for the longterm health of the sport of Cruising - either way, it's worth being a part of it. To me joining SSCA is a no-brainer.

(Disclosure: other than being a member I have no vested interest in the organization.)
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:54   #2
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Not a member but I've been meaning to join so thanks for the reminder.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:31   #3
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

I agree...and I'm a member. The SSCA "Gams" have some of the most informative presenters and topics you'll find anywhere...and they're a whole lot of fun! You'll meet cruisers from all over the world.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:37   #4
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

You can join a club that tells you how to do it, where to go and what to see.....

Or you can just go do it yourself.

Mine is a voyage of discovery... Not in the wake of Jimmy Cornell, a club, a book, or a forum.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:57   #5
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

MarkJ,
Yeah, I'll bet you never asked another cruiser for help, never got info on your next port of call from a cruiser who's been there, never got advice on how to repair something or where the best deal was on a part you needed. I'm sure that you did it all on your own. Yeah, right.

For the rest of us who aren't quite as self-reliant as Mark apparently is, the SSCA is a good resource. We've been to a gam which was both fun and educational. I've downloaded one of the webinars (Bob Williams on wind/solar) which I found immensely helpful.

Plus, it's a good way to get to know and socialize with other cruisers. I don't think it's meant to tell anyone how to do it or where to go. I think it exists to share information and provide resources that will benefit cruising folks, both new and experienced.

Scott
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:06   #6
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

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You can join a club that tells you how to do it, where to go and what to see.....

Or you can just go do it yourself.

Mine is a voyage of discovery... Not in the wake of Jimmy Cornell, a club, a book, or a forum.
Me too.

Though a lot of people do seem to like joining clubs and why not.

I've found it more fun to just turn up and see what happens, meet the locals instead, if it's nice stay for a while. Technically the net's full of info, as for where's nice,? only you will be able to say afterwards. And a month later the anchorage will be a completely different experience anyway.

so Down With Planning!!!! Just leads to disappointment when somewhere is different to what you thought is was going to be.

Just turn up. Something will happen, it always does.

And join a club if you want, why not. Down to you.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:12   #7
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
You can join a club that tells you how to do it, where to go and what to see.....

Or you can just go do it yourself.

Mine is a voyage of discovery... Not in the wake of Jimmy Cornell, a club, a book, or a forum.
Hey, why so negative Mark? It sounds like a great resource, and of course you have to eventually "do it yourself", nobody can do it for you. But nothing wrong with learning from those who go before you; otherwise, why would we read your blog.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:25   #8
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
You can join a club that tells you how to do it, where to go and what to see.....

Or you can just go do it yourself.

Mine is a voyage of discovery... Not in the wake of Jimmy Cornell, a club, a book, or a forum.
Given your number of posts and the length of time you've been a member of this online club known as CruisersForum, I assume you're being intentionally ironic and self-deprecating Mark. You're a funny man indeed .

As for the SSCA, I've recently joined as we ramp up for our big departure. So far I find it a useful resource, and I expect it will become even better once we leave the Great Lakes.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:41   #9
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

I wasnt being negative at all. Just putting out a different view.

Of course I ask for and receive advice and even sometimes follow it.

But generally I plan all my routes, landfalls and places myself without opening a book. In fact I think I have only done one trip on someone else's route... That was Boatman61's advice on the last passage I did from Key West to St Martin and even pulled out Jimmy Cornel to see what he said too. So did it in a manner I was not planning (because my circumstances changed)

However I have always been congiscent of going my own route as otherwise it would have been a circumnavigation in "the wake of" Lin and Larry, or Jimmy, or Slocumb, etc etc etc or in the Wake of Boatman61 heaven forbid!

I want to do the stuff myself and do offer my opinion for others to do it themselves too.

No matter if its marked on a chart or given by a book or other cruiser, the Magenta line does not need to be followed.


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Old 06-02-2013, 06:59   #10
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

I was a member but let it expire due to a hiccup in our cruising plans. My parents sailed around the world while being in the SSCA club, they found it a great resource for the "out of the way" places. Also, when a tragedy happen to another vessel in a distant port, the SSCA folks used the great cruiser networking system to help and communicate, and due to their port Host program having a local on their side was instrumental the first few days and then weeks of this situation.

Just my 2cents, lots of cruisers sail without the SSCA, what ever floats your boat
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:02   #11
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I wasnt being negative at all. Just putting out a different view.

Of course I ask for and receive advice and even sometimes follow it.

But generally I plan all my routes, landfalls and places myself without opening a book. In fact I think I have only done one trip on someone else's route... That was Boatman61's advice on the last passage I did from Key West to St Martin and even pulled out Jimmy Cornel to see what he said too. So did it in a manner I was not planning (because my circumstances changed)

However I have always been congiscent of going my own route as otherwise it would have been a circumnavigation in "the wake of" Lin and Larry, or Jimmy, or Slocumb, etc etc etc or in the Wake of Boatman61 heaven forbid!

I want to do the stuff myself and do offer my opinion for others to do it themselves too.

No matter if its marked on a chart or given by a book or other cruiser, the Magenta line does not need to be followed.


Hi Mark.... hopefully its a few years yet for the 'Wake of Boatman'...
For the rest.. I'm in general agreement... though for some things unknown like the Torres Strait where I'm in an 'alien environment' I will turn to CF mambers for guidance..
But in the main I'll dig out the passage charts and make my own route... I read Cornells recommendations for Panama - Marquesa's and went my own way... did it in 37days... others who followed Cornell's routes took upto 54 days...
Lucka the draw... conditions are never the same year to year and anyone who takes Cornell's routes as 'words from god' is sooner or later gonna be disappointed.. also he makes it sound a lot scarier than reality
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:21   #12
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

I was a member for a good many years ,was faithfully in volenteer at the boat shows and did my part as a senior member.
That was at the start of the seven seas "U" project. For months it was played up to be an added part of what was already a great org. I couldn't say enough about them until the project went into motion, it turned into a money hungry organization, where most all information by the "U" program
Has a price attached to it .
Odd thing as most all the people working the boat shows and fairs are working for free.
Myself as well as many others told SSCA to kiss our tails and we moved on.

I for one think the organization is a total rip off and I don't have any issues telling anyone I meet.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:21   #13
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
You can join a club that tells you how to do it, where to go and what to see.....

Or you can just go do it yourself.

Mine is a voyage of discovery... Not in the wake of Jimmy Cornell, a club, a book, or a forum.

Gotta little flack didn't you.
But I tend to agree with you. One of the main reasons I head off is to get away from others. The SSCA is fine for some. At my wife's request we were members years ago. She enjoyed the female perspective of things, the pot luck dinners, the library available, etc. But I've never been into groups or the group mindset that usually goes along with it. I turn Left when the urge strikes me, I stay as long or as little as I want. As with groups and forums there are always a few of those that need to establish a social hierarchy within. I love the people that float in and out of my sailing life. My help to anyone is only a phone/radio call away, but when they want to start organizing into this or that group I usually respectfully bow out.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:35   #14
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

I am a member and find their information very useful. I have also volunteered as a cruising station coordinator.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:04   #15
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Re: Seven Seas Cruising Association -SSCA

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the SSCA as I have never been a member (too cheap to cough up the entry fee), but I have found in my travels that if I have a lot of information and advice on where I go that it can cause more stress than it is worth. So often it is just easier to show up with a smile and take things as they come.
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