St. Augustine Gam
November 15-17, 2019
St. Augustine Shrine Club
250 Brainard Dr.
St. Augustine, FL 32086
Online registration is now closed but on-site registrations will be accepted at the rates below.
Members: $65 (on site)
Non-Members: $75 (on site)
Registration fee includes all sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Meals are additional but can not be guaranteed for walk-up registrants.
Join SSCA for a new gam experience in a new location, St. Augustine, FL! Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers and touted as the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine is a tourist destination sure to be enjoyed because of its rich history, Spanish colonial architecture and Atlantic Ocean beaches. You may find these articles helpful as you plan your trip to St. Augustine: Ten Most-Asked Cruiser Questions About St. Augustine, Why SSCA Chose St. Augustine, Introduction to St. Augustine, St. Augustine Restaurants and Exploring South of St. Augustine.
The gam is scheduled for November 15th-17th at the St. Augustine Shrine Club. The Shrine Club will offer a more intimate experience than its predecessor in Melbourne but they are rolling out the red carpet to accommodate all of your needs. Slips and mooring balls have been reserved at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina and reservations must be made by October 15th. SSCA will provide shuttle service to and from the Shrine Club for attendees staying at the marina. For those needing hotel accommodations discounted rooms are available at Beacher’s Lodge through October 31st. You'll find information on both further down the page. If you are coming by RV, you can find a listing of area campgrounds with this link.
Though the gam itself doesn’t start until Friday, November 15th, the traditional Heading South discussion will be held from 3:00pm to 4:30pm at The Corazon Cinema and Cafe (36 Granada St.) on Thursday, November 14th which will include a presentation on the Bahamas by Susan and Greg Costa. Those in attendance will receive a free 55-page booklet from the Costas about the Bahamas. Even if you don’t attend the Heading South discussion, you can still come to The Corazon to mix and mingle with fellow cruisers for Happy Hour from 4:30-6:00pm. The Corazon is housed in an historic building in the Lincolnville section of St. Augustine that was built in 1880 and it has housed many businesses over the generations. Today, The Corazon has turned it into an art house specializing in events, weddings and films. The venue is conveniently located near the Municipal Marina and is only a 10-minute walk away. For those coming by car, there is no guaranteed parking at the facility. Metered municipal parking lots can be found behind The Corazon. For more information on parking, click here.
This year’s gam will have a few new components. Time has been incorporated into the agenda at various times to allow attendees to introduce themselves to the group and briefly highlight their cruising experiences and/or plans. This way attendees can learn who’s in attendance and seek out those of interest for further networking and possible mentoring. Attendees interested in mentors can also identify them through information that will be contained in the registration packets.
On Saturday afternoon, the planning committee is putting together a few hours of demos and DIY opportunities to enhance everyone’s cruising skills and knowledge. Sessions are also being extended to Sunday morning in addition to the ham exams. This year the ham exams will be administered by the St. Augustine Amateur Radio Society. There is no charge for the exams but you must pre-register through the gam registration process. While the gam will not include a nautical flea market this year, there is one being held in St. Augustine the weekend prior to the gam if you are in the area at that time. The First Coast Nautical Flea Market will be held Saturday, November 9th and Sunday, November 10th at the St. Augustine Marine Center (404 Riberia St.). For more information or to reserve a spot to sell items, contact John at 904-808-0667. The event is free and open to the public.
With communications and technology such an integral part of cruising today, this year’s sessions will focus a lot on communications and a couple of sessions will be presented by two of the experts shaping the marine communications industry today—Luis Soltero and Sam Crowther. Sessions and presenters include:
Offshore Satellite Communication for Yachties-Luis Soltero, Global Marine Networks
How to Buy Satcom for Your Sailboat-Sam Crowther, SatPhoneStore
Weather-Chris Parker, Marine Weather Center
NWS Website Weather Tools-Andrew Shashy, NOAA
Communications at Sea/Search & Rescue-LT Brian Doyle, USCG
Offshore Energy-Simon Ytterbom, Battery Distributors SE
Diesel Systems Operation and Maintenance-Jim "Bo" Bohanan, First Mate Yacht Services
Cruising To and Around the Bahamas-Bill Cullen, TheBookofSail.com
Circumnavigation: It's Not Just About Sailing-Jill & Dave Higgins, s/v Air Power
Surviving an Accident at Sea & the Aftermath of the Rescue and Social Media (from the Laughable to the Libelous)-Joy & Jim Carey, s/v Kelaerin
Avoid the Art of Dragging (Anchoring)-Rudy & Jill Sechez, Trawler Training & Anchor Consultants
Great Gadgets & Ideas While Cruising-Bill Cullen, The BookofSail.com
Personal Safety-Ed & Sue Kelly, s/v Angel Louise
Making an Interesting Photograph-Jim Austin
Creative Ways to Work While Cruising-Luis & Kim Soltero
Bill Cullen-Gadgets and Provisioning
Jill and Rudy Sechez-Anchoring
Drs. Mike & Liz Hatton-Medical
Simon Ytterbom-Offshore Energy
Luis Soltero-Offshore Communications
Wayne Romberg-Small Outboard Maintenance
Others Being Confirmed
In addition to sessions, the Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday afternoon after lunch. President Ed Kelly will recap the year’s activities where new board members will take office. Annual awards will also be presented at the gam and presentations will be sprinkled throughout the annual meeting and meal events. For more camaraderie, attendees can stick around on Friday afternoon for a reception and jam session. Saturday’s sessions will wrap up with a reception and buffet dinner featuring Chuck Meide, director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum. Chuck has participated in a wide array of shipwreck and maritime archaeological projects across the US, especially in Florida, and throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda and in Australia and Ireland. We’ll also have partners and vendors on hand displaying their latest products and services throughout the day on Friday and Saturday.
After the gam wraps up on Sunday, the St. Augustine Cruisers Net has planned a cruisers get together Sunday evening at 5:30pm. The Historical Society will be sharing some secrets of the oldest port in the continental United States so go learn a bit of history over a drink or two with fellow cruisers. Details can be found in the St. Augustine Cruisers Net facebook group. The St. Augustine Cruisers Net is great for local info. They host a morning VHF net and host regular gatherings like this one.
There will be something for everyone at the St. Augustine Gam so make plans to join us in this historic city. Come experience that common bond with fellow cruisers while gaining valuable cruising knowledge that only an SSCA gam can provide. You’ll also find plenty to do in the city so come early or stay late to experience this new gam destination!
Slips and Anchoring
Slips and mooring balls have been reserved at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina for those coming by boat. Due to peak season, the marina is unable to offer discounted rates so standard rates apply. Reservations are only being accepted via the online form through October 15, 2019. When filling out the form, add "SSCA" after your boat name so they can attach your reservation to our reserved block. If space is available, you can extend your stay beyond the SSCA event days. After Oct 15th, the reserved block for SSCA will no longer be available but you can call (904-825-1026) to see if there is still general space available at the marina. Space is limited due to peak season.
Lodging has been blocked at Beacher's Lodge Oceanfront Suites, a condo-hotel on beautiful Crescent Beach. Two condo options have been reserved and are described below. Reservations must be made by October 31, 2019 and can only be made via telephone by calling 1-800-527-8849 ext. 1. Mention SSCA to receive the discounted rates below. Online reservations can not be designated for our block so that's why it's important to call to get the discounted rate. If space is available, you can extend your stay beyond the SSCA event days at the discounted rates. There are some pet-friendly units so please be sure to inquire if you are bringing a pet. Reservations made after October 31st will be charged the regular rate.
Queen Suite Gold-$105 (Sun. - Thurs.) / $122 (Fri. - Sat.) per night plus taxes
Furnishings and accessories new or near new and in excellent condition. Furnishings are attractive and well-coordinated, represent current design trends, and include top-quality kitchens and baths. There is a noticeable upgrade in the furnishings and decor. Accommodations are comfortable, inviting and reflect current styles. All suites are oceanfront and some may overlook the pool and ocean. First-floor suites have an horizon view of the water.
Queen Suite Silver-$93 (Sun. - Thurs.) / $110 (Fri. - Sat.) per night plus taxes
Well maintained and most everything is up-to-date with minimal wear. The condo may have some of the features of a higher "Gold" rating but there are some non-major items or areas that need improvement. Furnishings may show slight wear but overall the decor is attractive although not as consistent or well-coordinated as higher rating levels. Kitchens and baths are in good condition and reflect current styles. All suites are oceanfront and some may overlook the pool and ocean. First-floor suites have an horizon view of the water.