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Seven Seas Cruising Association’s Clean Wake Program

Cruisers choose to go cruising for all kinds of reasons. It offers adventures, exploration, growth and a fresh perspective on the world. While cruisers learn along the way, they also bring resources and support to many of their destinations. The Seven Seas Cruising Association, founded by six cruisers berthed in Coronado, CA, in 1952, has been a resource for cruisers since its inception. It is now in its 70th year of providing support for sailors who cruise and those who are still dreaming about slipping the dock lines and sailing over the horizon. With reduced COVID restrictions and an increasing ability to cruise, more people are joining SSCA as they return to expanding cruising horizons.

One of the guiding principles for the formation of SSCA was for cruisers to inform other cruisers about distant shores and “leave a clean wake” wherever they cruise. Leaving a clean wake meant, in the simplest of terms, to obey the authorities in the countries visited, pay one’s bills, and help the communities visited.

The positive impact of cruisers comes in all forms. The 2022 Zihuatanejo Sailfest raised $175,000 for local school construction.
© 2022 Peter Benziger

Most cruisers naturally follow the clean-wake philosophy without even realizing it. To help those who want to help further, SSCA has programs on a clean-wake list that present excellent opportunities for cruisers to contribute to local communities.

Many of these programs were formed by SSCA members as they sailed to harbors and found that the communities they visited could use some help. Members have delivered school supplies to isolated islands and communities around the world. Some have stayed for years in places that were hit hard by drastic weather and helped to rebuild the community.

Cruise-In Week and Fiesta de Veleros
Cruisers helping in Barra de Navidad during Cruise-In Week and Fiesta de Veleros.
© 2022 Linda Bello Ruiz

The Clean Wake programs support things like the Bay Islands Project in Honduras, the PAYS Mooring Field in the Dominican Republic, and the Friends of Rio Dulce in Guatemala. There are many more. You can see the full list here.

The SSCA will be represented in San Diego once again as Baja Ha-Ha cruisers and others arrive in late October, making final preparations for their sails south. There are many excellent seminars at Downwind Marine, the Baja Ha-Ha kick-off party at West Marine, and opportunities to connect with SSCA at Downwind and on the morning net. If you’re beginning or restarting your cruising life, the SSCA can help you and the communities where you land.

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