Ships That Do Come In

Cathy Salustri

Ships That Do Come In

Angela Lagan, who helped engineer and build the SS Gulfport, shows off the shipbuilding medals and trophy she and six other Gulfport Social Cruisers won aboard the Carnival Freedom last month. Gulfport's Beach Bazaar has this seaworthy craft on display.

Last month, the Gulfport Social Cruisers learned a valuable new skill: shipbuilding. When the Cruisers took their now-annual cruise to the Caribbean on the Carnival Freedom, some members chose to shop in port, while others spent time by the pool. Seven others spent their time learning to build a boat out of found items. Using Styrofoam they found on a beach in Grand Turk, Gummi bears, drink umbrellas, and earrings – among other items – they built the prizewinning SS Gulfport. FunFinder Jim Parr was the captain of the boat, which had to float in the ship pool and carry cargo. Captain Parr safely navigated the vessel from the safety of the pool deck as the SS Gulfport floated from one side of the cruise ship's pool to the other. For their efforts the group received a trophy and medals.

Winning shipbuilders included Fun Funders Jim and Bonnie Parr, Angela Lagan, Bill and Rose-Marie Seawall, Bev Newcomb and Suzi King.

The Gulfport Social Cruisers are a non-exclusive social group who meet at the Thursday Night Social, currently held at J's. Anyone can join, although membership does not exists and costs nothing, according to one group member. That same member stressed that they were not a formal club and encouraged people to come out to the Thursday Night Social to get to know other social-minded individuals.