The Cape Fear Yacht Club will sponsor the 2019 Blessing of the Fleet at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 17th at the Southport Waterfront. The Southport Historical Society cannon, THOR, will fire a round to initiate the ceremony. The Blessing Boat, Flip Flop, a 36 foot Tiera sports fisherman, skippered by Dave Weigel, will be anchored near the city pier.
All boats, power and sail, big and small, pleasure, commercial, Coast Guard, paddle and kayaks are encouraged to participate in this annual event. Boats are to gather between Marker 18 in the Cape Fear River and Marker 1 in the ICW monitoring Channel 78. A safety boat will assist with lining all vessels up in order and then the procession will proceed past the Blessing Boat to receive a blessing and flower.
The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing villages. The blessing from a local rector is meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season. For decades it has been embraced by U.S. yacht clubs to mark the beginning of the sailing/boating season. The Blessing is free to all and all are welcome.