Social Scene: 2022 Blessing of the Fleet held
A thick fog early in the morning cleared to make way for a beautiful, sunny day for the Marco Island Yacht Club's annual Blessing of the Fleet on Feb. 19. Fourteen boats paraded in review past Commodore Tom Wentworth and his bridge following a blessing delivered by Reverend Mark Williams, pastor of the Marco Island United Church.
The Blessing of the Fleet is a traditional invocation of good fortune for boaters. The tradition began many centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities and is now an annual highlight in Marco Island and many seacoast communities across the United States.
The vessels began to assemble in the Marco River between Factory Bay and the Jolley Bridge at 10 a.m. and paraded past the Marco Island Yacht Club at 11. The parade was led by Bad Bettye, a 70-foot Marquis captained by Garland Kight, and concluded with the Marco Island Police and Fire boats.
Members viewed the parade from the courtyard and veranda of the Yacht Club where they had a “front row” seat to all the action.
Following the review, participants and spectators enjoyed a bountiful buffet lunch at the Yacht Club with music provided by Sun DJs.