Marco Island Yacht Club holds Blessing of the Fleet


Marco Island Yacht Club holds Blessing of the Fleet It was a cool, overcast morning, but the cloud cover did not put a damper on the Marco Island Yacht Club's annual Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday, Feb. 18.

A total of 18 boats participated in the beautiful ceremonies, passing in review by Commodore Henry Stanley and his Bridge Officers on shore. 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 on Marco Island as well as many seacoast communities across the United States. 

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The vessels began to assemble in the Marco River between Factory Bay and the Jolley Bridge beginning at 10 a.m. At 11, Commodore Stanley opened the ceremonies with welcoming remarks and led those assembled on boats and on shore in the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. Following a prayer and blessing by Chaplain Alan Sandlin, the boats paraded past the Marco Island Yacht Club, saluting the Bridge as they passed. 

The parade was led by Infinity, a 71-foot Princess owned by Rear Commodore Tom Morrison and his wife, Denise, and ended with two of the 420 sail boats used by the teen sailing program.   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 delicious buffet lunch at the Yacht Club with music provided by Naples DJ Scott Dean.