Nineteen boats and captains and more than 100 crew members participated in the 2019 Marco Island blessing of the fleet.
sponsored by the marco island yacht club (MIYC), the blessing of the fleet is a traditional invocation of good fortune for boaters. The ceremony 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 fleet of sailing and power vessels assembled in the Marco River between Factory Bay and the Jolley Bridge and at 11 a.m. received a special maritime blessing from MIYC Chaplin Alan Sandlin. Then, led by the Marco Island Fire Dept. vessel “J.W. Adams”, the boats paraded past the Marco Island Yacht Club and each boat’s captain and crew exchanged ceremonial salutes with Yacht Club Commodore Jeff Comeaux, MIYC Bridge Officers and past commodores.
In addition to MIYC members, participants in this year’s event included members of the Sailing Association of Marco Island (SAMI), Marco Island Marina Association (MIMA) and the Marco Island Power Squadron (MIPS).
Following the ceremony boaters and spectators enjoyed a buffet lunch at the MIYC and music by DJ Steve Reynolds.