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Annual blessing of the fleet - Flotilla to fill S’head Bay

State Senator Marty Golden will throw the memorial wreath from the lead boat in the 17th annual Blessing of the Fleets in Sheepshead Bay at 12 p.m., June 29. Golden will be aboard Commodore Bill Woodroffe’s ketch “Kalunamoo,” of the Deep Creek Yacht Club, which will lead a projected 100 plus boat flotilla from six local yacht and boat clubs.

The annual Blessing of the Six Fleets — the Deep Creek YC, Sheepshead Bay YC, Varuna Boat Club, Rockaway Point YC, Excelsior YC and Miramar YC — officially opens the season for these recreational boaters. Both sail and power boats will parade through Sheepshead Bay and receive a blessing from religious leaders as they pass the Sheepshead Bay YC’s dock. Also aboard “Kalunamoo” for the ceremony will be Steve Barrison, president of the Bay Improvement Group. The public can view the parade of boats from Driscoll Tucker Park, Pier 1 or from the Manhattan Beach/Sheepshead Bay waterfront.

Golden graciously accepted the invitation to be aboard the lead boat and will throw the memorial wreath to honor and remember all those who were lost at sea. “Going to sea”, said Commodore Woodroffe, “is still somewhat risky. Whether it is on a large ocean going ship, party fishing boat, or a family runabout, the sea must be respected. Knowledge, experience and being prepared are required. But even so every year, unfortunately we hear of those who fail to return to shore. This is our way or remembering.”

Each year one of the clubs hosts the blessing and this year it is Deep Creek’s turn. Based at Gateway Marina, the club has more than 100 members. Besides the social functions of the club, the boaters also get together to help protect the marine environment. “Yacht clubs are good vehicles to help spread the word about protecting our marine environment. Who better than those who spend time on the water to know how important it is to protect the waters,” asks Commodore Woodroffe.

After the Blessing, the boaters will gather for a BBQ and exchange tall stories and fish tales while watching the sun set over Jamaica Bay. “Our boats will be blessed, but actually, we are all blessed for having such a beautiful waterfront right here in Brooklyn NY,” concluded Woodroffe.

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