Local religious leaders will offer blessings to the boat procession as part of a fun and welcoming community event that will kick off the 2022 boating season.
The Blessing of the Fleet originated in Mediterranean fishing communities many years ago, with boats passing by local clergy to receive a blessing meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season.
For the Hull event, boats – decorated with yacht club burgees and traditional American flags – will muster in the harbor off Strawberry Hill at 11:30 a.m., parading north through the channel between the floating docks and the breakwater at Safe Harbor Marina at A Street.
The 2022 Blessing of the Fleet is jointly organized by the Nantasket Beach Salt Water Club, the Hull Lifesaving Museum, and the Hull Yacht Club, with support from Hull Harbormaster Kurt Bornheim.
“It’s great to partner with other organizations in the community to celebrate this great tradition, the fishing season, and the beginning of summer,” Lifesaving Museum Director of Development Maureen Gillis told The Hull Times.
The procession will begin at noon, with Hull Fire “Marine 1” leading rowing boats, kayaks, and paddleboards, followed by sailboats (required to be under motor power) at 12:10 p.m.; commercial boats at 12:20 p.m.; and recreational motorboats at 12:30 p.m. The harbormaster will close the procession at 12:40 p.m. Spectators will be able to view the procession from A Street.
The Rev. Amy Whitcomb Slemmer (an Episcopal priest and passionate Hullonian) and the Rev. Scott A. Euvrard (Catholic priest at Hull’s St. Mary of the Assumption Parish) will offer their blessings at noon. Senator Patrick O’Connor and Rep. Joan Meschino – a Hull resident – will also attend.
Free boat rides will be offered to veterans, who will gather at the Nantasket Beach Salt Water Club, 3 Fitzpatrick Way, at 10:30 a.m. to view the Blessing of the Fleet, followed by lunch at the club. Veterans interested in participating can register with organizer Craig Wolfe by calling 781-771-6416 or emailing 89edge@ comcast.net.
Following the Blessing of the Fleet, the Hull Lifesaving Museum will host a Boating Party fundraiser to celebrate summer’s arrival from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the museum, 1117 Nantasket Ave. Tickets are $100, with all proceeds benefitting the museum’s exhibits and programs.
Partygoers, decked out with straw hats, white bucks, parasols, and fans will enjoy a maritime garden party featuring colorful plants and flowers, music, signature cocktails, delicious fare, and the congenial company of family, friends, and neighbors.
To add to the fun that day, the Salt Water Club will sponsor a family-friendly festival in Mariners’ Park at Fitzpatrick Way from noon to 5 p.m.
For full details, including the float plan, or to register for the boating party, visit www.hulllifesavingmuseum.org.