Archived Story

StillWaters to offer blessings of fleet

Published 1:36pm Monday, April 9, 2012

The centuries-old tradition of the Blessing of the Fleet will once again find its way to the shores of Lake Martin April 14.

The seventh annual Blessing of the Fleet event hosted by StillWaters Yacht Club will be held Saturday, April 14, at 11 a.m. by Harbor Pointe Marina in Dadeville. A.B. Campbell, power fleet captain of the yacht club, said the event is open to anyone who wants to participate.

“This is open to anyone who wants to have their boat blessed. I don’t want people to think this is just a StillWaters event,” Campbell said. “This is the second year we have asked for outside participation.”

Last year, about 25 boats participated in the event, and Campbell said they hope to have many more boats participate in 2012 and beyond.

The Blessing of the Fleet is a centuries-old tradition that originated in southern European, predominantly Catholic, fishing communities. According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, a blessing from the local priest was meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season.

Campbell said that the StillWaters’ Blessing of the Fleet event is a way to celebrate the beginning of boating season on Lake Martin and, as is tradition, a time to say a prayer for the safety of the boaters.

The blessing will be performed for the second year in a row by the Rev. David Carboni, pastor of Red Ridge United Methodist Church in Dadeville.

Carboni said he is looking forward to the event and that he would say a blessing for each individual boat participating.

“Last year, there were a lot of people who I knew, so I blessed them by name. In some instances, I even knew their pets’ names, so I blessed their pets, too,” Carboni said laughingly. “I tried to make the blessings as personal as I could.

“But the basic blessing I said to all was, ‘God be with you during the upcoming season on the water and enjoy your time on one of the most beautiful places in Alabama – Lake Martin.”

Campbell said that there is no cost to participate in the blessing, but the yacht club is requesting a $5 donation that will be donated to Red Ridge United Methodist Church.

“We’d just like to send a general invitation to any boaters who want to participate – whether they’re in a $2 million dollar yacht or a canoe,” Carboni added.