April 26, 2017 — The community is invited to participate in the 47th annual Blessing of the Fleet at 4 p.m. May 7 at the Old Morris-Fisher Factory Tall Stack site, Omega Protein, 610 Menhaden Road, Reedville, rain or shine.
This is a time-honored tradition meant to recognize the Northern Neck’s sea-going heritage, reported committee member Janet Lewis. Sponsored by St. Mary’s Church-Fleeton, Omega Protein Inc. and the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum, the blessing marks the opening of the fishing season on the Chesapeake Bay.
The Rev. Sandi Mizirl, rector of St. Mary’s Church invites all boaters to participate in the parade and well-wishers to gather on shore at the old tall stack property at Omega Protein off Fleeton Road. Programs will be distributed on the water by the youth skiff patrol of Jessica and Sarah Haynie.
Commercial and pleasure boats will assemble at the mouth of Cockrell’s Creek at 3:30 p.m. to join the parade led by Capt. Linwood Bowis on the Chesapeake Breeze, followed by the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum buy boat Elva C. and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission patrol boat.
Other boats will follow. The menhaden F/V John S. Dempster Jr. will be docked across the creek.
The event has evolved to include the large menhaden fleet, crab potters, fish trappers and pleasure craft from all over the area, said Lewis.