Blessing of the Fleet
If you are anywhere near New York and come down to the harbor Friday night you’re in for a big surprise, because Friday’s the night the sailor have their blessing.
All vessels in NY Harbor are invited for a spring blessing, a time honored tradition among mariners to help ensure a safe and prosperous boating season.
This year, New York Harbor’s Blessing will take place at the Battery on Friday evening, June 5.
The blessing is open to ALL vessels including ferries, tugs, sailboats, powerboats, row boats and all other types of vessels.
The Blessing is one of the opening events of River Day, a week long celebration of the Hudson River to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival. This 400 year celebration will begin with the Blessing of the Fleet on Friday evening. Then on Saturday, a Grand Parade Flotilla will commence at 9 a.m. from the Statue of Liberty and sail up the Hudson River. The flotilla will stop at various towns along the way and continue all the way to Albany, arriving on June 13. Boating clubs and communities all along the Hudson River will participate in what will surely be a grand spectacle of Hudson River revival.
The NY Harbor Blessing of the Fleet will be conducted by a delegation of clergy and religious representatives.
Governor David Paterson will be in attendance as will US Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Captain Robert O’Brien.
All are invited – .. .
The public will also be invited to watch the blessings from the Battery. There will be a public address system and as each pre-registered vessel passes, the name of the vessel as well as the owner and the vessel story will be announced to those gathered (see registration form below).
All sailing and other vessels are being encouraged to participate in the ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ on Friday evening and then also in Opening Day & the Grand Parade Flotilla on Saturday morning.
They are encouraged to dress ship, dress crew, fly flags and otherwise participate in as festive a manner as they can.
Attention all non-sailors and sailors without a boat who are anywhere near New York city:
This Friday evening, you are invited down to The Battery at 6:30 p.m. to see and hear Governor David Patterson as he presents a special Medal of Discovery and officiates at the Blessing of the Fleet. The ceremony will be between slips 3 & 4, just east of Castle Clinton. Speeches will run from 6:30 to 7:10 p.m.
Then the heritage vessels will pass the reviewing stand to receive their blessing. You will also see NYC’s fireboat (probably doing a water display) as well as sailboats, fishing boats and human powered boats. It will be a grand celebration of spring.
Bring yourself, bring your friends and bring your families to see this nautical tradition. And after the Blessing, there will be picnic dinners for sale and you can enjoy the beautifully restored gardens at the Battery. This will be a great New York City moment and we hope to see you there!