Annual St. Lucie River
Blessing of the Fleet and Marine Parade Inc.
Saturday, February 17, 2024 10:30 a.m.
All boaters and Boating organizations in the Martin/St. Lucie area are invited to participate in the 50th annual Blessing of the Fleet and Marine Parade on in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. This tradition harks back to the days when fishing fleets would receive blessings for safety and bounty in the coming season.
The Blessing of the Fleet Committee welcomes all boaters, marine businesses, and their guests to participate in this event. Encourage your friends, neighbors, and organizations to take part. Although all area yacht clubs are invited to participate as groups, you do NOT have to belong to a club to join the parade or take part in the Blessing. You are welcome to “dress” your boat with pennants or flowers or other suitable adornments. For more information, please contact the Commodore or any Officers below:
Secretary: Linc McGurk, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 772-210-6399. 1100 SW Shoreline Drive, Palm City, Fl 34990
Participating vessels will assemble in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, as noted on the PARADE ROUTE page, near Harbour Ridge north of green marker 7, GPS 27.233, 80.311. Club members should stage near the flags corresponding to their club's identifying letter listed below under "Order Of Fleets". Independent boats should gather near the Flag “S” at the North end of the staging area. All boats should be in the assembly area no later than 10:00AM. All vessels in the assembly area will not exceed idle speed and be alert for anchor lines and traffic. Scheduled ready time is 10:30 a.m. At that time every vessel should monitor VHF 78 for instructions from the Start/Command Boat. Please make certain to wait courteously for your turn and follow the line. The parade will start at 10:30 so as to reach the review boat by noon.
During staging and while in the parade all boats should be on the lookout for manatees. If a manatee is present, you must not disturb it and boat traffic must be directed away from that location.
Instructions will be issued on VHF Channel 78. Please listen only to 78, so that all boaters will be able to get parade instructions. Use channel 16 for emergencies. You may select a channel for conversation within your club, but be sure to monitor channel 78. Someone in your club should have a cell phone.
THE ORDER OF FLEETS IN THE PARADE
Groups will stage in this order, South to North. Groups will Join the parade, also in this order, when instructed by the command boat. In each group the lead boat will show the group’s identifying letter on the bow of the boat. The last boat in the group will display two of the group’s letters on the stern.
The parade will be led by the River Kidz then according to the list below:
A. St. Lucie River Sailing Club
Y. Yacht and Country Club (2024 Blessing Host Club)
P. Piper's Landing Yacht Club
D. Hidden Harbour Boat Club
H. Circle Bay Yacht Club
M. Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club
B. Windjammer Yacht Club
R. Harbour Ridge Yacht Club (2023 Blessing Host Club)
S. Independent Boats
All vessels, including sailboats, must be under power while in the parade. If you do not have power you may arrange to be towed. The lead boat will maintain five (5) knots. All other boats should maintain a 75-100 foot spacing between them throughout the parade.
There will be clerics of several faiths aboard the review boat who will bless each vessel as it passes. You are welcome to salute by dipping your Ensign. The parade does not end until after you have passed the review boat by 100 yards. Remain in line at five knots until you are well clear, and then be careful of traffic and your wake. If you wish to head North after the parade, please go at no wake speed and do not cross the parade line.
Should a vessel suffer a problem, you should try to drift or maneuver out of the Parade line and drop anchor. Patrol Boats will be on the lookout and may be able to assist you.
Call 911 on your cell phone and radio for help on VHF 16 and 78. It is recommended that you tell 911 that you are going directly to the City Dock and the emergency vehicle should meet your boat there.