Events ~ The Blessing of the Fleet ~ Narragansett

Blessing of the Fleet
Port of Galilee
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Bus route 66

The weather on Saturday was perfect for the Blessing of the Fleet, an annual event held the last Saturday of July in Port of Galilee.

I took the Pappo and the Peeper by bus from Providence to Narragansett. It's a long ride, but it was so worth it.

We arrived just in time to see the bagpipers march in through the parking lot at George's of Galilee.

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They played a few familiar tunes, and then a soloist launched into Amazing Grace, which if you've never heard on the bagpipes by the water, you've never heard as it should be. It's somehow both lonely and reassuring - a perfect match of song and instrument.

We waited on line at George's carryout window for our lunch and then found a seat on the rocks by the water. Father Francis Kayatta of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church said a prayer of remembrance for fishers and sailors from Galilee lost at sea in the past year, and read out each name, then the names of Narragansett Lions Club members who have passed on. The event is run by the Lions Club.

Then came the boats. Big, small, decked out under sail or motor or paddle. We saw cruise liners, fishing boats, trawlers, pleasure craft, dinghies, even a few kayaks. Father Kayatta called out the name of each boat and "God Bless You." For boats that take passengers he would add, "and all who sail on you!"

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The atmosphere was casual and friendly. Boaters and watchers waved to each other. There were cheers and the sounding of horns. The boats passed close enough that friends and families on shore could recognize the faces of those on the boats. There were lots of calls and waves back and forth.

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The sky was blue, and so was the water. There was a great breeze and warm sun. A really great day. This may become a tradition.


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