Blessing of the Fleet
On beautiful sunny morning Tuesday, March 22, 2022, fifteen boats including the Longboat Key Fire Boat organized in the water off Bay front Park to form a parade for the traditional Longboat Harbour Blessing of the Fleet and parade.
At the same time, 22 Longboat Harbour Paddlers in Kayaks and on Paddle Boards organized in the bay to join the boats in parade as they entered the Harbour at 11:00 A.M. Special thanks to Ken Comeforo for organizing the paddlers.
What an impressive sight to see the boats parading from the Southside of Longboat Harbour while the 22 paddlers were organizing on the Northside. The nautical skills of the boaters and paddlers was impressive maintaining safe distances between each other and maneuvering around the large group of Manatees who appeared to be watching the parade.
The parade into the Harbour was led by Commodore Bill Coughlin, accompanied by Brian and Janice Doherty. The boaters and paddlers participating were:
1 Commodore Bill Coughlin with Brian and Janice Doherty
2 Dock Master Jeff and Joyce Hecklau
4 Kenny and Penny Krol and LBH neighbors
6 Jac Lentz
7 Tom and Patti Guido , children & grandchildren
8 Dale and Sharon Mackovjak & Sherry Bock
9 Tim Ryan & Jerry Dowling
11 John and Carol Bruno
12 Former Dock Master Ted and Barbara Jansen
14 Ulf Langgard
15 Herb and Cynthia Ritchell & neighbors
16 John and Marybeth Schiavone
17 Jim Daly
18 Jack and Cynthia Sullivan & “Little” Sully and his Fiancé Logan
19 Dock Master John and Maureen Shea & a boat full of good looking Pirates
20 LBK Fire Boat
1 Rob Dice
2. Mary Dice
3. Christine Wadsworth
4. Dave Wadsworth
7. Linda Reilly
8 Former Dock Master Bob Geraci
9. Donna Geraci
10. Slade Cargill
11. Past Commodore Larry Bateman
12. John Macumber
13. Linda D'ioiro & Lisbeth Strom
14. David & Ginger Driscoll
15. Kevin Glynn & Regina Taylor
16. Susan Claudio
18, Suzanne Marschke
19. Elizabeth Appman
20. Mike Davis & Suzette Knittl
21. Virginia Leon
22.Past Vice Commodore Ken Comeforo
Captains and Paddlers were announced by Bob Clarke as they approached Father Robert Dziedziak, Pastor of Saint Mary's Star of the Sea, who was on Scribe Marie Guillet’s ’Dock 22 in the Harbour. FR Rob blessed each boat, paddle board and kayak as they passed by him. Longboat Harbour residents feel truly blessed to participate and watch this event! In addition to the participants residents lined the harbour and others watched from their lanais. The pool between E and F building was packed with spectators, so great for the boaters and paddlers to see the support. Past Commodore Mary Bock and her husband, former board President John Bock watched the parade from the walkway.
Following the Blessing of the Fleet, close to 150 Yacht Club members headed to the main BBQ area decorated with Pirate Flags stolen from John Shea's boat for the Rum Runner Rendezvous.
Shopping, cooking, setting up and clean up!! Party volunteers were Bonnie Coughlin, Marge Clarke, Maureen & John Shea, Judy & Dan Miller, Karen and Sparky Pashkow, Gina Spillers, Jim Daly, John and Marybeth Schiavonne and Jeff & Joyce Hecklau. Thanks to a great crew for a wonderful day. Special acknowledgment to our Manager Igor Solovyev and maintenance employee Steve Kik who made sure we had everything we needed to make the day a success
PRIZES! PRIZES! PRIZES! We always have prizes. The winner of the 50/50 raffle for $360.00 was Linda Diorio, Door Prizes for Social Members: Jane Stepherson won a bottle of Bourbon and Nancy & Mike McNeil and Ed & Cathy Clarke each won a bottle of wine. Door Prizes for Paddlers: “Dry Bag” went to Slade Cargill, Paddle leash was won by Susan Claudio and a smart phone water proof case won by Tom Guido. Door Prizes for Boaters included a rechargeable spot light won by Ted and Barbara Janssen, a First Aid Kit to Dale Mackovjak, and Fender clips were won by Ken Krol.
It was a wonderful day celebrating a longstanding mariners’ tradition that is part of Longboat Harbour Yacht Club History.