Blessing of the Fleet

Would you consider yourself blessed? Oxford Dictionary gives multiple definitions, including “endowed with divine favor and protection”. Many people, Christians or not, typically use the word in this context to express gratitude for luck or good fortune, but we believe that all blessings are from God. When we ask God to bless someone in prayer, we are asking for more than good luck, we are asking for His favor, His protection.

Tomorrow evening, we are excited to participate in Destin’s 64th Annual Blessing of the Fleet! This special event occurs every year on The Feast of the Ascension. On the 40th day after Jesus’s Resurrection, he ascended into Heaven. The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village celebrates this Holy day with a dockside service, boat parade, and fish fry.

The Blessing of the Fleet began at St. Andrew’s by the Sea, one of Destin’s earliest churches, in the mid-1950s. Clergy would hold service in the large church across the highway from Destin Harbor. At the conclusion of the service, the Clergy led a procession of all of the Captains and attendees across Highway 98 down to the dock to pray over each vessel. The Ascension Day celebration has evolved over time to include the dockside service and the fish fry.

Now hosted by our church, Immanuel Anglican Church, the service includes singing, a message from the pastor, a testimony of God’s faithfulness from someone within our local fishing community, and of course, prayer for those who make their living on the water. The captains, deckhands, and their families then board their boats, adorned with colorful flags and banners, for the boat procession. Pastors from Destin’s churches stand on the dock and pray as the fleet parades through Destin Harbor. Each boat stops briefly in front of the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina as the pastors pray for God’s protection, safe passage into the Gulf of Mexico, bountiful catch, favorable weather, and God’s blessings over the boat, her captain, and crew for the upcoming season.

We have participated in the past, aboard the Southern Star Dolphin Cruise and Buccaneer Pirate Cruise, and witnessed the outpouring of His faithfulness over both of those boats and businesses, having been involved in the various aspects of management. This year, we are honored to be able to participate with our own fishing charter boat. From the first time we saw this boat, we knew it was the perfect charter fishing boat. But when we got anxious and tried to make our own way, God closed every door we tried to walk through. (More on that later!) He brought us back to this boat. Friends and family have been so supportive and helped us in whatever way we have needed. To say that we have already seen God’s hand orchestrating the whole process of buying this boat and starting this deep sea fishing charter business in Destin is an understatement. We are blessed! We are expectant as we seek to watch Him at work in this new venture.

If you’re local to the Destin area and would like to attend the festivities tomorrow, Ascension Day service begins at 4:00 pm at the tent behind Brotula’s. Blessing of the Fleet boat procession begins at 5:00 pm in conjunction with the fish fry. The event is free to attend and all are welcome! More info can be found online at https://iacdestin.org/special-events/blessing-of-the-fleet

#blessed #destinharbor #destinfishingfleet #blessingofthefleet #Godsgrace #reelgrace

One thought on “Blessing of the Fleet

  1. Richie Dunn Reply

    We had the pleasure of fishing on the Reel Grace this past Monday, 4/4. Myself and 5 friends chartered a 6 hour fishing trip. Captain Cliff and his son Austin were nothing short of spectacular. They are professional, fun, hard working, and man do they put you on the fish. I had the pleasure of sitting with Captain Cliff on our way out and he was more than willing to answer questions and explain the plan. We hit our limits on everything even while spending an hour working an 8 foot, 275 sand shark to the side of the boat. The are not enough adjectives to describe the fun with this amazing fishing team and boat. Will be back. Thanks Captain and Austin.

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