Destin's Blessing of the Fleet

Thursday was Destin's 53rd annual Blessing of the Fleet and as always it was a spectacular event.

Destin is home to the largest charter fishing fleet in Florida and each year the pastors from area churches gather on the dock and bless each boat.

Over 100 boats line up out in the harbor and then one by one the boats pull up to a barge where all of the pastors are waiting. A pastor says the name of the boat, Captain and First Mate and then offers a blessing for that boat.

Watching the Blessing is always something we enjoy so we went down to the docks early to find a good spot to watch all of the boats go by. It's the biggest boat parade you can imagine and there are some amazing boats out there.

I was taking pictures of some of the boats when I heard the Island King talking to someone on a boat tied up at the end of the dock.

It turned out to be an old friend of his and before I knew it we were being asked if we'd like to ride along for the Blessing.

I don't think we could have said Yes any faster.

Moments later we were standing on the deck of the Little Nemo, a 65 foot charter boat.

We cruised out into the harbor and found our place in the long line of boats.

Waiting in line has never been so pleasant.

Slowly, we inched our way up to the pastors and it was our turn to be blessed.

Wow. It was a very powerful experience. Especially in light of the oil spill and the potential loss of livelihood for these fishermen. They need our prayers and blessings now more than ever.

After the Little Nemo had been blessed I thought we'd be heading back to the dock but the Captain said "We're going to take a little boat ride."


We cruised out into the Pass and then back up into Choctawhatchee Bay. The water was calm and beautiful and it was so nice to be out there enjoying it.

Taking part in the Blessing is really special, whether you watch from the dock or from the bow of a boat.

If you're ever in Destin in May you won't want to miss it.

Thanks for inviting us aboard, Brian!