Well known local fishing legend, Vinnie Grimes, witnessed a ceremonial blessing of various boats while serving in the Navy at Port Hueneme in Southern California during the Korean War in 1951, it made a lasting impression. “I thought it would be nice if we did something similar here in Montauk,” he said, and so, thanks to Vinnie, the annual Montauk Blessing of the Fleet was born in 1955.
Montauk’s Blessing of the Fleet is both a joyful event…welcoming the new season, but also a somber event…remembering those of the local fishing community who died during the past year.
On Sunday, June 13th, Montauk will be celebrating its 65th Annual Blessing of the Fleet. Boats of all kinds, commercial and pleasure, large and small, will parade by Town Dock while local clergy representing various denominations will be standing aboard a Viking Fleet Vessel blessing them as they pass the dock. After that, the boats will then gather at the Harbor Buoy for the laying of the Remembrance Wreaths, paying tribute to those of the local fishing community we lost during the previous year.
This year, the National Anthem will be sung by Renee Akkala and Taps will be performed by David DaSilva.
Our special thanks to Anthony Salerno of Aerial Pros Commercial Drone and Media Services for the fantastic cover shot from 2019’s event. See more of their work at www.AerialProsPhotography.com.