Kick off boating season April 12 at CBMM

Celebrate the beginning of boating season by joining the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. for the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony. The Thursday, April 12 ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m. near the shipyard, and invites the public to honor the working vessels and pleasure craft of the Chesapeake Bay, including CBMM’s floating fleet. Prayers will be offered to boaters for a safe and bountiful season, and also for those mariners whose lives have been lost at sea.

Easton High School’s NJROTC will begin the ceremony with a presentation of the colors, followed by the Star Spangled Banner and Navy Hymn. The blessing will be performed by the Reverend Kevin M. Cross of The Church of the Holy Trinity in Oxford, Md.

At this year’s event, a special blessing will be given for the 1912 river tug Delaware, which will undergo a major restoration in full public view at CBMM, beginning in late 2018. Delaware is a product of Bethel’s great age of wooden ship and boatbuilding and apart from the 1900 ram schooner Victory Chimes (formerly Edwin and Maud), may be the only survivor.

Delaware hauled scows on Broad Creek, often laden with lumber, and towed ram schooners to and from Laurel, De. Occasionally, she carried parties of young people to Sandy Hill for day trips on the Nanticoke River. Delaware hauled scows often laden with lumber and towed ram schooners up and down the Eastern Shore’s narrow, winding rivers. She was donated to CBMM in 1991 by Bailey Marine Construction, Inc.

“The Blessing of the Fleet is a terrific way to kick off the season for all boaters and guests,” said CBMM Director of Events Shannon Mitchell. “Our campus really starts to fill up in April, with a broad selection of educational programs and events for guests to engage in. We can’t wait to kick off the boating season and to see everyone.”

CBMM’s Blessing of the Fleet is free and open to the public, and will move into CBMM’s Small Boat Shed in the event of foul weather.

For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit cbmm.org

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