Sunday, April 11, Sitka and the Southeast Alaska Women in Fisheries held their blessing of the fleet at the Crescent Harbor shelter. It’s one of those community gatherings that, in a way, define our seafaring town. First some sea songs, then prayers and hymns for the safety of those at sea and for the sea itself.
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us co-workers in your creation. Give us wisdom and reverence to use the resources of nature so that no one may suffer from our abuse of them and that generations to come may continue to praise you for your bounty.
There was remembrance of those lost from our community this year. Folks brought flowers and put them in baskets as the loved one’s name was read and the bell rung. The clergy took the flowers down to a boat that scatters them at sea.
Our boats are a sign of our labor. Through their use we gain our living from the sea. On them we depend for our safety. Today we ask that you give your blessing to our boats, to us and all who toil on the sea.
This year no wreath was thrown from the dock into the sea. No dock dog dove in to retrieve and return a wreath to the assembled clergy. But a sea lion did follow the boat carrying the flowers and wreaths out of Crescent Harbor.