The harbormaster’s launch returns to the pier on Sunday after a sunny midmorning on the rounds with the Rev. Hugh McCullough, affectionately known as Father Mick. Though the event was purposefully quiet this year, because the coronavirus calls for avoiding crowds, the annual Blessing of the Fleet was no less sacred for it.
“It does not start with a parade of boats,” Susan Avellar of the Portuguese Festival committee wrote in an email to the Independent. “It starts in the heart and at the church.”
On board with Father Mick are Minister Leeanne Nelson and Deacon Alan Thadeu, who joined in from churches in Fall River. Guiding the boat in is Don German, Provincetown’s acting harbormaster. (Photos Nancy Bloom)
Father Mick, the pastor at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Provincetown as well as Our Lady of Lourdes in Wellfleet, gave the boats their blessing. “God bless this vessel and all those who work upon it,” were his straight-to-the-point words.
A chance encounter on the way home led to an unexpected extra blessing. Here is seven-week-old Zane Burhoe, the newest arrival in a long line of fishing families, who set out on his first boat trip with his mom, Laura, and, in the background, his grandfather, Richard Burhoe of Truro, at the helm.