Blessing the boats

Quitsa Strider II and Unicorn almost look as if they are listening to the remarks of the Reverend Arlene Bodge. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

On Sunday, the Chilmark Community Church celebrated its annual blessing of the fleet service with the fleet, or parts of it, as almost-active participants. Because the church is being painted, the Rev. Arlene Bodge and her congregation decided to move the service to the parking lot next to Menemsha Texaco. With boats like Quitsa Strider and Unicorn in the background and others emerging and disappearing in the fog that shrouded the basin, Katy Upson and Anne Dietrich read off the names of the vessels and their captains, and the reverend asked for God’s blessing “on this good craft and all who sail in her.” Ms. Bodge said that she hoped that this was the first of a tradition of on-site blessings of the fleet, and that next year a parade of the vessels might be added.