Fleet blessing a ‘tribute to ocean and the whales’

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Busselton will join in a centuries-old tradition for the second year by blessing its fleet of whale-watching boats and commercial fishing boats at Port Geographe Marina later this month.

Festivities will include a blessing of boats in the marina by chaplain Earle Chamberlain and a celebration of the beginning of the whale-watching season.

Event co-ordinator Karen Lewer said the Blessing of the Fleet event was a great way to kickstart the boating season and welcome whales to the bay for another year.

“Because we live in such a coastal town it’s really a celebration of Geographe Bay and the pristine location we live in,” she said.

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“It pays tribute to the ocean and the whales and the start of summer.”

Last year’s inaugural event drew a crowd of about 300 people and Ms Lewer said expected numbers would increase.

“It’s a good family fun day and I really encourage people to come down and have a look around,” she said.

“People can come in their boats and can pull up for the day to enjoy the festivities.

“I’d like to see as many people dress up as pirates as I can to get into the spirit of things.”

The marina jetties will be open to the public and there will also be live music, a decorated boat procession, market stalls, whale-watching tours and face painting.

The blessing will take place at noon on Saturday, September 23 with festivities continuing throughout the day.

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