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Annual Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony
May 16 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Port Norris, NJ, -The Bayshore Center at Bivalve (BCB), The Home of New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship the historic schooner A.J. Meerwald is excited to host the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony on Sunday, May 16, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. The Blessing of the Fleet is a time-honored tradition that highlights the beginning of the commercial and recreational boating season, meant to safeguard ships and their crew members from the dangerous life at sea. The A.J. Meerwald is a 93-year-old historic oyster schooner, built on the Maurice River in Southern New Jersey. She was once one of hundreds, until the decline of the oyster industry, an event that coincided with the great depression.
“The crew and I are thankful for the blessings and clergy bestowing them. This tradition is meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season. It’s a deeply meaningful practice to sailors as it provides them comfort and respects their work.” said Capitan Joshua Scornavacchi of The A.J. Meerwald.
Following tradition, local clergy including; Deacon Russell Davis of All Saints Catholic Church; Father Marcel Tabone of St. Stephen Episcopal Church; Pastor John Lore of Port Norris United Methodist Church and Buckshutem United Methodist Church; Pastor Ronald McBride of Shiloh Baptist Church; and Chaplain Alan Leonard the USCG Chaplain will co-officiate the ceremony with prayers and blessings to invoke a safe and bountiful season. Boats will be blessed as they pass the wharves of the Bayshore Center at Bivalve. The Bayshore Center at Bivalve invites the public to attend this enduring ceremony.
The BCB encourages all oyster, fishing, and recreational boats interested in participating to please contact Chase Jackson at 856-785-2060, Ext 108, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Friday, May 7th.
Enthusiastic supporters of the A.J. MEERWALD can be sure to find her leading this year’s Blessing of the Fleet on the Maurice River. The celebration will also include a ceremonial wreath drop. Currently, participating fleets include Bivalve Packing and Cape May Salt Oyster Farms. Lastly, the well-loved Oyster Cracker Cafe and the Delaware Bay Museum will be open from 11:00 a.m. until the ceremony begins.
About The Bayshore Center:
The Bayshore Center at Bivalve (BCB) is a non-profit organization created to highlight the A. J. MEERWALD. Our mission is to advance the understanding of the human impact on New Jersey’s aquatic environment through education, advocacy, and programming.
The BCB is home to the Delaware Bay Museum, an institute dedicated to preserving the rich history of Bivalve and is the keeper of NJ’s official Tall Ship, the Schooner A. J. MEERWALD. She is a restored oyster schooner built in 1928 on the Maurice River in Southern New Jersey; once, one of hundreds until the decline of the oyster industry that sprawled the bay’s shore. Now, the A. J. MEERWALD stands tall as a relic of a revered past when New Jersey was the leader of a bustling oyster enterprise.
All are welcomed to come sailing on the A. J. MEERWALD to experience history, the environment, and adventure. Tickets may be purchased at our website.
The BCB is also home to the appetizing Oyster Cracker Cafe, a nautical-themed restaurant that serves mouth-watering, locally sourced seafood.
For more information, visit our website at: bayshorecenter.org