Boats large and small made their way to Whale Harbor Channel on the oceanside for the annual Blessing of the Fleet on the morning of New Year’s Day. Starting the parade was Capt. Skip Bradeen. Boats monitored channel 79 as they approached the bridge to receive a blessing by local clergy, including Pastor Emeritus Tony Hammon of Island Community Church, Pastor Phil Underwood of Bluewater in the Keys, Pastor Marlin Simon of Spirit & Truth Ministries, and Pastor Kerry Foote of Burton Memorial United Methodist Church. The annual tradition that goes back decades was put together by the Islamorada Charter Boat Association.

Photos by David Gross. 

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Jim McCarthy believes in community reporting, giving back and life on the water. A workout fanatic, diver and a bogey-golfer, Jim loves chicken wings, Marvel movies and sports.