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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
April 26, 1996     Cape Gazette
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April 26, 1996

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Blessing of Fleet Sunday, May 5 signals official start of season "He stilled the storm to a whis- per; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfail- ing love and his wonderful deeds for men." Psalm 107:29-31. The Blessing of the Fleet has become an annual rite of spring along the Lewes waterfront. The Blessing of the Fleet bless- es ships as they prepare for the coming season. It's a recognition that the sea is at best uncertain and at worst deadly. The blessing pays homage to that fact with a simple ceremony each year. A wreath is placed on the waters of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in memory of those who will not return to the waters for another season. Five people will be remembered in this year's cere- mony. But the Blessing of the Fleet, long a ritual in New England sea- faring areas like Gloucester, is more than a memorial. It's also a celebration of life, which attracts dozens of boats and a throng of spectators, said Donna Floyd, who helps organize the annual affair. "It's a really great way to come together," she said. "It's a way to come together and say we all care about each other and realize how vitally important the watermen al. '1 Donna, or Dee as she is some- times called, knows the uncertain- ty of wresting a living from the treacherous sea. Donna's husband Pete is a charter boat captain. Her father Marvin is a charter captain and Donna is also a captain, al- though she makes her living as the OVII)OORS Mike Short owner of the Clipper Ship Salon. "We don't have control of the weather and what goes on out there," she said. "It's really start- ing the season by calling on the Lord for his protection." This year's event will include a 47-foot Coast Guard ship and a ceremonial color guard from the Coast Guard. There will be gospel music and Pastor Gary Ross of the Midway Assembly of God Church will speak. The Blessing of the Fleet will be 2 p.m. on May 5 at Fisherman's Wharf. Everyone is welcome. Some interesting catches Some wonderful catches have been weighed in in the last few days. Here are some of the best as the mackerel start to make their presence felt and largemouth bass hit topwater lures with abandon. Speaking of largemouths, there have been some trophies taken re- cently, including a 6.21 pound fish taken on April 17 at Red Mill Pond by Aaron Smith and a 7.77 pound largemouth, also caught at Red Mill, on April 20 by Joe TIDES Indian River Rehoboth Roosevelt Oak Inlet Beach Inlet Orchard 4/271 Kipp. This Sunday April 28 is the an- nual spring bass fishing tourna- ment sponsored by the Milton Chamber of Commerce. The tour- nament at Diamond and Waga- mons Ponds and the Broadkill River is already sold out. But that shouldn't stop you from showing up for the weigh-in of the winning fish at Wilson's Sunshine Marina on tournament day. Like many tournaments, this is a catch and release tournament and the fish are returned to the water barely the worse for wear. It's part of an encouraging trend toward conserving our resources by limiting the kill of sport fish. Some other trophies in the last few days include a one pound bluegill caught on April 18 by Lester Puckett at Diamond Pond. Michael Popovich caught a 1.81 pound crappie at Red Mill on April 22 and Kevin Parker caught one of the first legal sized floun- der of the year. Fishing on April 20 at Overfalls Shoals for striped bass, he caught an 18-inch long three-pound flounder (the usual flounder in this area is a summer flounder, which is more aggressive and has a larger mouth than winter floun- der) on cut herring. But the most unusual catch of the day were three flounder which Parker thinks were winter flounder. Minnows are producing well for bass and crappie right now. Wag- amons and Red Mill Ponds seem to be a pair of good spots in the Cape region right now. Striper story. There are some striped bass be- ing caught, although much of the action is with fish that are under the 28 inch minimum. Harry Ir- gang, however, checked in a 29 inch and a 31 inch fish in the last few days, according to Kelly Racz of R & R Sports Center. You can find stripers in the rips in Delaware Bay on bucktails or eels or some are being caught along the surf. One of the better spots for surf fishermen is in Cape Continued on page 64 4/281 4/291 Aaron Smith holds a whop- ping 6.21 pound largemouth he Caught on April 17 at Red Mill Pond. CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 26 - May 2, 1996 - 63 Hedlhier Growth, Naturally. GROW IT BETTER WITH CANADIAN PEAT MOSS Plant Your Favorites! Star'Roses Assorted Shrubs Q Hanging Baskets Q Annuals 0 Geraniums Q Azaleas & Rhododendrons Q Strawberry Plants FIVE POINTS Mon. - Sat. 7 am - 9 pm NASSAU Sun. 8 am- 6 pm 645-6658