More than 40 boats with billowing sails and puttering motors cruised past spectators along the Port Townsend waterfront during the 70th annual Port Townsend Yacht Club boat parade on Saturday, May 6.
The boats started near the Port Townsend Boat Haven and then traveled toward the Northwest Maritime Center, where a crowd of about 100 people had gathered to watch.
Marilynn Gates, who is a past commodore of the yacht club, served as announcer for the event, presenting the names of the boat and the people on board as they swooped by the dock one by one. The boats then congregated in the waters nearby.
Gates said the boat parade has been an annual event since the yacht club was formed in 1947.
When all the boats had assembled near the dock, Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson thanked the boaters for their participation in the parade.
“We are very grateful for our maritime community,” Stinson said.
“The yacht club, the boaters, the people who bring their boats here either full time or bring them in seasonally … they’re a big part of what Port Townsend is. This whole maritime environment – that’s who we are, and so having you here just makes us who we are and we really appreciate that.
“Not only do you give us beauty – I love watching all the boats on the water every chance I get – but you also support a really strong and thriving maritime economy here, our whole boat haven and people who work in the industry. It’s a big part of what makes us successful as a community as well as all the tourism that you draw.
“I wish you all a very wonderful and safe boating season,” she said.
Tony Brown, minister of Trinity United Methodist Church, said a prayer to bless the boats and the people in them.
“We ask your blessing on these boats and on all who will work and travel in them. Protect them from dangers of wind and rain and all the perils of the deep,” Brown said.
“Protect these boats and lead them always to the safety of the harbor.”