Blessing of the Fleet to kick off whale watch season this weekend
Celebrate the start of this year’s whale watch season at the annual Blessing of the Fleet festivities this Saturday, July 18 at Urangan Marina in Hervey Bay from 4pm. Whale watch operators and businesses will kick off the season with an evening of arts, water activities, markets and music culminating in a fireworks display at 7.30pm. Members of the community can enjoy some wine and cheese tastings, browse the market stalls or listen to live entertainment from Stealing Lincoln. They can also tour the whale watch vessels, talk with crews and learn about the humpback whale. Events Councillor Darren Everard said the highlight would be the traditional sail past and blessing of the fleet, a centuries old tradition from the Mediterranean. “The Blessing of the Fleet is an annual tradition to ensure a bountiful season and the safe passage of the vessels, their crews and their visitors,” he said. “It’s a fantastic night out for the whole family and a great way to support our whale boat operators and the local tourism industry.’ Blue Dolphin Marine Tours operator Peter Lynch said he expected this year’s whale watching season to be spectacular. “With the recovering population returning, we’re hoping to encounter lots of humpback whales and show our guests a great time,” he said. “Whale watching is an opportunity to see one of the biggest species of whale in the ocean and connect with these amazing creatures.” For all the information on the festival visit whalesherveybay.com.au.