This is an outttake from the 2012 Blessing of the Fleet. I believe this boat was the Amazing Grace, which was lost not long after the festival.
Lazaretto Creek is located on the edge of Tybee Island and can be accessed at the Lazaretto Creek Fishing Pier off U. S. Highway 80 or just over the Lazaretto Creek Bridge. It’s a great area for tourists and locals alike to stop and take in the salt marsh scenery. Georgia’s endangered shrimping industry is usually represented with a few boats and Captain Mike’s bright yellow Dolphin boats (in business since 1992) herald a boom in ecotourism. It’s really a nice contrast between old and new.
Tybee Island, Georgia
44th Annual Blessing of the Fleet – Darien, Georgia
The Capt. Drew and a host of others await their turns in the parade of shrimp boats which comprise the Blessing of the Fleet. From the eastern edge of Darien the boats parade toward the US Highway 17 bridge, receive their blessings, and return to the docks, all to the cheers of hundreds of well-wishers.
This tradition has grown into one of Georgia’s most popular festivals, including a weekend-long celebration featuring fine artists, musicians, vendors, and of course, the freshest wild Georgia seafood available. The prices are reasonable, but get your meal before the ceremony. If you wait until afterward, it’s not as likely to be freshly cooked.
I cannot overemphasize my support for the member fishermen of the Wild Georgia Shrimp group. Most people don’t realize that most of the shrimp and other seafood they buy in grocery stores and markets these days is far from fresh, and originates far from Georgia. Chinese and farm-raised shrimp and fish have essentially taken over the U. S. market, but not only is their quality vastly inferior, its availability threatens the very way of life of the men, women and families who make their livings fishing in Georgia’s coastal waters.
If you have the choice, only purchase shrimp branded with the “Wild Georgia Shrimp” logo or look for their decal on restaurant doors and menus. If an establishment doesn’t carry it, ask them why not. Though fresh seafood as always more readily available near the coast, the Wild Georgia Shrimp logo is starting to show up in more and more localities.