Quick Cat II returns to dock.
Quick Cat II returns to dock. Blake Antrobus

GALLERY: Fleet blessing lights up to start whale season

WATCHING his vessel be blessed in front of hundreds of people is a special moment for whale tourism operator Sam Peaker.

The skipper of Quick Cat II was one of the leading boats in Saturday's Blessing of the Fleet, a centuries-old tradition believed to ensure safe passage to boats.

Mr Peaker said it was a great moment for the crew to see so many people involved in the tradition.

"It's always one of those things we look forward to each year,” Mr Peaker said.

"Bringing the event forward to coincide with the season was a good move.”

Hundreds lined the Great Sandy Straits Marina to watch the annual event.

As well as the traditional Christian blessings, Hervey Bay sound alchemist Leandra Gurbiel lent her voice to encompass the Hawaiian blessing.

The Blessing of the Fleet is the first event of the Hervey Bay Ocean Festival, which will continue with the Seafood Festival, Whale Parade and Concert and more next month.



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