Canyon Lake Yacht Club announces inaugural opening day of boating season, blessing of the boats

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CANYON LAKE – The Canyon Lake Yacht Club invites all Canyon Lake registered boats owners and their boats to participate in the first Canyon Lake opening day of boating season and blessing of the boats in the afternoon Saturday, April 18.

Commodore Dave Dain of the Yacht Club will preside over the event. Aprile DeAnne McKinnon will sing the national anthem and the Rev. Pete Van Dyke of Canyon Lake Community Church will offer the blessing and officiate over the blessing of the boats.

Boats will assemble at 1:30 p.m. at the cove on the main lake side of the boat tunnel to East Bay. Yacht Club boats will be there to provide instructions and to escort the boats for the blessing and opening day ceremony which begins at 2 p.m.

At the conclusion of the brief ceremony, captains will form their boats into a single line parade following the Yacht Club lead boat. The flotilla will then pass close to the guest dock at the Canyon Lake Lodge where the pastor will offer a benediction to each craft and crew for a safe and fun boating season.

The Yacht Club flagship boat will then lead participant boats on a slow parade around the main lake, before returning to the lodge area cove for a tie-up party and celebration.

Any boat with current Canyon Lake boat registration can participate. Participating boats are invited to dress up their boats with ribbons, flags and flowers in keeping with the tradition of boat and fleet blessing events; however, no political signs or flags will be permitted.

All Canyon Lake residents and guests are invited to view the blessing and boat parade. Viewing spots include the beach at Holiday Harbor and the Lodge grounds by the pool, overlooking the marina. Because of load limits, the marina dock used for the blessing will be restricted to Yacht Club officers, Canyon Lake City and POA officials and the officiating pastor.

The blessing of the boats is a century-old tradition. Originating in fishing villages in the Mediterranean, this annual festival was an important part of boating life as captains, crews and families sought divine favor for bountiful catches and safety for working boats and the men that served on them. Today, annual “blessing” events are held by most yacht clubs and boating fleets around the world.

The other aspect of the ceremony, opening day commissioning, is an East Coast tradition signaling the reopening of yacht clubs in the spring, putting boats back in the water after the long winter.

Yacht clubs on the West Coast picked up the tradition.

As in most Southern California coastal cities, opening day is a symbolic event in Canyon Lake since the weather allows year-round boating.

Canyon Lake Yacht Club was established in 1990 by Canyon Lake residents that loved to get out on the lake. Since that time, it has operated as a social and philanthropic club within the Canyon Lake constellation of sanctioned clubs and organizations.

The club of over 115 members maintains a social calendar, bringing members together for dinners, cruises and other recreation. The club also produces several annual community events including opening day/blessing of the boats, the Parade of Lights in December, lake clean up days and the awards dinner where scholarships are awarded to local college students.

More information is available on the club’s website at www.canyonlakeyachtclub.com.

Submitted by Canyon Lake Yacht Club.