Five historic ships will participate in Fleet Blessing activities next week

The Isle Royale Queen III, which carried passengers across Lake Superior to Isle Royale until 2004, will participate in fleet blessing activities here next week. (Courtesy picture)

Five historic maritime vessels will feature prominently in next week’s fleet blessing activities: the canoe Odawa Jiimaan, the replica 1800s schooner Madeline, the Isle Royale Queen III and two luxury yachts, the Canim and the Elegant.

The 12-paddler Jiimaan of the Little Traverse Bay Band, or canoe in the Odawa language, will once again lead the Fleet Blessing Boat Parade on June 30 in Little Traverse Bay. Once important modes of transportation for Native Americans around the Great Lakes, these birchbark canoes are now often handmade as training exercises to connect youth to their tribal culture.

The Madeline, a 92-foot replica of a two-masted Great Lakes schooner from the mid-1800s, will be moored at the city’s marina June 29 and 30 and will offer free public dockside tours. Madeline’s volunteer crew serve as tour guides and interpreters welcoming visitors aboard for a hands-on experience from bow to stern while telling stories of life on the Great Lakes.

Above: Madeline, a replica schooner from the 1800s, will offer free guided dockside tours on June 29 and 30.  Below: Elegante participates in a previous Blessing of the Fleet.  Five historic ships will participate in the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society's annual Fleet Week/Blessing of the Fleet Parade next week beginning June 28.  (Courtesy photos)

Madeline, a replica schooner from the 1800s, will offer free guided dockside tours on June 29 and 30. (Courtesy photos)

The original schooner Madeline was built in 1845 in Fairport, Ohio to carry freight. This replica was built from 1985 to 1990 by volunteers from the Maritime Heritage Alliance, whose mission is to preserve, interpret and promote the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes.

The first of the Isle Royale Queen ferries, which carry passengers across Lake Superior to Isle Royale National Park, was commissioned in 1938. The Isle Royale Queen III was in service until 2004 , at which time Queen IV replaced her. On June 30, you can sail Little Traverse Bay on Isle Royale Queen III for a front row seat to the Fleet Blessing Boat Parade. This revenue cruise departs from Walstrom Marine and includes a full-service bar and appetizers.

Owners of the Canim and Elegante, private luxury motor yachts that feature prominently in the Boat Parade, are offering a rare tour of each historic vessel on June 29 as a fundraiser for the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society. The 96-foot Canim was built in 1930; the 63-foot Elegante in 1964. The tour takes place at the Boathouse in Harbor Springs, and tickets include a cocktail with the captains and a memorial gift.

Elegante participates in a previous Blessing of the Fleet. Five historic ships will participate in the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society’s annual Fleet Week/Blessing of the Fleet Parade next week beginning June 28.

For more information on tickets, this year’s charity raffle and the latest updates on “Fleet Week”, “Fleet Blessing” and other programs offered by the Historical Society, visit www.HarborSpringsHistory.org or call 231-526-9771.

The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society, a membership organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, was founded in 1990 and serves to ensure the continued traditions of the Harbor Springs area by creating lasting memories.

Fleet Week 2022 Events

June 28, 5:30 p.m. – Learn more about . . . Great Lakes “Cutter Rescues” tickets are $25 and include wine with light snacks. Presentation organized at the Harbor Springs History Museum. Reservations required.

June 29-30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Learning on board . . . the replica of the 92-foot Madeline 1800 schooner. Free hands-on dockside tours from bow to stern with stories of life on the Great Lakes. Hosted at Harbor Springs Municipal Marina. Open to all ages. Reservations not required.

June 29, 5 a.m. – Come on board. . . luxury historic yachts, Canim and Eleganté tickets cost $250 and include a cocktail and commemorative gift. Hosted at the Boathouse. Limited tickets. Reservations required.

June 30, 6 p.m. – Come on board. . . your boat, kayak or paddleboard Celebrate our 10th annual parade and receive your blessing for a safe boating season. Site: Small bay of Traverse. Reservations appreciated for boating safety.

June 30, 5 p.m. – Cruise on board . . . 81-foot Historic Isle Royale Queen III tickets cost $200 and include a full-service bar and light snacks to enjoy while watching the parade of boats from the inside cabin or upper deck. Depart Walstrom Marine in Harbor Springs. Limited tickets. Reservations required.

Earnest A. Martinez