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Nourdine Jensen will be marshal of Opening Day boat parade | Along the Waterfront

Fred Hoeppner ... Journal columnist - Scott Rasmussen
Fred Hoeppner ... Journal columnist
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Spring has finally sprung and with it comes the boating community’s acknowledgement. Yes, it’s Opening Day that marks this event when sailors shake the moths out of their sails and the power boaters change the oil in the engines.

The traditional parade of boats has a dual purpose: one, the old girl has to get her propelling mechanism up and running. And two, she has to look pretty.

On Sunday, 3 May, the San Juan Island Yacht Club will, as always, sponsor the parade in Friday Harbor commencing with a cannon shot at 1400 (2 p.m.) There will then be a Blessing of the Fleet broadcast on VHF Channel 72 by Dr. Joe Bettridge, pastor of Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church. A second cannon shot will signal the start of the parade.

The parade marshal this year will be long-time resident, boat builder and yachtsman Nourdine Jensen. He will lead the parade in Betsy and Les Gunther’s beautiful classic Stephens 55-foot express cruiser, Sea Dog.

All boaters large and small – including rowboats and canoes -- are invited to join in the parade, which will start off the U.W. Friday Harbor Labs and proceed along the Brown Island shore toward Shipyard Cove and then along the San Juan Island shore to the marina breakwater. Here, San Juan Island Yacht Club Commodore Fred Bowen will take a salute from each passing boat. Good viewing points will be from Spring Street Landing and along the breakwater.

-- Fred Hoeppner is a competitive sailor and retired Navy captain. He lives on San Juan Island.

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