'Bravo zulu' to Lighted Boat Parade chairman Dennis Pratt | Along the Waterfront

Fair or foul, the Lighted Boat Parade goes on as it has for 18 years.

On Dec. 12, it was cold, about 28 degrees and 5 knots of northerly wind. But, no matter. Ten boats put on a beautiful parade along the harbor shoreline lead by the Friday Harbor fireboat and tailed by the sheriff’s boat. Must admit that the flashing blue lights made me a bit nervous.

The prancing reindeer and artistic arrays of colored lights outlining hulls and rigging drew applause from the many folks on the piers and boats along the shore. The large crowd of kids and parents at the Spring Street Landing gave great applause and hand waves to each boat as it passed close aboard.

Our thanks to Gloria Bentzen who, as a past commodore of the Friday Harbor Sailing Club, conceived the event and spearheaded it for 17 years. Co-sponsors for the past two years have been the FHSC, the Lions, the Chamber of Commerce and the Port.

Dennis Pratt, the new fleet co-captain of the Sailing Club, was chairman this year. BRAVO ZULU (Navy speak for “Well Done”) to him.

— Fred Hoeppner is a retired Navy captain and a competitive sailor living on San Juan Island. Contact him at

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