It has been the tradition for some years now that the Chaplain with the Mission to Seafarers participates in the Christening of any new Pilot Boats.
It was therefore a real privilege for me to be invited to go to Campbell River on Vancouver Island to Ocean Marine who built the boat , the first of its kind for them and with guests mainly from the board of the PPA (Pacific Pilotage Association).
A christening of a boat is a blessing and so what we do is something holy, set apart from the norm.
As we gathered we gave thanks for those who designed and built the boat.
I used a cedar branch, a symbol of strength, healing and spiritual protection dunked in the sea water nearby and directed at the bow of the boat in the name of the Father,Son and Holy Spirit.
We prayed for all who will work on and maintain the boat.
Another tradition was the bottle being smashed against the bow.
Then we all watched as the boat aptly named the Pacific Guardian which will operate out of Victoria,BC and up the west coast of Vancouver Island was lowered into the water.
The chance to look inside and see the equipment etc was an added bonus.
It was a highlight of my ministry here as MtS Chaplain and great to have my two sons along to participate.
May God bless all who sail in the Pacific Guardian and may they Pilot all vessels and the seafarers on them to port and to sea safely.