Roann, the eastern-rig dragger belonging to Mystic Seaport, is making three trips away this summer.
The first is this Sunday, when the restored 60-foot eastern-rig dragger will join the 63rd annual Blessing of the Fleet in Stonington. Roann’s second owner, the late Chet Westcott, fished from Point Judith, Rhode Island, as did her last owner, Tom Williams, and his son. Williams also occasionally fished out of Stonington.
The event Sunday begins with a Fishermen’s Mass at 10:30 a.m. St. Mary Church in Stonington Borough. The Mass commemorates Stonington fleet members who have died at sea and includes prayers for the safety and success of fishermen.
At about 11:45 a.m., a parade will step off from the Town Dock, proceed through the borough and pass by St. Mary Church, where the Most Rev. Michael Cote, Bishop of Norwich, joins the procession back to the Town Dock. Bishop Cote will bless the boats in the fleet. After the blessing and laying of a wreath in memory of local fishermen who have died at sea, there will be food and live music at the Town Dock until 4 p.m.
On Wednesday, August 2, Roann leaves Mystic for Martha’s Vineyard to attend the third annual Meet the Fleet event on August 3, sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust. Her first owner, Roy Campbell of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, fished Roann from Martha’s Vineyard, dragging local waters for flounder, cod, and haddock.
Roann is expected to be back at Mystic Seaport on Friday, August 4.
Then, Roann will attend the Woods Hole Science Stroll on August 12. She will leave Mystic Seaport on Friday, August 11 and return on that Sunday. She will be open to the public there from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday.