Anchors away! The Midget Squadron Yacht Club kicked off the 2022 sailing season with its annual First Colors Ceremony on Saturday, May 21.

On a balmy, sunny 90-degree day, club officials lined up outside the 122-year-old club for its traditional flag-raising ceremony. The event always takes place the week before Memorial Day weekend, in time for the unofficial start of summer.

Club chaplain Bernie Jacobs greeted members and guests and said a prayer for safety and “the best boating season ever,” followed by the national anthem.

Commodore Howie Rubenfeld has done a fantastic job in charge of the club since 2017, keeping the club afloat during the coronavirus pandemic and making improvements to the beautifully maintained grounds. During the flag-raising ceremony, the club’s leaders individually saluted their commodore. They each received a flag which was hoisted on the club mast. These flags will fly proudly throughout the boating season.

A memorial wreath was laid in Paerdegat Basin by Fleet Captain Ray Rodriquez, accompanied by Kirk Clark, Paulette Simone and Melissa Rubenfeld. The wreath serves as a memorial and tribute to fallen club members and honors our brave military and all first responders, including New York’s bravest and New York’s finest.

The festivities continued with a delicious dinner and dessert, as well as entertainment and dancing.

The magnificent Midget Squadron Yacht Club is one of Canarsie’s best kept secrets and a visit to this charming oasis feels like an escape from the city. The club is located at the foot of Seaview Avenue and Paerdegat Avenue North.

Photos by Linda Steinmuller and Alessandro Marra Jr.