Dress in black, don a pointy witch’s hat, grab a stand-up board and a paddle — one that can be easily mistaken in the fog as a broom.
It’s the perfect tableau for a spooky Halloween scene.
And it played out in Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Marina on Sunday, Oct. 31.
Organizer Erin Hansen summoned water-loving witches and warlocks for the second annual South Bay Witches Paddle on Halloween day. The Redondo Beach resident had the idea to create the coven last year after seeing a post about a similar event in Morro Bay.
And the idea took off.
To add to the magic, Hansen held a witches costume contest via social media.
Hansen, a sixth-grade math teacher at Chadwick School on Palos Verdes Peninsula, said that since last Halloween came amid the heart of the coronavirus pandemic, seeing everyone on the water, safely having fun, made the inaugural Witches Paddle a gratifying experience.
“It was all about people finding peace and solitude,” Hansen said. “It’s joy to the community that’s the biggest thing — bringing people together.”
During the 2020 event, participants rallied for more holiday-themed paddles. So Hansen conjured some up — all in the name of instilling joy and bringing awareness to the sport.
So far, there’s been a Thanksgiving-themed event and a Fourth of July event. Hansen said she helped the South Bay LGBTQ Center plan a Pride paddle in June, where rainbow colors and unicorns adorned the marina.
In December, however, Hansen canceled a Santa Paddle, as it was around the deadly winter coronavirus surge and she was concerned about public health.
Hansen has launched harborvibes.com, a website for ocean education and for getting the word out about the paddles.
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