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Witch-raft on the Bay 

Scenes from the annual Witches Paddle

click to enlarge Dancing witch Lisa Wilhelmi Perkins, who chose to stay on land, photographed Ellen McLaughlin, of McKinleyville, on her red-and-white stand-up paddle board and other witch paddlers along the edge of Humboldt Bay with Woodley Island in the background.

Photos by Mark Larson

Dancing witch Lisa Wilhelmi Perkins, who chose to stay on land, photographed Ellen McLaughlin, of McKinleyville, on her red-and-white stand-up paddle board and other witch paddlers along the edge of Humboldt Bay with Woodley Island in the background.

Despite a windy, rainy forecast again for this year's third annual Witches Paddle on Humboldt Bay, an energetic coven of witches showed up with stand-up boards and paddles in hand to enjoy what turned out to be a breezy, sunny day. In addition, a quartet of witches showed up at the put-in boat ramp to provide a Witches Dance sendoff for participants.

Earlier in the week, organizer Jody Himango, an avid weather watcher, had put out warnings on the event's Facebook page about possible cancelation due to high winds but the collective witches' spells came through with good weather.

Just after 2 p.m., the witches paddled out from the Eureka Public Marina along West Waterfront Drive against an outgoing tide, but with the wind at their backs. They headed east past the Adorni Center, where the Party in Pink Zumbathon was raising money for the Breast and GYN Health Project in Arcata, and the Woodley Island Marina.

After circling around offshore from Halvorsen Park, the witches headed back west to the take-out, assisted by the outgoing tide. Visit northcoastjournal.com to see the full slideshow of the event.

Mark Larson (he/him) is a retired Cal Poly Humboldt journalism professor and active freelance photographer who likes to walk.

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