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Community Outrigger Launched

Steve Mercadante, Assistant Harbormaster at Two Harbors, raises his paddle in celebration as Leilani returns from her first outing.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After last Saturday’s terrible helicopter crash at Two Harbors, which claimed the lives of four of the six aboard, the quirky little community was in serious need of an emotional lift. Fortunately, Sunday, the day after the accident, had been slated as the launch day of the bright yellow Leilani, a Hawaiian outrigger racing canoe that had been lovingly restored by the hands of many of the locals.

Free food, including what had once been Frank the pig, was a big hit at the launch.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A crowd of several hundred, about half members of the local community, and about half others who were attracted by the the aroma of Frank the pig cooking on the BBQ, gathered for the occasion. Nice words were spoken about the restored outrigger, which is for community use, beer was consumed, music was played, pallets were burned  . . . and perhaps most importantly, people were able to express their grief to others. It was just what many people needed to start getting over the tragedy and get the high season back on track.

What would an outrigger canoe launch be without a bonfire on the beach?

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

By the way, several readers have identified Deborah Hansen, American Airlnes flight attendant and member of the King Harbor Yacht Club, as the person who got to the helicopter crash scene first and was so heroic in her efforts to save lives. 

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The picture tells the story. . . With any luck, life will slow down substantially when you get out cruising.
Gray skies and mellow breezes greeted the starters of Saturday’s Master Mariners race.