New Canoes a blessing

FIRST PHOTO: Keoki Sousa calls to fellow kahu Kimokeo Kapahulehua onshore during a blessing ceremony held Saturday near the Maui Canoe Club hale at Sugar Beach for a pair of new outrigger canoes recently purchased by the Mana’olana Pink Paddlers. Sousa is aboard the ‘Ilio Kikokiko, a new racing and voyaging six-man canoe made by Bradley Canoes on Oahu. In the background is a used double-hulled canoe purchased from Kauai’s Kaiola Canoe Club. The hulls on the double-hull canoe are named Lokahi and Lokomaika’i.

SECOND PHOTO: Also blessed and relaunched Saturday was the club’s canoe Mana’olana, which was damaged in a traffic accident last year while being hauled on a trailer to a cancer paddling event. Roughly 80 percent of the club members and board members who paddled out with Sousa on Saturday morning are cancer survivors. Mana’olana President Mary Dungans said the double-hulled canoe allows novice paddlers or those who are too sick to paddle by themselves to still experience the joy of the ocean. “We just want people to know we are here to help you in your time of need,” Dungans said. To learn more, see website