Eddie Aikau and the Hokule’a voyage

If you’ve heard the term “Eddie Would Go,” then you most certainly know about the Hokule’a voyage — the second of its kind — that ended tragically when Eddie Aikau attempted to seek rescue by paddling to Lanai 33 years ago. If you know this, then you will definitely be excited to know that the upcoming Hokule’a voyage promises to be the biggest and most ambitious sailing trip of its kind.

But let’s first start with Eddie’s story, for those of you who are not familiar with it: Aikau’s story has been popularly retold by two of my teachers at Punahou School (which is Barack Obama’s alma mater too, by the way). Marion Lyman-Mersereau (my 8th grade Ethics teacher) wrote a children’s book called “Eddie Wen’ Go,” and Stuart Coleman (my 10th grade English teacher) wrote his biography titled “Eddie Would Go” with the assistance of several of Aikau’s close friends and family members.

This cool video will help you understand Eddie’s journey on the Hokule’a:

[more on current Hokule’a plans after the break]

Eddie Aikau remains one of Hawaii’s most beloved figures, and his legend lives on in many forms, most notably, the Hokule’a voyage and, more recently, through the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational that is held on the North Shore of Oahu in Waimea Bay if a massive swell hits the bay just right to create enormous 5-story waves for surfers to paddle into.

Following Eddie’s untimely death, locals termed “Eddie Would Go” as a reminder to live life to its fullest. Now, news of the latest Hokule’a voyage is spreading across the islands and the mainland, as preparations for one of the biggest and longest sailing journeys is in its final stages. The voyaging canoe is currently en route to the Palmyra Atoll, where 12 different crews will be trained to later embark on a 37-month, 40-country journey around the world.

The purpose of this ambitious sailing trip, organized by the Polynesian Voyaging Society, is to remind the public of the days when sailors traveled the seas by recognizing wave patterns and guiding themselves by the stars. Come 2012, the Hokule’a intends to invite scientists, educators, and other social leaders on the journey in an effort to teach them about the importance of protecting the ocean and marine-dependent ecosystems as well as to encourage them to consider more carefully marine-related policies, protection, and management.

Locals here on the islands are hoping the “Hokule’a Will Go.” It sounds like quite the adventure and the perfect educational experience.