What really happened to Eddie Aikau? In her inspirational children's book, "Eddie Wen' Go: The Story of the Upside-Down Canoe," former Hokule'a crewmember Marion Lyman-Mersereau imagines what Hawai'i's ocean creatures saw when the voyaging canoe capsized and the heroic Aikau went for help.
Illustrated in lavish watercolor by Melissa DeSica, the 64-page hardcover book tells the story of the Hokule‘a’s disastrous journey—over 30 years ago—from the canoe’s launch to the crewmembers’ rescue.
The book’s companion read-along CD (embedded audio for the digital edition) puts voices to Lyman-Mersereau’s colorful cast of characters-including a wise grandmother whale and her curious grandson, a sassy young dolphin, a tough pidgin-speaking shark, and a free-spirited ‘iwa (frigate bird)—who share in the telling of the story, with liberal use of Hawaiian words and phrases. Each of the older animals take their turn in relating their part in the tale, the events they saw, or the family lore handed down about the “upside-down canoe” and the brave human who went for help.
Together, the animals come to a conclusion about what happened to Eddie: “As long as there’s an ocean and creatures in it, that’s where Eddie will be.” Eddie’s example, the animals remind us, challenges us all to live courageously and to use our own gifts to be of service to others.
Author Marion Lyman-Mersereau helped to build the Hokule‘a, and was a crewmember on its fateful journey in March 1978, as well as on a subsequent voyage in 1980. In 1995, she wrote an article published in HONOLULU Magazine titled, “Eddie Would Go,” which inspired the book by the same title, authored by Stuart Coleman.