New documentary brings healing, closure for 1978 Hokulea crew members
It's a chance to tell the tale of the Hokulea as they've always wanted too. A group of friends and former crew members are sharing stories for a new documentary about the historic voyaging canoe.
"We learned a lot from the mistakes that we made," said Waikiki "Kiks" Hugho. He was a crew member on the 1978 Hokulea voyage.
Two years after its maiden voyage the Hokulea it was on a Hana Hou trip to Tahiti.
But that night in 1978, the churning sea and the stormy skies, would be too
much for the crew.
Legendary waterman Eddie Aikau paddled into the darkness in search of help, never to be seen again.
"There are a lot of other aspects to this story that nobody knows," said Hugho.
Hugho and Curt Sumida said they were part of that crew, which led to a night of terror tracked by sharks, clinging to life.
That part of the story cemented in history, but Hugho and Sumida believe there's more to be told.
"It was hard for me to talk about Eddie. I usually just break down and cry," said Sumida.
"Actually, we didn't want to go. We were concerned about the weather. Eddie didn't want to go that day either. A lot of people are stressed out about it and they don't want to talk about it," he said.
It's a view Eddie's family disputes.
His brother Clyde said the incredible accomplishments of the Hokulea, his brother, and its crew, should be front and center -- not a shot at controversy.
"When the decision by leadership was made, Eddie had no doubt it was time to go. He was behind that decision 101 percent," said Clyde Aikau.
In February, filming for documentary called "Miracle on the High Seas" got underway.
It's timed to be released a year from now, when the Hokulea is expected to return home.
Hugho said he wants to help those holding on to painful memories and share the strength and knowledge of Eddie Aikau.
"What we went through out there was a stepping stone for the canoe to be what it is today for the rest of the crew to be what it is today," he said.
Kiks Hugho also announced the start of a new Eddie Aikau Junior surf contest. Proceeds will go to the Eddie Aikau Foundation Scholarship Fund.