Mana’o are thoughts, feelings, reflections, and impressions-things that provide meaning. Mo‘omana‘o is a continuous log book of voyaging experiences by a range of senior and novice voyagers whose real life accounts serve to inform, motivate and inspire.
Wayfinder: Eddie Aikau
Why? Because “Eddie Would Go.” Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau was born in Kahului, Hawaii, on May 4, 1946.
He was the second-oldest of the five Aikau kids, and the leader of their pack, since their earliest days on Maui, through to their surfing days on the South and North Shore of Oʻahu.
“Eddie was a pretty quiet guy, but when there was a challenge, or some risk to be taken or a game to be played that everybody wanted to win, Eddie seemed to rise to the top. He was high risk at an early age,” says younger brother Clyde Aikau.
Eddie was the first official lifeguard hired by the City & County of Honolulu to work at Waimea Bay, on Oahu’s North Shore, back in 1967. At the same time, he challenged the biggest waves on offer in the Hawaiian Islands.
The two brothers worked together for ten years up until 1978 and never lost one person. At the time, there were no jet skis or zodiacs – just two youngsters with a board and swim fins. During his career as a lifeguard at Waimea Bay, Eddie Aikau managed to rescue and save the lives of over 500 people.