Andy Espirito

"Andrew Espirito dies at 49. Was on Hokule'a during 1976 trip." by Christopher Neil, Advertiser Staff Writer. September 29, 1993.

Andrew Alii Espirito, of Honolulu, a crew member on the Hokule'a's historic 1976 return voyage from Tahiti, died September 21, 1993. He was 49.

"He was a retired merchant seaman," said his wife, Phyllis. "He went round the world six times; he had a very full life."

Espirito was born in Honolulu. He was a member of the Kalima family of Molokai and took the name Espirito when his mother remarried and he was adopted, Phyllis Espirito said.

Espirito was a "real ocean man," she said. He helped build the Hokule'a and loved to laugh and tell stories about his voyages as a merchant mariner and his trip back to Hawaii aboard the Hokule'a.

"He talked about everything--about being caught in the doldrums, about how the sharks you see in the open ocean are bigger than you can imagine," she said. "His friend, Clifford Ah Mow, who sailed with him on the Hokule'a told me that Andy was the clown of the group: He was the joker who cheered everybody up. "That's how he was; always laughing and happy."

Phyllis Espirito said her husband spent 12 years as a merchant mariner before he gave up voyaging and became a beachboy in Waikiki. That's where they met, she said.

"I had been visiting my grandfather in Kona and I came to Oahu just to vacation," she said. While at a surfboard stand at Kuhio Beach, he asked her it she wanted to ride a catamaran, she said, and one thing led to another. We were together 11 years and we got along from the very first day."

Services for Espinto will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Oahu Cemetery.

Saturday he makes his last voyage when his ashes will be scattered from the Hokule'a at 7 a.m. off Kuhio Beach.

'This was his wish," his wife said. "He always told me, 'When I die, I want to go right outside Waikiki.' That was the beach he loved."

In addition to his wife, Espirito is survived by his mother, Annie of Waianae; sisters, Marcie Kato of Waianae and May Wright of Honolulu; brothers, George of Honolulu, Henry Kalima of Mississippi and Greg.