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Tikoiloreta a Natural At Sea, Recalls First Job

South Sea Cruises Captain Fa­biano Tikoiloreta’s love for sailing came naturally fol­lowing the encouragement of his cousin to accompany him on a con­tainer vessel a few decades ago. The 50-year-old
09 Jan 2019 11:00
Tikoiloreta a Natural At Sea, Recalls First Job
South Sea Cruises Captain Fabiano Tikoiloreta at Port Denarau in Nadi on December 29, 2018. photo: Mereleki Nai

South Sea Cruises Captain Fa­biano Tikoiloreta’s love for sailing came naturally fol­lowing the encouragement of his cousin to accompany him on a con­tainer vessel a few decades ago.

The 50-year-old CaptainTikoilore­ta is from Ovalau but was brought in Taveuni.

He had attended Boma District School, Wairiki Primary School which is now Holy Cross. He went as far as Form Five at Wairiki Sec­ondary School.

He said, “In 1997, a cousin of mine encouraged me to try sail with him overseas. He was sailing on a soft runner container but unfortu­nately he died after few days, after I came to stay with his family. He had a lot of children.”

“On Christmas day of that year two directors of the soft runner vessel came to visit his wife and his children. I welcome them with bowl of yaqona and introduce my­self to them.

“Before they left, I requested for any job on the container vessel to help support my cousin’s family. They told me to prepare my pass­port and bring it to their office in Suva.

“When preparing on my trip to Suva, I always pray to God to open that job opportunity.

After several visits to the office in Suva, I met the captain of the vessel after one of directors intro­duced me to him.

“The Captain told me to come back the following day with some clothes as we were bound to Australia. I was so happy with the news. The thoughts of no experience of sail­ing and or sea sick failed to dis­hearten me. I was given a job.

“I was given a position to be cabin crew in the vessel.

“I was tested for the trip to Aus­tralia and I was told by the captain if I did not pass the job test, the trip would be my last.”

“After three days out at sea, I was familiar with the job; I tried my best to perform after the discour­agement from one of the directors that I won’t be able to do the job.

“After the trip to Australia, I was offered a fulltime job as a vessel crew. I sailed for six years in that vessel.

“The love of sailing inspired me to strive for captain courses at the Maritime Academy. I completed my certificates and applied for sail­ing jobs.

I was offered a job in Singapore on a Cable & Wireless vessel.

“I worked there for about eight months until that company lost their contract.”

“I came back to Fiji and decided to apply for South Sea Cruises and l was fortunate to be given a job in this cruise vessel.

“I had started as a crew for three years until the captain position was vacant then they offered me the position.”

“The company paid my tuition at maritime in which I completed a class 4 captain.

“This is the fourteenth year I have worked and sail the South Sea Cruise vessel, he added.

He lives in Suva with his family. Mr Tikoireta works for four days and had three days off in which hespends it with family in Suva. He has three children

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