Kopeta Moves Into Tourism After 13 Years

Kalokalo Volasiga skipper Josefa Kopeta.

It is never too late for tourist vessel Kalokalo Volasiga captain Josefa Kopeta.

Former fishing vessel skipper Mr Kopeta 55, for the first time last week manned a tourist boat.

“The last 13 years on fishing vessels have been somewhat complicated,” Mr Kopeta said.

“On a fishing vessel you get to sleep for about two to three hours a day and during bad weather you don’t get to sleep for as long there is a storm out at sea,” he said.

He started off from the bottom of the ladder as an ordinary seaman until he got to be captain of a fishing vessel.

In his previous engagements he at times spent two weeks to a month, sometimes for three months and a few times for 12 months out at sea.

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“Once when I worked as a crew in 1993, I was away from my family for a year. We did fishing in Samoa, Gilbert Islands, Vanuatu Solomon Islands, Papua New-Guinea,” he said.

“My two children, wife and our families were happy to see me after 12 months.

“My wife also told me not to go again on such a trip. This kind of job is tough on us. Most of the time we are away from our families.”

His love for the sea is unconditional.

On the eve of his first tourist boat trip, he was excited as well as a little nervous as he had been informed on the many reefs prevalent while on his route to the Yasawa Group.

“This is the first time I will be traveling this route,” he said.

“There is nothing new about maneuvering a ship and navigation but the environment is new because it is with tourists this time.”.