‘bula sia, api’, a firm double handed handshake and a smile from Captain Api at the Grand Eastern hotel, is often the first contact tribe members have with their real world Vorovoro experience.

Soon after he is helping load you and your bags onto one of Vorovoro’s fibre punts. And with a flick of the 40 horsepower he delicately carves a snaking wake up the river and out to sea.

I’m estimating that Api has already captained about 1500 boat journeys for the tribe – and in all that time, with all those people and all that weather he has always kept us and our endless amount of luggage and shopping safe and happy.

A kinder, more reliable man is hard to find. We trust him with our lives everyday and everyday he repays us.

Api, vina’a va’alevu for being the best captain in the world.

We presented sevusevu and cake to api on Sunday evening outside the boat captains house on the beach to thank him for his work. We will also be helping to paint his family home in Naqai village in the next few weeks but if you have stories about Api or messages please share them here or post to ‘Captain Api, Vorovoro, Box 2670, Labasa, Fiji.’

To the tune of ‘bad moon rising’….’I see Kia on the horizon, I see my captain coming home…’