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Tales from a seafarer

Shayal Devi
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

AT first glance, Ioane Manasa may seem like an ordinary seafarer.

A single conversation with the man from Drauniivi in Ra will reveal a life filled with exciting tales of globetrotting across the seven seas.

We had a chance to chat with the 66-year-old on board Denarau-based Adrenalin Fiji's luxury yacht Bel Mare, a vessel which offers private charters to the outer islands for guests.

More fondly referred by crew as Manasa, he has been the head chef on board Bel Mare for a few years now.

"I have retired but I continue doing what I love, cooking," the father of four said.

The youngest of six siblings, Manasa learnt cooking from his family and pretty soon decided to make this his trade.

It was at this time when his father, a builder by trade, moved to Suva in search of greener pastures and the family relocated too.

"This happened in, I think it was the 50s, and I was pretty young then.

"Some time later after school, I came across a job opening. It was with the Royal New Zealand Air Force. There were times when they were in Fiji and they had their mass here and meals. That was when I joined as a kitchen hand.

"I took it from there and in the early 70s, I went sailing abroad."

After this, Manasa said he had the opportunity to work for the Nauru Shipping Line, after which he acquired a chef position on board the University of Columbia's geological survey research vessel.

According to Manasa, the vessel from the American university carried out research from the North Sea to the Arctic.

"I had to leave that job and come home in 1980 after my dad passed away," he said.

"After this, I also accompanied the Young Men's Christian Association's Suva Youth Centre rugby team when they went to Australia for a game.

"I got hooked by tourism and in 1991 I decided to join the industry. I moved to Denarau where I carried out work with some super yachts.

"One of the most exciting times was when I was I was one of the locals to crew the super yachts.

"I have been with Adrenalin since 2009 and I love this work.

"I have already retired but I'm still doing this to teach some of our boys, the younger ones, to study cooking and learn because they will carry the mantle one day."

The Bel Mare, which offers cruises and private charters, has five crew members.

According to Manasa, he will carry on doing the job he loves as long he is able to.








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