On our last full day on the island of Vanua Lava, Jimmy and I hopped into
the 20-foot open boat that had been chartered to pick up some friends
from the other side of the island. The man who operated the boat was known
to all simply as the Captain. I never heard him referred to by any other
His father is fond of telling the following story: When the Captain was
born, his right fist was clenched tightly shut. His apu (grandfather), on
seeing this, intructed those present to open it carefully. The infant's
hand contained a small amount of water. "Taste it," said the apu. It was
as salty as the ocean.
There are times when it makes sense to go along with folk wisdom, and believe
me, when I saw the skill with which the Captain angled us through the
2 1/2 metre swell, I knew that, no matter what its provenance, this man
has salt water in his veins.
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Imagicity | Photography - exotica, mundanity and wonders | © Dan McGarry