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‘I didn’t choose Antarctica, Antarctica chose me’ – Baleca

Written by on April 12, 2024

Pacific Islanders have a long history of navigation, but we had the habit of staying away from cold locations, we probably. The same cannot be said about Naina Baleca.

Baleca is a seafarer who shares her experience travelling around the frozen continent of Antarctica. Nesia Daily has dubbed her “The Freezing Fijian”.

She’s seen penguins, whales, only a handful of sunsets, and, of course, massive icebergs; the seafarer told Nesia Daily, “Everything about it is unreal”.

But how did Naina end up in Antarctica?

The former Fijiana 7s rugby player is currently studying a Nautical Science Diploma with the New Zealand Maritime School and said:

“I didn’t choose Antarctica, Antarctica chose me.”

As well as being a seafarer, Naina is a talented sports person. She represented Fijian internationally for rugby in the 15s and debuted for the Fijiana 7s at the age of 22.(Supplied: Naina Baleca)

Naina’s comments on social media are filled with messages from proud Fijians and Pacific Islanders from all over the world cheering her on.

“Coming from a small Pacific country, it’s the biggest achievement in my [life].setting up a path for female seafarers, and that’s another feeling that I don’t know how to explain, just making them feel proud back at home.”

Naina Baleca hopes to encourage more women to take up a career in the maritime industry. (Supplied: Naina Baleca)

Naina shared that it’s her dream to obtain her officer’s ticket and in maybe five or 10 years, become the captain of a “big, big ship”.

She wants to “set an example for our younger generations”, as well as inspire more women to join the maritime industry, saying: “Embrace the adventure and excitement that comes with a career at sea.”

[Source: ABC Pacific]

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