From the earliest moments of our childhoods, we start to imagine what our future will look like. Some of us are dreaming of becoming architects, doctors, pilots, singers, dancers, or whatever seems to be the coolest job in our minds at that point. These dreams usually change, over time. We explore new things, find new passions, or even find someone to look up to and want to be just like them.
However, ever since he was a young boy, Luka Jakir had a vision. Although he explored many passions, his dream has been clear and unwavering - to become a boat captain. At just 23 years old, Luka turned his childhood dream into a reality, stepping up as a captain of the gulet Tajna Mora. Being the 9th generation at the sea in his family, it's safe to say that his love for sailing was rooted in him. But Luka's passion extends beyond his own ambitions; he is a strong advocate for environmental sustainability, dedicated to protecting the Adriatic to the best of his abilities.
In this interview, learn more about Luka, the captain with interesting background and insights, and someone who genuinely cares for the happiness of his guests and team.
1. Why don't we start by getting to know you? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I'm Luka Jakir, and I’m the captain of the gulet Tajna Mora. My journey in the industry began at a very young age, by always being around my father's boat. However, it truly took off when I joined Tajna Mora with my brother at the age of 14. It's been an incredible nine years since then. I’ve dedicated a lot of my time to learning and growing, striving for professionalism and knowledge, and I’ve finally achieved my goal of becoming a captain. Although this is my second week, both the guests and I were so happy with the service and journey so far, and I'm committed to continuing to give my best to provide great experiences on board.
2. So, I have heard that you have an interesting story about your family's history at sea. Can you tell me more about it?
Yes, my brother and I are the 9th generation at sea in our family. My cousin did some research and found out that the Jakir family’s history at sea goes far in the past. However, it was my grandfather’s passion, sacrifice, and persistence that got us here because he was an immediate ship owner of the family.
3. From this story, I can safely say that your love for the industry grew with you. Did you always know that being a captain is your passion, something you're meant to be?
It was always my passion to be a captain, but it’s not the only one I have. I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. I love snowboarding, I love motorcycles, etc., but most definitely I always had one thing and one vision in my mind which was to become a captain.
4. What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is that I get to show my guests a lot of different and amazing places. I love being able to see their smiles and experience the “wow” effect when I show them something they have never seen before. Croatia is really a beautiful country and has a lot of hidden gems and I like to play a small part in showing them to the guests.
5. Are there any downsides, or challenges to the job?
Absolutely. There are a lot of challenges. It is crucial to consistently uphold the highest industry standards, leaving no room for error or, at the very least, minimizing it to the bare minimum. One of the ongoing challenges is making sure my team is fulfilled, satisfied, cooperative, and happy. Working with people, in general, can be challenging, and when you add the responsibility of making an elite group of guests truly satisfied, the challenge intensifies. But, regardless of that, I’m really enjoying it and I’m always trying to give my best to them.
6. As you're a passionate sailor yourself, what's your take on ocean protection? Do you think we, as a society, are doing enough?
I don’t think we are doing enough, and that is why I would like to be, at least, a small part of it; a small part of a positive change. I think everyone should take or be part of the initiative to create a better and healthier environment for everyone. When you think about it, we will be leaving this planet to the kids and they will be getting the worst of it because of us.
7. As the captain of Tajna Mora, how are you making a difference in protecting our sea?
Firstly, I'm using NatureSafe Marine products on board. I'm very proud that this is a Croatian brand and that its products are 100% biodegradable. Additionally, I'm also very careful with waste management and dark waters. I'm giving my all to keep this sea as clean as possible.
8. Do you think the commitment to sustainability should be an integral part of the industry?
I do, definitely. Sustainability should be an integral part because the yachting industry relies heavily on responsible choices for the preservation of our oceans.
9. Any plans for the future?
My plan was always to become a captain. However. I would like to keep learning, keep improving, and upgrade to bigger boats and yachts. I want to take up every challenge I can to be better. Most importantly, I want to enjoy life while doing it, and hopefully, get to the best place possible.
10. Do you have a message for aspiring captains working their way to their dreams?
Well, if you have a mentor, just listen to him carefully and respectfully. Don’t talk back. If someone tells you to do something that’s not your strongest area, ask for help and advice, try to learn, and do your best. We’re all learning our whole lives. We should never stop. The energy, passion, commitment, persistence, and sacrifice are the biggest parts of your success. If you’re truly passionate and committed to this job, you are on the right path to success. Work hard, think a lot, and put your brain in “on mode”, I believe that’s also very important. Challenges and persistence will get you through everything.
Luka's story is truly one of the inspiring ones. It showcases the power of passion, dedication, and a genuine love for the sea and its protection. His commitment to both his guests and the protection of the Adriatic sets an example for us all, and we can only hope that others will be inspired by his efforts and embrace sustainable practices to reduce our environmental impact for these and future generations.