In 1991, John Brito, of California, read the article “Maupiti, Island of Spirits” in Cruising World and was captivated. That’s where I want to go, he thought. Maupiti fit his picture of a quiet island paradise with friendly people, no paved roads, no big hotels and minimal tourist infrastructure. He loved the water, he loved boats; Maupiti had plenty of both. A call to author Bernadette Brennan confirmed his expectations, and he jumped on a plane to the South Pacific. He celebrated his 50th birthday in Maupiti and was received with open arms. “I am staying!” he told his new friends, and over the following two decades, Maupiti became his home and his life — he married, he divorced, he ran houseboat tours. He became known as Johnny Coconut.