“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”
~ Hans Christian Andersen
I’m floating in water so blue it makes lapis boring. The French language has a special word
for the blue color of the South Pacific Ocean and even that would not accurately describe the hypnotic deep blue water that lured me from the rocky coral shores of Opaahi Beach into its waves.
As I float on my back in a cove where the famed Captain Cook was ominously greeted by the natives with fiercely painted red lips. The sun glistens on the water as I stare up at the high cliffs, into which the elements appear to have carved eyes and a mouth, resembling a large totem face. Looking down into the clear water, corals of vibrant purples compete for my attention. Despite the brisk temperature of the water, I feel embraced by the gentle waves, like reuniting with a long-lost friend.
And if you are lucky, you might even spot a crazy uga—a coconut crab hanging out with its mid-day snack.
The first Polynesian explorers to view the volcanic island of Rarotonga came by powerful double-hulled canoes [vakas] and navigated by the stars.