I remember screeching ” Oh, my God, come down here! Quick, quick! ” and I can still hear the calls from above me. ” What’s wrong? “
Four girlfriends come running down the long stairway from the villa, ‘Starfish Blue.’ We’ve barely arrived, vacationing in the South Pacific for a sun – soaked week, courtesy of Fiji.
I watch, laughing, as they scramble over the coral reef, trying to get to me. It’s low tide now and I’ve wandered far from shore, camera slung around my neck.
The water is this stunning blue. I don’t want to say azure – everyone uses that word. It’s a beautiful shade of indigo, though, an impossible shade of teal. The warmth of it slaps teasingly at my legs, urging me to take a few more steps away from the craggy beach.
I’m staring down at my feet instead, where an even brighter blue clings to the coral. I am in awe. A blue starfish! I’ve never seen one before and am so excited.
We wander through the shallow water and find several of these stunning creatures, clinging to coral, hanging out under the hot, seasonal sun. Our presence doesn’t seem to bother them ( though my loud cries earlier may have! )
We pick one up gingerly, holding it for a long moment. Our hands are open,cradling it’s five long arms, marveling in this little show of Mother Nature. I’m sure none of us expected to catch sight of something so beautiful during our time on the island. It’s like a miracle, to me at least. Something that I may never have the chance to see again. So surreal.
We charter a fishing boat later that week, dropping anchor on Nananu-i-ra Island for the day, where we spend a few hours snorkeling. We see more of these dazzling blue starfish under calm water, just miss a run-in with a barracuda and, believe it or not, a seahorse peeks out at us from between the colorful coral reefs!
Making it to Fiji in October last year was an amazing trip. I never thought we’d actually make it to the South Pacific. It will be a girl’s vacation,one of my favorite, remembered for a long,long time.
Seeing these starfish, holding this little bit of heaven while swimming under Fiji’s mysterious tides, certainly goes in the books as one of my most cherished moments, for sure.