One of the few pleasures that arise from a crossing (a multi-week cruise designed to reposition a ship to its new season’s itinerary) is the ability to step foot on islands and beaches that otherwise are difficult to access, in this case, among the South Pacific. Unfortunately, this latest crossing did not provide much in the way of time ashore for me, but let’s not focus on the downfalls of my ship life at this moment.
I had met many native Samoans throughout my childhood, however I never in my most adventurous dreams thought I would make it all the way down there. In college I had a friend that did her internship there, but that was the closest I imagined I would get to the islands. Once again this lifestyle threw a surprise in my direction – my friend actually lived on the island we would visit so I contacted her and we were able to meet up for the entire day!
Her and her boyfriend took me and mine all over the island, stopping at the Bahai Temple (one of only nine in the whole world), and to the resort where she interned to do some snorkeling. They took us out on his boat for a lovely ride to a remote beach, watching storm clouds surge over the island forests, all the while hoping they wouldn’t come to greet us. Earlier that morning, the storm had been where we were snorkeling and completely mucked up the reef’s sand and silt to make only outlines of the reef’s beauty visible. Despite the clouded marine views, just being in the water, on an empty beach lined with thick rows of palm trees brought excitement to my day. On the way back to the resort we scoped out some sea turtles in the shallow feeding areas they tend to flock to. Truly magical creatures, I will forever remain amazed by their beauty and mystery.
After a quick lunch at another beach an hour’s drive away, we headed back to the ship to return to our strange existence, thankful yet envious of the glimpse into my friend’s island life.