If it was anything, it was like making the journey back in time - even though our approach may not be dramatic or the same as the iTaukei prince whose gift is the reason we're on Vatulele Island for.
Yes, we're on the quest to gaze at the famed red prawns of Vatulele. Yes we're going to gaze at this beautiful iTaukei princess whose beauty drew many suitors to the island.
Just like the legends that surround the red prawns of Vatulele, our journey is not scientific but rather out of the our own natural curiosity and we were rather intrigued to find out that we did not need to undertake an elaborate traditional iTaukei ceremony in order to see the red prawns.
It began as a casual point of conversation over grog at Taunovo Village where I asked an old friend of mine, Vereimi if we can visit the pond of the red prawns. Just a few minutes and metres away was sitting Ilikena Bulewa of the Mataqali Narewa and Yavusa Ekubu who are the traditional owners of the red prawns.
On that Friday morning, as a gentle south easterly rides the incoming tide, we were on our way from Taunovo Village with Ilikena, Marika Tivitivu our pilot, Lomanikaya village church deacon Kolinio Duikoro, Epeli Tikoiwasa and my cameraman Eliki Nukutabu to visit this sacred site.
On our way there, as we passed Vatu Levu and Vatu Sewa, two small rocky islets guarding the main reef passage to Vatulele, I was reflecting on the legend of the red prawns.
The story behind the red prawns is all about love and romance.
Basically the legend has it that the ancestral goddess of the Vatulele people, Lewa Ni Cagi Bula's beauty is renown throughout the land. A prince from a place on the coral coast got to know of this and decided to seek out her hand in marriage.
He visited her bearing a gift of cooked prawns wrapped in via leaves.
Squinting across to the mainland of Viti Levu where the prince is to have been from, I was wondering how he crossed the choppy seas. Well, according to legend, he placed rocks in the ocean to make the crossing which gave the name Vatulele. Other tales claim that he could have come in a canoe. Besides they were gods.
Soon our fibreglass punt slowed down at a white sandy beach towards the North of the island, Ilikena beckoned that we will go ashore. The surf is not washing up but pounding the beach. Huge ocean swells always find their way ashore on this part of the island.
The limestone cliffs greeted us and Ilikena led us straight to the petroglyphs caved by the ancient inhabitants of Vatulele.
Scientific records says the petroglyphs is an early form of iTaukei art and said to be 3000 years old.
The carvings are some ten metres up the rock face of the cliff and the most prominent of these rock engravings is now being used by the world famous Vatulele Island Resort as its logo. This rock art depicts a face with 12 strands of hair.
With the tide coming in fast we needed to get to the pool quickly or our boat is likely to be smashed against the rocks or drowned by the big waves.
We left our pilot Marika to mind the boat as we, in a single file, followed Ilikena along the base of the limestone cliffs to the pool where the prawns are said to be, some 50 metres away.
My mind turned again to the legend, maybe this was the same path that young prince took with his precious gift of cooked prawns.
The floor of our path is littered with dead coral. It's as if the whole place was a reef before an earthquake or other natural occurrences lifted it out of the sea. Even though Vatulele is popular as a resting and nesting place for ocean going birds like the petrels boobys and shearwaters, no bird can be seen or heard along these cliffs.
It seems they know and respect the sacredness of the place. The quietness and remoteness of the place is only interrupted by the distant pounding of the surf.
As soon as we arrived, Ilikena told us to get ready with our camera as he ventures out further into the pool to a rocky outcrop. There he called out to the prawns. His voice resonates against the cliff walls, as he tries to will the prawns to rise from their slumber. Koli, sensing the need for an interpretation, gave an explanation about the legend and he raised one interesting point.
According to him, the princess Lewa Ni Cagi Bula is the prawns herself.
A form she had assumed. With instructions not to harm the red prawns in any way, I first jumped into the pool to try and catch one. So we sort of, have to try and woo the prawns to be held in the palms of our hands.
It was like a dance as my hand moved forward as the prawns felt it with its long antennae and moving just out of reach.
Or when my fingers got past the antennae and neared it in a scooping fashion to bring it out of the water, the prawn would all of a sudden move away. If this was indeed the form that this lady has taken, then she is really a woman hard to please. Then perhaps she did really have a temper after all. After all, she is the woman of the red prawn.