The fog was the thickest I had seen on the cruise. Early in the morning we were woken by the boat blowing it's horn for 5 seconds in 30 second intervals. This lasted for well over an hour, as the boat slowly creeped through the fog. A few of us stood on the bow, fully entertained with wondering where we were going. The fog was icy cold, and contained tiny tiny water droplets, so after not too long, we were all sufficiently misted, and our hair and eyebrows (and facial hair for the men) looked frosted.
At times our visibility was only a few feet, but most of the time we could see a dozen or so yards out. During the better visibility, we were treated to a sweet show by the local dolphins as they were keeping pace with the ship, just a few yards away from the boat's wake, and also by some beautiful birds who skimmed the surface above the dolphins. It was beautiful and serene. I had an emotion that I can't quite describe while I was out there watching the life. Like I said in a previous blog, I felt solitude, yet I felt surrounded. I felt like a little insignificant being in a vast world. I felt peaceful, I felt alone, yet I felt company. I know, It's bizarre. But I guess that's just how I work. I have many different aspects hitting different emotions all at the same time.
As we were pulling into port, as land was becoming visible, we saw another cruise ship docked, still nearly submerged in the fog. It was neat seeing another boat of such great size from this perspective, since all my other vantage points were from sea level. Still amazed that something the size of a small city (stacked on top of itself, of course) can float on water. I'd think it would be an engineering nightmare, but the design is centuries old. Just improved over the decades. Amazing.
Once off the boat, Nolan & I headed out along with part of our family to an area much further away than we thought it would be, about a 45 minute drive further, called La Bufadora. We were able to drive along the coast and catch glimpses of the water and also the mountains as the sun was starting to burn through the fog, causing it to lift. If you go to google earth and look up Ensenada, Mexico, then look up La Bufadora, you'll be able to see how far we were taken. I didn't realize until I looked it up that it was way out on the tip of a peninsula.
We were dropped off in a parking lot about a mile away from La Bufadora, and were able to walk down to it through an open air market. It reminded me of a state fair. Except at least at the fairs the vendors wait for you to come to them. Here, they were all inviting us to their shop. Of course, they rely on the American tourists to provide their income. It's okay, I had fun looking, and was satisfied that I was able to get some good Mexican vanilla, and some cool hand made sandals for me and the girls.
La Bufadora, translated means "The Blowhole." Although this technically isn't a hole, it is a deep crevice in the cliffs, which compresses the waves as they come in and thrusts the water upwards at an explosive rate. It was neat because we'd see the wave start to roll in, then we'd hear this thunderous grumble, then a few seconds later the water would shoot up like an explosion.
Each time the water would shoot in different directions, different heights and with different force. It made it all that more entertaining to watch a dozen or so shoot back out to sea, then have one completely drench the onlookers. Dad was elated with all the different senses that were being stimulated all at the same time. It was really neat because he was able to tell us when it was going to be more forceful just by the sound of the waves coming in. Then it was even more rewarding when he felt the spray afterwards. It was quite the display, the landscape was stunning, the colors in the water were beautiful, I didn't want to leave.
To get an idea, go to you tube and look up La Bufadora and watch footage of it. It really was quite a neat spectacle. Another example of how nature can awe you. Nothing man made can duplicate this.
The majority of the fog had dissipated by the time we made it back to the boat, (which I was quite relieved that we made it back there safely after experiencing the road habits of Mexican bus drivers). Once again, we joined up on the bow of the ship to watch its exit from Ensenada, and to give us the one glimpse of the city that was earlier obscured by the fog. One thing I found fascinating (besides La Bufadora, of course), was the Mexican Flag that they had raised. It may not look like much in this picture, but to put it into perspective, the cruise ship is in the harbor, the flag pole was at least a quarter mile into town. That flag would have nearly covered the side of the ship if it were hung there! That was one massive flag! On google earth, the flag is casting a rather large shadow. I'm curious as to its dimensions.
As we were back out to sea, the fog and clouds quickly rolled back in, giving me yet another stunningly beautiful skyscape display. This evening was another of literal solitude on the bow, admiring the beauty that the Lord had painted all around me, and saddened that no one else was up there with me to share it with.
It was breathtaking, and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to be able to once again take in the simplistic beauty of our complex ecosystem. Yes, that night I was feeling blessed in many ways.