Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cruisin' Part 4

Cabo sunrise
On Thursday we entered the port of Cabo San Lucas around 6:30 in the morning, greeted by another beautiful sunrise. It was interesting to see a U.S. naval ship in the harbor. That would be a nice assignment.
US Navy ship
one of the ship's tenders
Inexplicably, we had the shortest amount of time in this port, which has no actual dock for large cruise ships. All passengers going ashore have to be tendered into port, so you have to build in extra time for that. Due to time constrictions, we booked our excursion through the cruise line. We met for breakfast at 7:15, and then hurried to the meeting place we were assigned to catch our tender into Cabo. We had decided to take a Zodiac tour and snorkel trip. A Zodiac is an inflatable boat that can reach high speeds and thus is desirable to the military - think Special Forces here. None of us had been on one, and of course the guys were all excited about the ride. I wasn't thrilled about being bounced around, but on the plus side the boat doesn't hold too any people so the excursion was small. We had eight in our Zodiac, plus the driver and a guide. A second Zodiac brought several more people from our ship, though we really didn't see much of them once we took off. Below is the other Zodiac.
Paul and me 
One of the main attractions in Cabo is El Archo. Literally translated as The Arch, the three stories tall rock formation is also referred to as Land's End because if you followed a line south from here you would not touch land again until you reached the South Pole. The Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) here. The rock formations are incredible, and the boat was able to take us fairly close to them. There were numerous sea lions hanging out on the rocks.
El Archo
pretty fish
After ample time to study the rocks and take photographs, we headed to our first snorkeling location. The water here was a bit colder than Puerto Vallarta, and I was wishing I had the wet suit provided on the tour there. On the plus side, it did get me swimming faster! All was going well, and we were enjoying the variety of fish in the area when the female guide swam up to Paul, Kathy and me and told us to swim to a new area. "Towards the shore?," Paul asked. She nodded yes and said she would go and tell the others. We took off in the direction she indicated. And that is when I thought I was going to die.

The three of us got hit by a humongous wave. I am talking one that expert surfers would have been ecstatic to ride. We barely recover from that, and I turned around and thought, "Holy crap!" Here comes another one, just like the other one. I have never been in that situation before. Do you ride it out? Dive into it? Pray? I saw Paul dive into it, so I followed suit. Then a third one came, and I was growing tired from fighting the waves. When I could finally stick my mask back into the water, I about had a heart attack. I was inches above some coral, and I could only image cutting myself on it.  I swam as hard as I could to the left, not knowing if it was any better over that direction. Thankfully, there were no more huge waves, and I took some time to just float for a bit and rest. I honestly did not know if I had enough strength and energy left to swim all the way back to the boat. I had been sent pretty far away from it. Eventually I made it back, as did Kathy and Paul. I don't think I have been so scared in my life. And we still had one more snorkeling stop to make. The female guide spoke softly in Spanish to the driver when she got back in the boat. She never said a word to the three of us, but Jim said she seemed pretty shaken up by what had happened. As well she should.

I wasn't sure if I was going to even get out of the boat at the next stop, but we ended up in a pretty quiet cove. So I decided to get back in the water, which was thankfully warmer than the last stop. I am so glad I made that decision, because the coral was prettier here, and there were so many fish! It truly seemed like we were swimming in an aquarium.
fish and a whale
On the way back to Cabo we saw a whale. Although this was the migration season, this is the only one that I saw on the trip. I am not going to lie though. The best thing I saw was the cruise ship. After my ordeal, I was happy to get out of the water. Back on ship we showered, played some trivia and had a low key dinner at the grill so we could eat outside. Besides, it was another formal dinner night, and none of us felt like dressing up. Then we watched the movie, "The Martian" outdoors on the big screen, and followed that by seeing the comedy/music show by Steve Moris, who used to play with the Beach Boys. It was a nice ending to the day.

Crown Princess

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