Voyage into the Unknown

Drawing from his travels to visit MB churches around the world, ICOMB executive director David Wiebe offers insights on faith.

“That’s impossible! It must be photoshopped,” I said as I looked at an amazing picture in Sagres, Portugal.

My wife and I were in Algarve province, exploring the beautiful cliffs and caves, beaches and blowholes carved by millennia of ocean activity. Sagres is located at the southwest corner of the country. 

Its claim to fame is a museum honouring Infante D. Henrique, otherwise known as Henry the Navigator. He lived from 1394 to 1460, a son of Portuguese royalty. Under his inspiration, two new sailing technologies emerged in the 15th century: a ship with greater agility, called the caravel, and techniques for sailing against the wind. 

Henry is credited with setting the stage for the age of discoveries for Portugal and for Christopher Columbus to reach North America in 1492.

We had just toured this museum, spread over four square kilometres in a park atop the 30-metre cliffs overlooking the vast Atlantic stretching unbroken to the western horizon. We passed blowholes where we could actually hear the ocean unseen far below. I wondered what kind of water power carved these holes 50 metres away from the cliff edge.

Then, I saw the picture in the gift shop. Someone had photographed a wave crashing against the cliff, with the splash rising high above it! A hundred foot wave?! Impossible, I thought, until I saw videos of surfers riding 100-foot waves at Nazaré, Portugal.




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