April 7-8, 2012 – Suez Canal, Egypt and day at sea in Mediterranean
We left Sharm el Sheik and made a fast run up to a point just south of the Suez canal. This was necessary to assure our spot in the convoy in the morning. There are two southbound convoy and one northbound convoy. The first southbound convoy goes halfway and then anchors in one of the lakes to allow the north bound convoy to pass. I wasn’t sure what to expect as we approached the canal, as this is quite different from the Panama Canal, since this is a sea level passage and the Panama Canal uses locks to raise ships up 90 feet above sea level.
The eastern bank of the canal is barren desert with no vegetation and little habitation.
The western bank is obviously irrigated (from the Nile?) and there are several towns and villages, and extensive agriculture.
I don’t know how many ships were in our northbound convoy – I could see 4, but they maintained half mile spacing so I couldn’t see them all.
Our convoy – following us
There are several ferry crossings of the Suez Canal………………..
….and one very large bridge across the canal……..
During one of the wars between Israel and Egypt the canal was closed by sinking ships in the canal. After the war, it took several years to clear the ships out of the canal. Given that the canal may need to be closed again, the Egyptians have designed these large sinkable blocks which can be quickly moved into place to block the canal, and more importantly can be filled with air and floated up to be easily and quickly removed.
Canal or no canal – the laps go on.
Easter Sunday at sea, in the Mediterranean. The ship’s minister and the priest held a well attended sunrise service on the back deck of the ship. Interestingly, the sun is rising over Israel from our current location.
And on to Athens.