Posted by: Gary Guertin | April 4, 2017

30 World Cruise–Suez Canal–Mar. 31, 2017

I’M POSTING THREE POSTS TODAY, SO PLEASE START READING AT 29-2 PETRA BELOW.

Hi All, (Written Apr. 1, 2017)

Yesterday we navigated the Suez Canal and it’s great to be sailing in the Mediterranean again.

First, I’d like to give you a short background of the Canal.  It’s known as "The Highway to India".  It is an artificial sea-level waterway in eastern Egypt connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.  Since the Mediterranean and Red Seas are the same level there is no need for locks to raise and lower the ships. Construction started in 1859 and was completed and opened in November 1869.  It started as a canal of 102 miles long and 26 ft. deep, with a capacity of 50 ships being able to pass per day.  Today it has been enlarged to 120.11 miles long, 79 ft. deep, and 673 ft. wide (as of 2010), with a capacity of 100 ships per day.  The difference in size/capacity in 2010 allowed the passage of two way traffic instead of the previous one way traffic.  The flow of traffic is a system were by each night a line (convoy) of up to 50 ships is anchored at each end of the canal.  Priorities in the convoy are established by war ships first, followed by passenger cruisers, such as ourselves second, etc., etc..  The convoy then starts at day break with about a mile interval between ships.  The Canal allows ships to cut a 12,000 mile trip to India from Europe around Africa to a 7,200 mile trip through the Suez or about a 5000 mile savings.  The Canal was controlled by the British until 1956 when it was taken over by the Egyptians under an International treaty.

Again, trying to keep this short (Susy says it is impossible for me) here are a few pictures of the Canal (it’s all the same from one end to the other):

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In sum places you can see the two way traffic.  If you look carefully at the next photo you can see the containers of a Container ship passing by on the other side of the sand dunes separating the lanes:

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and just to insure you that I was out and about as we passed through the Canal (no comment on Susy’s activities):

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a couple of views off to the side:

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Most housing or business buildings have a wall around them for security:

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or some kind of fencing:

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The Canal’s northern terminus  is Port Said and the southern terminus is Port Tawfik.  Here’s a look at a town along the way with a Mosque and a Christian Church:

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We entered the Canal about 5:30 AM and exited into the Mediterranean about 3:15 PM, which was very fast as we were told before hand that it  usually takes about 10 to 15 hours to make the passage.

We’re on our way to Rhodes, Greece, our next port on Sunday, Apr. 2, 2017.  Until then,

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)

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