Saturday, 8 October 2016
08.10.2016 - 08.10.2016
Got up just before 04:00 as the ship was approaching the entrance to the Canal. It was almost total darkness except for the running lights of other ships at anchor and the shore of Port Said. We crept along the buoyed path to the mouth of the Canal. Our speed is well down to the low teens and we have two tugs for escorts.
As the sky brightened we could make out the cargo vessel behind us. I was surprised at the distance between us. One possible reason being to provide time for cross canal ferries to get across. Most of the infrastructure and agriculture is on the West Bank of the Canal. Just before 06:00 we were treated to a lovely sunrise and more detail became visible.
The Canal is much wider than I had expected but this early Northern section is still only for one-way traffic. At about 06:45 we passed under the Suez Bridge. A peculiarity of this bridge is that it is closed to road traffic while ships pass underneath. Security !! Seems that all access to the Canal is controlled by the Military with guard posts at regular intervals on both sides. On the Western Bank there are large numbers of floating bridge segments and lots of individual pontoons.
Our cabin is certainly in the best position to view the more populated Western Bank. There are occasions when I'm forced to find my way up yo Deck 16 in order to capture some item of significance on the Port Side of the ship. One of these significant items being a section where the Canal has been duplicated thereby allowing Northbound vessels to proceed while we continue our Southward trip. it isn't possible to see this new lane as the spoil from the digging has been piled up between the two.
It is just 10:20 and I notice that we're in a large basin of water. There's not sufficient detail on the available map to work out the name. My guess is that it may be the Great Bitter Lake its Southern end marks the start of the one-way traffic of the Southern section of the Canal. By 1430 we had exited the Canal and entered the Red Sea.
We have a full sea day tomorrow as we head for Aqaba in Jordan where we will be going on a Shore Excursion to the Wadi Rum.
Many images of the Canal, most of them fuzzy due to a persistent haze or smog.
I can't guarantee a specific image to point to, if you want to see the latest, view my project by following this link to the main album.
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony