Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crossing the Suez

I was so excited when I got to know that we will be joining the boat at Port Suez and crossing the canal with the boat and not join the boat at Port Said(located after the canal) as originally planned. I just thought it would be such a cool idea to cross the Suez canal and I wasn't wrong at all....
It was such a narrow canal, that the captain and the officers have to be very careful navigating the boat through the canal along with an pilot from the Suez authorities. There was so much to crossing the canal that I was not aware of until that day. Apparently ships go in columns or what is called "convoys" when they cross the narrow canal. The canal itself is made of 2 parts, south part between the Red sea and Great bitter lake and North canal between the Great bitter lake and Mediterenean sea. Usually there is only one convoy at a time, meaning only one in a particular direction. There are also preferences in which convoy gets to go first. The oil and chemicals tankers almost always go through straight from the Red sea all the way to the Mediterenean sea. The others have to break their journey in the great lake and wait for their turn to do the second convoy. It was all fascinating for me to learn about it and to be on the Bridge to see how the officers and Pilot function to navigate the ship through the narrow channel.

I was chatting to a native Egyptian on-board and learnt a lot about the history of Suez canal which I was not aware of and how strategic Suez is to Egypt and how much money is made each day in the canal. I wikipedead and found tons of info on this. I invite you to look through it if you are interested.

1 comment:

Ferry said...

Nice picture you have here, good one. I had a look on wikipedia link, which you gave in this post. Got lot of information on Suez Canal there, really good link.