Saturday, November 10, 2012

From Moiya on the Suez Canal

We arrived in Safaga Egypt this morning on Nov. 2, 2012 after passing through the Suez Canal yesterday.  Our passage started at about 1 AM on Nov. 1st.  After supper on Halloween night, I could not keep my eyes open so I went right back to the room for bed.  It was only 8 PM but never-the-less, I was beyond tired for some reason.  David, Arta, Wyona & Greg kept on going.  I missed the Magic Show but would have missed most of it if I would have gone anyway.  I woke up at about 11:50 PM and the others had now come back to bed yet.  I got up and went searching for them on the ship but could not find them.  Instead I stood at the front of the ship and quietly watched our entry into the Suez Canal for about 2 hours, in an almost full moonlit night.  Others were there but it was pretty quiet.  The passage was going to take 12-14 hours.  I didn’t want to miss it.  Finally I went back to the room and still could see no sign of David and Arta..  This time I went out onto the balcony in our room and made a little bed out of a chair and table elevating my feet. 

The weather was hot during the day.............about 83 degrees but when the sun goes down on the Mediterranean you have a small space of about 2 minutes to capture the beautiful sunset on your camera and it is gone.  The temperature drops rapidly after sundown so I had to get my sweater on and put a blanket over my legs.  David & Arta came in before 3 AM and fell asleep immediately.  They did take a moment to come out onto the balcony and gave me quickly told me of their activities that evening. 
 The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway running north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in northeastern Egypt; it connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez, an arm of the Red Sea.  The canal provides  a shortcut for ships operating between European ports and ports located in southern Asia, eastern Africa, and Oceania.  The Suez Canal is 101 miles (163 km) long.  The minimum bottom width of the channel is 197 feet (60m) and ships of 53 feet (16m) draft can make the transit.  The canal can accommodate ships as large as 150,000 dead weight tons fully loaded.  It has no locks, because the Mediterranean Sea and Gulf of Suez have roughly the same water level.

On the west side ot the Nile.....the side our balcony is on,  we could see some civilization . There are mounds of sand on both sides but on the east side there is just lots of desert sand. The canal separates Africa and Asia, so on our side we could see Africa.  Asia was on the east side.  We were traversing the canal from North to South entering at the city of “Said”.  I laid out on the balcony until the atmosphere turned so foggy that I couldn’t see anything and It didn’t smell very nice out there anyway.  Sadly enough, we missed and passed under the longest swinging bridge in the world.  We will see it, I guess, when we pass this way again. 

David and Arta are taking an excursion and having a Bedouin experience today.  They will even be getting on a Camel!  I am staying on the ship.  Wyona and Greg are going on another tour someplace today.
I will send this off to you when I get into a port that has an internet cafe. 


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