Transiting the Suez Canal, Egypt

April 3, 2017 Paul Groves

Day 86 of 111. Transiting the Suez Canal

At the very northern part of the Red Sea is the Suez Canal, our entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. This canal is different from the Panama Canal in that there are no locks, that is, the canal is all at sea level. Floating northward, it was interesting to know that on our left (port side) we saw the continent of Africa and on our right (starboard side) we saw the continent of Asia, the Sinai Desert, but both sides were Egypt.

Since portions of the canal allow for only one way traffic, the ships needed to form a convoy before entering the canal so that they can pass each other at the same time in the section for two way traffic (opened in 2015). So our convoy was formed last night at the Red Sea end. We were in third position in our convoy behind a huge box-shaped ship that was carrying a shipment of new cars. We entered the canal around 5:30 a.m. and spent most of the day transiting the canal. We reached the Mediterranean Sea around 4:00 p.m.

Along the way we saw some interesting sights.
The cone-shaped structures are pigeon traps. Pigeons enter but only leave when they appear on a local menu. Apparently Egyptians enjoy them as an entree, perhaps New York might learn a lesson from the Egyptians.

We saw a blue dredging barge which is used to keep the sand from re-filling the canal. In the picture you can see the dredging drill at the front of the ship. The drill is lowered into the canal and begins to drill into the bottom sand. A giant vacuum sucks up the water with the sand and deposits it onto the shore. It’s a constant battle.

We also saw this beautiful little Mosque on Sinai Desert side of the canal. The palm trees and the expansive desert made a great picture.