Oh yeah, it worked out for me! When I went thru the Panama Canal with Earthrace.net I told the guys, “If it works out, I’ll join you in the Suez Canal”, and it did. They were delayed just long enough from hitting debris in the Pacific to monsoons on the Indian Ocean, so that allowed for me to arrive in Egypt hours before they were to cross the ‘other canal’.
The Suez is an interesting ditch. The Panama Canal has locks to take you up into the hills that have now formed lakes, and back down the other side. The Suez has no locks, there is only a foot of difference between the Med and the Red Sea across the desert and is about 80 miles versus the 60ish miles of the Panama. The Panama is 38′ deep, Suez is 60 going to 66′. 20 Thousand died building the Panama Canal, but 150,000 died digging the Suez, mostly by hand. I’m not sure which canal I like better, but I know seeing them both on the same boat within 45 days is quite a feat, especially for a boat that entered the Panama Canal first and was heading west, the long way. In fact, this might be a world record in itself even with all the delays they had.
Suez sees 59 boats on average a day according to the Chief Canal Pilot, who among other canal authorities, hosted us for dinner as we spent the night mid canal in Ismalia. After dinner, I slept on a table in the outdoor restaurant last night, and somehow didn’t fall off it and slept fine until the morning reading of the Coran just before daylight was broadcast over the city speakers. If you’ve never slept in Muslim country, you’re in for a treat when you do. These folks take their religion quite serious. Well hell, now that I think about it, I was awaken in the Panama Canal sleeping on the deck of the ‘Majestic Sea’ by a forest of monkeys that make a noise much like a mean jet engine trying to get airborne. You won’t sleep thru that one either. So each Canal has a early AM distraction for you. Earthrace has no A/C, tiny fans, poor ventilation, and odors unlike anything you can imagine. I prefer to deal with some mosquito’s and find a place outside to be kinda cool, thank you.
Now I’m in Cairo as I’ve bid farewell to Earthrace for their leisurely cruise across the Med to Spain and hopefully the World Record Circumnavigation Record by a power boat. Won’t be long before I see them as I’m hosting the victory party. If you want to come, and hopefully support them financially, send me a note and we’ll clue you in. Valencia, Spain is where we will party down. I did go to the Pyramids today after I departed the boat in Port Said. These wonders of the world are now basically in the suburbs of Cairo. Very interesting sight for sure.
The Nile River runs thru Cairo, home to 20 Million people that don’t bother to pick up plastic bottles or the aluminum cans that litter the ground. They will hustle you somehow for a tip even if they only let you take THEIR picture or one of their ugly camel they want you to ride for 4 dollars. I guess there is value in that versus the Mojito I had in Paris. (Read that entry).