Suez Canal

March 30. Thursday, 4:10pm. This morning we entered the Suez Canal around 4:30 after anchoring all night offshore from the city of Suez. After traveling 106 miles, we entered the Mediterranean Sea at 2:30 this afternoon. We had the honor of being the lead ship in a convoy of 34 ships. Each ship kept a distance of one to two miles between them. Our ship had to pay 150 to 160 thousand dollars to pass through the canal. It goes by tonnage. We were one of the light ships!! I counted the containers on a huge ship that passed close to us this afternoon. There were at least 2640 that I could see. There were more below deck. Unbelievable!! The canal has 14 curves in it. The water flows north in the winter and south in the summer (slight current). There are several wide parts that have lake names. The largest is named the Great Bitter Lake.The northern terminus is the city of Port Said (pronounced Sah-eed’). We passed under one huge bridge. All traffic is halted when a convoy passes beneath it. Security. There must be a lot of angry Egyptian drivers!! Some of the dunes bordering the canal were 30 to 40 feet high. Many fisherman in feluccas.(look that one up). A lot of military security. Not at all like the Panama Canal. Many places were just wide enough for one ship to pass and some places had two lanes separated by a high sand berm. One north lane and one south lane. Dinner time. Bye
March 31. 10:15am. The Mediterranean weather is very cool. 57 degrees at 7:00am and a high predicted to be in the mid 60s. Jacket weather. We were awakened at 6:36 this morning by thunder and lightning. Heavy rain and some hail. Tomorrow we port at Rhodes, Greece. Then five ports in a row. No sea days until April 8th. Busy, busy. That also means no pickle ball or ukulele until then, as well.
After posting my email address two days ago, we were inundated with replies. Who knew this many people were on our trip with us so I will send a huge shout-out to our pickle ball friends in NorthPort and Moultonborough; our relatives all over the US and Nicaragua; my high school friends in Laconia; our immediate families; and our other friends in Florida, NH, other states and Canada. We really LOVED hearing from you, even the wise… comments some of you made concerning me!! You know who you are!!! I’ll get you BACK!! Keep writing, though, I can take it!
We know some of you do research on the places we visit, before we get there, so I try to list these ports of call coming up. So here they are: Rhodes Greece, Chania, Greece (Crete), Zakinthos, Greece; Bari, Italy; Hvar, Croatia; and Venice, Italy. We travel at night and spend one day at each place. We stay two nights in Venice. No sea days until we leave Venice, only sea nights. Signed, Captain Amerigo VespucciIMG_1128.JPGIMG_1193.JPG