The ship anchored at Port Said to complete the necessary documentation for the transit along the Egyptian coast. What struck me immediately was how narrow the Canal is. Leaning over the balcony, I saw one of the two tugboats that would accompany us. They would help keep our ship on the straight and narrow. A local port pilot assists the Captain throughout the journey along the Suez Canal.
The Canal is about 101 miles long and 164 – 360 feet wide. Since the connecting points are at the same sea level, there are no locks. Some ships must wait for a convoy of vessels to come down the long distance before they can use the lane. The Canal incorporates three lake basins, Lake Manzala, Lake Timsah, and Lake Amari.
Then, at some point, the Canal splits into two waterways, allowing traffic in both directions at once. It was too misty to see the ships behind us for quite a distance. Finally, the sun broke through and revealed a large cargo ship following us at a respectable distance.
It was amusing to see local fishing boats dart between the big ships and the tugboats. The railway runs parallel to the Canal on the eastern bank.
Finally, there was a huge colorful sign WELCOME TO EGYPT.
Our first Port of call in Egypt was Sokhna. I can still kick myself for missing out on the pyramid tour. I will have to come back again.