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country, was an eye-opener. Arriving off port said and I were fortunately part of the first group as it
early in the morning is a wake-up call that the rules ended up that we six boats were the only ones to
have changed. sensory overload threatens as ships make it through. It’s a bit difficult to know the full
from all over the world angle to line up to transit the reason but the government decided not to allow all of
suez Canal, pilot boats come alongside demanding us through. of course there was endless speculation
“presents” and there are seemingly constant calls from but the fact that there was a large number of Israelis
the minarets. As Mike noted, there are so many navies in egypt made the officials very uneasy. the Med red
here, so why worry! the plan was to stay a couple of organisers worked the phones endlessly talking with
nights in port said, and then have the rally split into its officials in both countries but to no avail. Admittedly
various options. twenty-one boats planned on going they did try to call our convoy to go back but as a
through the canal, some boats planned on heading to group we decided to keep heading to the red sea.
Alexandria and some were planning on sailing back the suez Canal is transited in convoy and you must
to tel Aviv. (For the latter boats, this overnight sail is a take on a pilot. sailing is not allowed and you have
way to gain offshore experience, as we had a sailing to keep up, so a strong engine is a must as the pilots
school boat with students onboard doing this trip.) constantly urge you to go faster. the passage takes all
similar to the first night of the rally in Israel, there day as you go past endless sand dunes with numerous
was a dinner party to start the egyptian portion of the military outposts – it’s boring and exciting at the same
b e l o w , f r o m l e f t
Tel Aviv Marina;
trip. Armed guards escorted our bus to the sonesta time. seeing dolphins in the canal we all ran to the
Tel Aviv waterfront
hotel where we had dinner and listened to the bow to watch them, leaving our pilot alone at the
during anniversary welcoming speeches by egyptian and Israeli officials. helm much to his amusement and bewilderment.
celebrations; Dancing
the next day was for sightseeing with some going to Arriving at the southern end of the canal in suez
at the Port Said
the pyramids of Giza while I chose to go to Memphis, City, I woke the following morning to find a battleship
welcome party:
saqqara and Cairo. everywhere you go in egypt you going past my porthole. A couple more followed
lower left, centre
two are lauren and
go with armed guards and there are guards stationed perhaps helping to explain why the other boats did
Kim Petersen of
at all crossings. From the constant prayer calls floating not make it through. president Bush was arriving
Chrysalis, centre down from the minarets to the numerous donkeys in sharm el sheik, which probably also helped to
right is Ruth
along the highway and then on to exploring pyramids, increase the security zone. We wandered the streets
Schilling, one of the
egypt is a truly magical place. of suez City, buying fresh provisions and arranging
Med Red organisers;
for diesel (2,000 litres, brought out in a small boat in
police boats in Port
Said, Egypt; convoy
70 jerry cans – it took a while) while awaiting word
through the Suez
the 21 boats were to transit the canal in three groups from the rally organisers. After a meeting held aboard
Canal. each separated by a couple of hours. the petersens Chrysalis with our group of six boats we agreed to
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