Suez Canal Day 3

St Barbara's Web Diary
Peter & Sue Goldsmith
Sun 27 Apr 2008 16:29

30:35N 32:16E

16.00 27th April

Of course the captain was all keyed up for the transit, but it turned out
to be another pussycat.

True we did have a northerly wind all day but not too strong and StB behaved
faultlessly. Our pilot was an friendly smiling fellow that was keen to helm,
chatted a lot to friends and colleagues and went out on deck twice to kneel
and pray. Wish I could have taken a picture but thought it impolite to ask.

The chef and assistant conjured up a delicious salad lunch and then retired
to sleep for a while. The captain kept a wary eye on the pilot.

A variety of places to pass in the canal provide the opportunity to organise
a complex plan of north and south bound ships. Effectively it has bits of
dual carriageway and some "parking places" where ships can wait. We were
held right over to the left side of the canal in what might be described as
the cycle path. Soon after we left Suez we were overtaken by some very large
ships at very close quarters. Disconcerting at first but we did get used to
it. This happened again at the north end of the Great Bitter Lake (the
parking place).

By 6pm (Egypt moved to summer time today) we were at Ismailia and tied up
alongside the wall. We were fortunate as most boats are moored stern to. We
saw the others in and then it was off to town to find food.

A busy town celebrating Easter and of course Muslim weekend. A local
escorted us to a local restaurant where we had great Egyptian food of kofta,
hummus and salad but to our amazement (and that of the locals) there was
thunder, lightning and a downpour! The restaurant was not designed for this
and people were moving tables and chairs to dodge the rain pouring through
the gaps in canvas obviously designed to keep only the sun off.

It quickly stopped again and it was back on StB for beer that the
restaurant didn't provide.

Jim & Ged were due to leave this morning but having prepared for a 6am
departure were told at 9am that a warship was coming through and therefore
no yacht movements. Hey ho this is Egypt.

So today has been cleaning and odd jobs while looking at the weather
forecasts. We may wait one more day for lighter winds and plan to leave here
on Tuesday. We'll see. Pictures tomorrow.