This morning we started the transit of the Suez Canal. I have done the transit 5 or 6 times before, but it still amazes me.
The manpower it must have taken to dig out what is essentially a massive trench between Suez and Port Said, is gobsmacking.
Here's a quick fun fact about the canal...
A fleet of ships was once stranded in the canal for more than eight years.
During June 1967’s Six Day War between Egypt and Israel, the Suez Canal was shut down by the Egyptian government and blocked on either side by mines and scuttled ships. At the time of the closure, 15 international shipping vessels were moored at the canal’s midpoint at the Great Bitter Lake. They would remain stranded in the waterway for eight years, eventually earning the nickname the “Yellow Fleet” for the desert sands that caked their decks. Most of the crewmembers were rotated on and off the stranded vessels on 3-month assignments, but the rest passed the time by forming their own floating community and hosting sporting and social events. As the years passed, the fleet even developed its own stamps and internal system of trade. The 15 marooned ships were finally allowed to leave the canal in 1975. By then, only two of the vessels were still seaworthy enough to make the voyage under their own power.Read more