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Personal disclosure: Twenty-plus years ago I had the opportunity to take a ship on the Red Sea from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Port Suez, about 700 miles. All the daylight hours of this summer 60-hour voyage were a fantastic platform to watch other traffic and look down from the railing beside the bridge. From 50-feet up, I recall seeing the flying fish frightened by our bow wave and swarming sharks at various depths in the clear water. I would not have lasted long had I gone in. It was a simpler time, and the Egyptian passengers (99% of the passengers; there was one Sudanese family, and one American [me], which I know because customs cleared me last.) were most hospitable. Oh, for a return to these friendlier times.


In the green shirt, that’s a very young tugster. As we headed into Port Suez, the southern end of the Canal, we steamed past a cluster of ships waiting for traffic to be northbound. Then, traffic flowed six hours south, followed by six hours north, and so on.


Here is a southbound tanker, in ballast. Unlike the Panama or Erie, the Suez has no locks, so draft is the limiting factor. Suezmax designates maximum draft that can safely traverse; any vessels of greater draft would be Capesize.

Hmm… my pre-digital photos are quite grainy. I wonder where the closest port to accommodate Capesize vessels is.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.


February 2007
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