Interesting facts about the Suez Canal, one of attractions in Egypt, which I managed to gather while sailing through it with the cruise ship Dawn Princes. It is one of the busiest sea canals in the world, perhaps after the Panama Canal. I will skip the story of digging intentionally, because you can read about it on the Internet. The entire Suez Canal is about 200 km long, wide and deep enough to accommodate large-capacity ships. It starts in Port Said and ends in Suez.
Interestingly, there are no gateways on the Suez Canal, because the difference between the two ends is about a meter and a half, which is compensated by the great length. In practice, the levels are the same and no leveling is required, as in the Panama Canal, for example. There is a fairway, which means that only through the exact route for sailing can pass (one-way traffic). This means that the ships themselves must be led by a convoy.
Almost at the same time, 3 convoys leave Port Said and Suez every day. Two from the south and one from the north. They meet at the Great Bitter Lake and pass each other, as the ships of the Egyptian convoy themselves exchange and each takes the other ships on the way back.
In the northern part of the canal there are two fairways where the second convoy from the south intersects with the one from the north. It sounds quite complicated, but in practice it is quite functional. Let's not forget that in some places the canal is narrow and there may be accidents like the one from 2021 when a large container ship got stuck and clogged the Suez Canal for several weeks.
Maintaining the bottom is a complex task, and Egypt is not doing a good job, but only wants to charge millions of dollars a year in fees from passing ships. Another fact is the speed of ships. It is determined by the convoy and is up to 8 knots per hour. In this way there are almost no waves and the shores are protected from erosion. Large cruise ships like ours stop for a day in the city of Port Said so that tourists can explore the city and buy souvenirs.
It is also an interesting fact that there is no fresh drinking water around the Suez Canal, which is a big problem for the population around it. Egypt is running fresh water pipes from the Nile to have for the military on both sides of the canal. There are many military posts, which is quite inexplicable to me, what they actually do, what they guard so much. Perhaps because of the appetites of neighboring countries to annex this transport link. This happened, for example, during the Suez Crisis in the last century. I took a picture of the longest revolving bridge in the world, El Ferdan, which is always open for traffic, unless there is a train to cross it. Mubarak Bridge, about 4 km long and 70 meters high over the Suez Canal. Regarding the ecology, we can say that after the construction there is a transition of marine and plant species from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
The salinity of the Great Bitter Lake is equal to that of the Red Sea due to sea currents. Finally, in my story, I want to write to you that I saw the Suez Canal from a plane when I traveled to Hurghada and the Egypt pyramids.