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An article for Yachting World magazine in 250 words.


THE SUEZ Nigel Morley and Julie Smart

            Most yachts passing through the Suez Canal do so northbound in the spring,  completing the arduous journey to windward up the Red Sea and looking forward to the comforts of the Mediterranean.  Southbound yachts have a relatively easier ride ahead, particularly in the early autumn when northerly winds should prevail all the way to Bab el-Mandeb.  This is some consolation for having to pay roughly one third more to transit the Canal from Port Said to Suez than for the northbound journey (around $280 for a southbound yacht with two crew in 1996).  The passage itself is a tedious if relatively painless experience, the key factor being the personalities of the Canal pilots who accompany you on each leg of the two-day journey.  Stories of their importuning for baksheesh (and unwelcome attentions to female crew) are legion, but some pilots do respond surprisingly well  to courteous treatment:  after all, it canít be much fun to be assigned to a small slow yacht rather than to the air-conditioned bridge of a supertanker!

            The halfway stop at Ismailia now offers the option of berthing at the Yacht Club there (until recently  it was virtually impossible to go ashore at Ismailia at all).  The club charges $7 a day for mooring, has showers, toilets and a restaurant, supplies water and electricity, and is located directly opposite the usual anchorage at the end of the channel.  Another welcome development is the abolition in August 1996 of the rule requiring foreign visitors to Egypt to register with the police within 7 days of arrival. 

280 words



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