The Great Southern Route : 2010 - 2011
GSR | 037 some 60 years ago. Lucky for us the ship fitted ones passed the rigorous scrutiny of the electrician. In the end I was pleasantly surprised that all these guys actually did just want to do their job, although in a convoluted manner. With that I decided then and there that after all these visits, that rather than heading off down the canal blind and unescorted, I would take an agent from Nagib's office with us to Port Suez to liaise for the entire transit. us the short distance into the canal to a berth at the Port Fouad Yacht Club; a short and undemanding passage from the entrance to the berth. We had to arrive the morning before the transit at 0200 the following morning so that the yacht could be scrutinised by the many different bureaucrats sent over by the Suez Canal Authority. This even included the remeasuring of the vessel even though we had the stamped approved Suez Canal Certificate and associated drawings. It was quite obvious from the first inspection that this was an opportunity for another bureaucrat to get onboard. Then it was the Egyptian electrician's turn to check that the search lights fitted to the yacht were sufficient in capacity, which if they were not, would require us to carry searchlights that looked something like the ones that made an English bomber crew uncomfortable STORIES OF THE myriad Egyptian personnel one must carry whilst in the canal; the mooring men, the electricians to control the Suez lamps, the boat that brings the hoards to and from the yacht and finally the pilots themselves, set up some reservations that once we arrived at the canal, actually turned out to be much less of a concern. In addition to the fees charged by the Suez Canal Authority, I was told that at least 20 cartons of Marlboro Red cigarettes were required along with a cash tip 'baksheesh' for the pilot for his goodwill and simply his presence; the usual manner of having and displaying an envelope full of greenbacks was the usual expectation. However this was not our way of doing things so to take care of that function was our agent and the Suez agent of choice, Nagib Latif from Felix Maritime. We arrived off Port Said in the morning and took on our first Suez pilot who was to take Suez Canal, Red Sea and Djibouti By: Captain Mike Ebsworth -- M/Y Ilona It was to be another first time event and as usual the planning was made with a fair amount of trepidation. Having previously been to many other parts of the world on separate voyages, this was to be my first transit of the Suez Canal.
2008 - 2009
2013 - 2014