The Suez Canal is one of those things it’s nice to be able to say you did it, however it’s not that picturesque. Where the Panama Canal is a series of lakes and locks to raise and lower ships, the Suez Canal is about 100 miles of narrow river like transit. They started a new canal in the middle with north and south bound channels, but each end goes down to a single lane for several miles. The result is the ships have to go through in a caravan and be timed for traffic going north or south. In our case, we were the lead ship in a 45 ship caravan that stretched for several miles. Our ship is tiny compared to some of the super tankers and container ships and we didn’t have that much room on either side going through some of the narrow areas. It’s not hard to imagine how the ship that got stuck in the canal could do so with just a minor error in navigation.
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That’s like trying to park your car in your mailbox.