Around The World Voyage : Commentary : Leg 2

March 18, 2002

Time: 0900
Position: 28.52' North -- 032.49' East
Speed: 6.9
Course: 334 magnetic

We're almost to the north end of the Gulf of Suez with only about 60 miles to go. There's been no surprises at all here on the Red Sea - right out of all the books I've read. Even Bob Beebe described the strong strong southerlies at the south end, calms in the middle, and tough northerlies at the north end...and this is exactly what we've had. For the past three days we've had 20 to 30 knots on the nose and seas to about eight feet - short and steep with boat speeds dropping as low as four knots. There's nothing you can do but just tough it out.

There has been lots of shipping traffic up the Red Sea but we have maintained a position just on the outward boundary of the south bound shipping lanes. Running an electronic bearing line along that boundary has made ship avoidance easy as they all pass about a mile to our starboard side. I think all the ships are navigating on electronic bearing lines due to the consistency of their positions relative to the shipping lane boundaries.

From a security standpoint, we have not experienced any strange approaches or had any instance which concerned us.

We expect to arrive in Suez tonight at about 1800 and then we're in the hands of our agent, Felix Maritime. We hope he can arrange fuel and a canal transit as soon as possible. We're anxious to reach the Mediterranean and our destination of Athens.


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