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Old 20-08-2010, 15:38   #1
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Suez Canal - WOW Story

I just opened the lastest edition of Cruising World. There is a story from Cpt'n Fatty Goodlander about having to make a trip though the canal due to a firend's heart attack.

All can say is WOW to the heartless dishonest SOBs in the world!!!!! A story like this makes it sound attrative to sail around the long way.

On the other hand I remember MarkJ posting a story of how easy it was to go though the canal.
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Old 20-08-2010, 16:13   #2
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Do you have a link to the story?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 20-08-2010, 16:30   #3
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Old 20-08-2010, 16:47   #4
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That's not it! It's in the Sept issue of Cruising World.
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Old 20-08-2010, 17:22   #5
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What a story. Makes your blood boil just reading it. Amazing how rampant corruption can be. There is nothing worse than being completely powerless in the face of evil. How can you retaliate? What are you supposed to do? Sounds like it would have been really tough to have enough restraint to avoid throwing the guys in the water or punching them. Yet, I'm pretty sure that would only end you up in jail... no win.

I look forward to the referenced full feature article.

Guess the Suez isn't at the top of the list of places to go.
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Old 20-08-2010, 17:41   #6
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I have no doubt at all that they were hoping the guy would die of his heart attack so they could seize the boat and strip it.
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Old 20-08-2010, 19:29   #7
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Having been in the Navy for 19 years...there is pretty much of nobody in that neck of the woods i like...If I ever go 'round, I'll go the long way...I've played tag with the Somalis some too...
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Old 20-08-2010, 20:44   #8
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Our Suez canal transit went smoothly, and we had no problem at all with our agent handling affairs for us. The price seemed reasonable, and we paid a twenty dollar tip and a carton of cheap cigarettes to the pilot who transited with us. He didn't like the size of the tip, but he got off the boat because if he did not, he would have visited Israel with us. (our next stop)

I didn't feel that the Suez Canal Transit was a big deal. I lived for sixteen years in Arabia, and I speak some Arabic. The Egyptians were not a problem.

My experience in this section of the world is that the agents can sense which victims are susceptible to their attempts at "extortion". They didn't sense that we were intimidated by their antics, and they quickly gave up and went on to others who might be more impressed with their actions.
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Old 20-08-2010, 21:03   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Having been thru the Suez Canal commercially aboard a large tanker, I can only tell you that Fatty's observations are spot on. Our captain was particularly vehement in his refusal to 'pay' 100's of cartons of cigarettes. After 2-3 days at anchor, he capitulated. (The ship was on charter at over $50k / day!)

The pilot's first words upon reaching the bridge of the ship were "Captain! Don't you know this is the Marlboro Canal?"

I would NEVER willingly go to or through an Arab/East African country. I even have reservations about Indonesia. Should I make a Pacific crossing, my plan is to turn around at Australia. Some folks can pass through without issues, but I'm taking no chances and I've been there and seen it enough to know the truth.
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Old 31-08-2010, 22:41   #10
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He mentions paying $340. to the agent up front but there's no final tally. Quite frankly, if that's the sum total, who cares? I wonder how much Goodlander actually paid out in the end?

This article seems designed to be more provocative than informative.
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Old 31-08-2010, 23:15   #11
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Even in countries where "baksheesh" is prevalent, I'm sure that individual pilots vary quite a bit in their "business approach" and morality. It might be wise to be prepared for the worst -- but to also be prepared for the best. Who knows, you might run into some a couple of people in that area who are very pious and who look down on the whole business of corruption.
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Old 01-09-2010, 00:11   #12
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See our transit blub written by Nic. Its long but insightful

http://ourlifeatsea.com/sct.html

They are a bunch of heathens that should never be paid off as that just eggs the dogs on. No, not dongs. They are lower than dogs.

utter scum.



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Old 01-09-2010, 04:45   #13
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See our transit blub written by Nic. Its long but insightful

http://ourlifeatsea.com/sct.html

They are a bunch of heathens that should never be paid off as that just eggs the dogs on. No, not dongs. They are lower than dogs.

utter scum.



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Nice story Mark. Kind of matched your earlier posting of the transit. I do get the feeling that once the word got out that you weren't doing the payouts that there was aggession aimed at you so by the launch drivers.

What is the "magic word" in the story?
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:14   #14
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Given how good natured and magnanamous Gary Goodlander is as a result of his travels in the 3rd world, I was really surprised by the tone and candor of his aricle in CW, and frankly, even more so that CW published it (given the propensity of publishers to be so PC).

If nothing else, Gary's umbrage at the events illustrate the extent to which westerner's fail to appreciate the extent to which a shadow of Spenser's social darwinism--where exploiting other's weakness and misfortune is an accepted practice--abides as a matter of course in the middle east. Western morality is largely based on the concept of doing nothing to another one would not have done to one's self. While not perfectly practiced, the ethic predisposes westerners to afford kindness to those suffering misfortune or injury, even their enemys. That is largely not so in the middle east and particularly not when the sufferer is an "outlander" and exploiting his/her misfortune is not likely to result in any future direct retribution. That, of course, does not apply to "invited guests" who are affored all of the privledges/protections of the community/tribe/clan, but uninvited interlopers travel at their own peril and no particular shame accrues to their exploiters (hence legal "authorities" are commonly little or entirely unmotived to apprehend perpetrators). Westerners commonly find all of the foregoing incomprehensible while there, they find western incomprehension, incomprehensible.

That Mark and Nic, "Fatty" and Caroline, and many others have made the Red Sea/Canal sojoun unmolested is more a case of good fortune--and absence of weakness-than anything else.

Lastly, on the matter of "baksheesh", westerners look upon this as a "bribe". In the middle east the ability to recieve baksheesh--or pishkesh in the case of potential long-term dealings--is considered a part of the consideration one receives for holding an office (hence the practice of paying for an appointment to a potentially lucrative office). While there may be a "salary" or wages for holding a position, if any at all, these are commonly nominal. One is expeced to obtain one's compensation from those that recieve the services of one's office and the more dear the service--e.g. pilotage through the Canal--the more the compensation expected. To some extent the same is praticed in the West, particularly in restaurants where, if one wants good service or assurance of a table, one needs to be willing to afford a waiter or headwaiter a good "tip".
While vexing, Gary's experience was simply a matter of course in the locale.

The foregoing are offered merely as observations and not as an indictment nor invocation of discord. In the course of travel, one's expectations need be tailored to the exigencies of ones venue, or one shall always be disappointed, no?


FWIW...
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Old 12-09-2010, 20:45   #15
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most hated moments;just setled in.started dinner;angker dug in nice and deep;first cold(yes cold)beer,lovely days sail ,no other boats in the bay,pick up that good book:tap tap tap whats that.going on deck,hallo can i heip you[20 dollers to drop your pick here sir]P>O
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