Adventures in Port Said
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports
After a full night transit of the Suez Canal, Silversea’s Silver Wind arrived in Port Said, Egypt at about the same time I arrived in La Terrazza on Deck 7 aft for my breakfast. I sat on the outer terrace and watched, for the 35 minutes it took me to eat, as the local longshoremen attempted to secure our ship’s lines.
I get the impression that Port Said doesn’t get a lot of cruise ships. I’m making that assumption based on the ramshackle appearance of the facilities at the cruise port, and the fact that the stern lines of our ship ran straight through a rather attractive flowerbed that seems to have been undisturbed for quite some time.
My thoughts were only reinforced by watching the local longshoremen, who arrived on a derelict-looking craft that was belching grey smoke and black oil, the latter of which entered the water and pooled along our lines in giant coal-like globs. Smoking a cigarette as he did so, the guy in charge of running the lines off the small boat – we’ll call him Cigarette Man – and onto shore figured that one line was enough to hold the Silver Wind. This was followed by much yelling from deep below my perch on Deck 7, as the guys on the aft mooring deck shouted at the two longshoremen that more lines were needed to secure the ship.
After some yelling back in broken English and Egyptian, and much gesturing, the longshoremen grudgingly agreed, and ran a second line over to the flowerbed bollard. Cigarette Man followed this by putting his hands in the air and wiping them together, the universal signal for, “See? Finished.” Cue m