Monday, October 25, 2010

The Red Sea

Oct 23 - After tramping around ruins for a week, we are now ready for some relaxation.  We started our morning with snorkling at the Royal Diving Club.  If you ever get the chance to snorkle in the Red Sea, take it.  It is wonderful.  The water is about twice as salty as the ocean.  The water is a deep sapphire blue, that becomes more teal as you get into the shallows and is turquoise close to shore.  The surface of the waves looks like chipped obsidian. In the afternoon we had a lecture by the Jordanian Commissioner for the Environment on the marine biology of the Red Sea.  Then we had a sunset cruise.  The boat was like something out of Jason and the Argonauts.   Wooden, with a high prow (carved like a dragon head) and stern.  It had a square sail, and a rectangular awning over the main section that provided some shade for the main seating area.  There was more seating in the stern and I claimed it for Bruce and I, we reclined like Ceasar and Cleopatra.  We motored around for a little while, and then they unfurled the sail.  This was not done as efficiently as I would have liked.  After the sun had set they turned us cross-wise to the wind and furled the sail.  By this time the wind had picked up quite a bit, so this was a rather exciting (and somewhat dangerous) endeavor.  The boat pitched about a good deal during the operation.  Finally the sail was furled and we motored back to port.

Here is a picture of the Royal Palace in Aqaba.
And the flag of the Arab Revolt, flying over the old fort.
This beautiful glass sculpture/light fixture by Dave Chihuly hung in the lobby of our hotel.

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