Monday, January 25, 2010

That sinking feeling

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Before we get back to reporting about Jerusalem, allow me to share just one more thing about my recent visit to Ein Gedi.
It is That's My World Tuesday and I'm wishing my world were still down in the warm Rift Valley instead of up here in presently rainy cold (2 to 5 degrees C) Jerusalem.

We always hear that there are no boats on the Dead Sea because the water is so corrosive.
Some 34% of the water is salt and minerals, i.e. eight times the saltiness of a normal sea.
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So what is this boat for, and what is the thing behind it?
Does anyone know? I searched and found no answer.
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Certain tiny algae are the only creatures that can survive.
It is only a joke that you can catch salted fish here. :-)

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. Its surface is more than 400 meters below sea level.
And this unique body of water is shrinking fast.
Kibbutz Ein Gedi built a spa right on its shore 25 years ago. Today a bather or mudpack-seeker must drive 1.5 kilometers to reach the water.

The sun was just setting and we had to catch the bus back to Jerusalem (the bus climbs 1150 meters in an hour and a half).
But first my hiking friend, visiting from Europe, really needed to go down to the lonely shore and touch the famous Salt Sea waters just one time.
Even though I warned her of this:

Bol'anim! Holes that swallow you!
Look at that warning triangle with a person falling into a pit!
A geologist who was swallowed by a sinkhole himself says there are up to 3,000 open sinkholes along the coast and likely just as many that haven't burst open yet.
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UPDATE Feb. 2015: Finally, information (and great photos) about that boat--in The Boston Globe.
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29 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Hello Dina! The temple post was fantastically informative as usual and this one... well it makes me dream. I don't have the answer of course, but the boat gave you the opportunity to tell us all this. Have a wonderful evening.

Dina said...

Ciel, that makes me so happy, to think a post here can make you dream . . .

Linda said...

Very interesting. I didn't like the oily coating on your skin that Dead Sea water leaves.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Dina: Those a neat photos of the famous Dead Sea. Maybe its not as dead as they say with that big fishing cork and heavy line trying to catch (The Dead Sea Monster). LOL Sorry I couldn't resist.

Dina said...

Linda, yeah, it is slimy, that water. And hurts if you have any little cut.

Fishing Guy, LOL! I should have known a fisherman like you would come up with a fish story!
A Loch Nes monster for the Dead Sea? Well, nes in Hebrew means "miracle," so who knows, maybe!

Leif Hagen said...

I just hate getting swallowed up by a sinkhole! It really ruins a person's day!

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

You'd get a sinking feeling if you stepped in one of those holes. I think I'd rather be a live coward than have a dead adventure.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

CathM said...

Thanks for this informative post... very interesting. Growing up in Israel, whenever we went to the dead sea I was always on the look out for Lot's wife (an old wives tale, perhaps... like finding salt fish in the dead sea :)

noel said...

very interesting post, thanks for taking us there.

Indrani said...

I read the story of the geologist.. so unbelievable... thanks for the link. My daughters are going to find this post interesting.

Jenn said...

The adventure side in me would probably go explore the dead sea. It's not everyday that you get to be there :-) Great post, thanks!

Louis la Vache said...

Now we know. Fishing Guy tipped us off. This is the true hiding place of the Loch Ness monster...

Cloudia said...

Ah, new fields of lava have the same hidden dangers, Dina


ShAloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Sh

Vaggelis said...

wonderful photos. so be careful the sinkholes

VP said...

This is a scoop! Being quite interested in strange boats, I'm trying my best to get you an answer about this.
I know that they did tours on the sea (United Tours), but the boat was completely different.
More than the oily water I remember the oppressive atmosphere: the air was so 'heavy'... A great and unique place anyway!

VP said...

Found something: Monitoring of the Dead Sea.

Dina said...

VP, oh good, thanks!
Really, there were tourist boats?
The boat does not look military, but check this out:
http://www.infolive.tv/en/infolive.tv-7464-israelnews-navy-may-patrol-dead-sea-waters

VP said...

I guess this is an old link: Boat ride on the Dead Sea. Their website now has no trace of it.

Dina said...

VP: You are right! It is this boat shown here:
http://isramar.ocean.org.il/DeadSea/DS_Database.asp
Your link says "All scientists are grateful to captain Moti Gonen and his crew on the Vessel "Tiulit" and Vessel "Eshet Lot" without whom this monitoring could not have been carried out."

Thanks Vogon Poet!

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

An interesting post about the dead sea.

Spiderdama said...

Strange with the boat, but there are scientists? They must analyze everything in the sea, I believe. Great pictures and I recognize the yellow sign:-)
Have a nice day!

Benikos place said...

Hi Dina, if you ever wish to visit samos, please let me know, I will try to support you as much as i can :))

Robin said...

A boat? What on earth? I'll ask my husband, he works with a lot of the folks down in Sdom...

JC said...

I didn't go close to the Dead Sea. I opted for the spa. It was so hot in July 08 when I was there that you just didn't want to be outside. I didn't know about the sink holes!!

Pietro said...

Very interesting to know about the Dead Sea. Beautiful shots, Dina!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

In a previous life I was a corrosion engineer. One of the things I did was cathodic protection systems to prevent off shore oil and gas production platforms from rusting away. The Dead Sea would certainly be a challenge.
I clicked on the picture of the boat and object behind it. Not that I know a thing about boats but I couldn't figure out anything as to its purpose.
Your friend was very brave, or reckless, in going down to touch th e Dead Sea. I understand wanting to though.
The Temple is fascinating. I don't know a thing about archeology but I like reading about it. It is amazing the information that can be teased out of a pile of rocks, bones, and pottery fragments.

Ann said...

When I was visiting Singapore, they were selling sea salt from the Dead sea. I don't know how it works, but it became creaming on my hand.

I didn't buy it because it was selling in big jars.

Ann said...

Linda,

Reading your comment, I think this oily coating is what is being marketed now.

Kay said...

Wow! That sounds pretty scary...the sink holes, I mean. I was really surprised at how salty that water was.