Thursday, 2 August 2012
The Great Bitter Lake is a salt water lake between the north and south part of the Suez Canal. It is adjoined by the Small Bitter Lake Before the Canal was built, their site was occupied by dry salt valleys. Together, the Bitter Lakes now have a surface area of about 250 km². To the north, the canal also runs through Lake Manzala and Lake Timsah. As the canal has no locks, sea water flows freely into the lake from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. In general, north of the lakes the current reverses seasonally, being north-going in winter and south-going in summer. South of the lakes, the current is tidal, reversing with the tides in the Red Sea.
Lowry passed through the lakes in both directions on his trip to the Far East in 1927. Lowry refers to the lakes in his novel Under The Volcano; "From the time she (the Philoctetes) emerged from the Bitter Lakes till she lay in the roads at Yokohama a dead monotonous calm prevailed." (Pg. 166)