Looking for some generic information about the Suez Canal for a story (The Great Death, book 4). The results will definitely affect the outcome of the story, and may even determine whether it gets written at all.
For those unfamiliar with the series, it's a post-apocalyptic story where the world's electrical system and communications have been wiped out by a global meteor storm lasting for several days. In this books, the Americans who've discovered a cure are finally venturing overseas to spread the cure to other countries. However, their passage is problematic.
Since few resources remain available, they can't really pick up a new ship, especially since the ship they recovered is especially suited for military uses (reinforced steel complete with weapons) while also extremely good in low-water conditions, so the characters really don't want to jump ship.
I need to know the likelihood of their traveling the Suez canal without any electrical power other than what they can generate themselves (or by transferring fuel from their ship).
It's been suggested that traveling downstream in a canal is easier than upsteam, as it's relatively easy to drain a canal, while it's problematic filling it up again, but I'm really unfamiliar with which direction the canal runs (I'm guessing it's both uphill and downhill).
This is probably a fool's errand, as I doubt a canal as large as the Suez would hold up to such sustained damage without collapsing (a wall breaks, or several container ships sink, making the entire passage unnavigable). However, there's a world of difference between their visiting 2nd and 3rd world cities, and their visiting 5th and 6th world cities which have been reduced to warlord status in Africa. (Yes, yes, I know, there are several developed locations in Africa, but I'm doubtful they'd manage to protect their resources as well, changing the entire tenor of the story if they attempt to sail around the Horn of Africa.)
What's more, if they go around the Horn, then there's really NO reason to even venture into the Mediterranean, which removes many obvious stopping points and reduces the travel time to India and beyond substantially.
Is anyone familiar with the functioning of the Canal, it's layout and resources? I can rely on Google Maps to provide elevation data for the entire expanse, calculating for myself whether each link is uphill or downhill, but I figured I'd fish in the SOL pool of knowledge first before casting wider nets.
Technically, bypassing a damaged canal section wouldn't be a huge problem, since there's an access road paralleling it it's entire route, but again, the unavailability of undamaged seaworthy vessels on the other side would be a more substantial hurdle.
I've been contemplating finishing this series for several years, but have only begun to physically plan their route recently, so I'd hate to have to can the entire story at this late of a stage (or drastically alter the basic plot). Any help will be greatly appreciated.