June 21, 2008


Ever since this Doha conference, things have been quiet in town. We don’t have a government yet, but we do have a president, downtown is up and running, schools are entering their final week and the beaches are going full-force. We live near the beaches, and ‘t’is the season to get married’, so we’re having a free fireworks display on an almost daily basis now. Most of these displays cost well over $8,000 (according to a friend who is in the fireworks business). Imagine; $8,000 on the fireworks alone. Go figure what the rest is going to cost. We’ve been invited to weddings that had a price tag of $75,000. That’s the down payment for a house! We even have friends that got divorced before they were able to pay off their $100,000 marriage (complete with sail boat, singer and fireworks). I think my wedding cost 75,000 LBP; the price of the cleric. But I am getting side tracked here. What was I talking about?
Oh yes, it has been slow lately. Work is almost done, no stories for the news paper, and so I post some pictures of the shark my son saw yesterday while diving.Yes, we do have sharks in the Mediterranean. Even Great White sharks. But no White ones here. Along the Lebanese coast we only have small tooth sandtiger sharks, which are a rare kind, and grey nurse sharks. Both are bottom feeders, so won’t come up to the surface (in case you swim in the sea here), and both are not considered aggressive (i.e. they won't eat you).
He will pose for these kind of shots

The Dutch are playing the Russians tonight. The Russians happened to have a Dutch coach, so it's a bit of an internal affair. Maybe this will spice up things a little around here.


Kheireddine said...

How far from the coast was he? There is sunken boat facing the Bain Militaire, I heard there is a lot of sharks there.

Capt.Cousteau said...

Not far, actualy most sharks are found inland.

Anonymous said...

No sharks on the boat near Bain Militaire, too shallow. Most sharks are found at Shark Point, which is a descending plateau facing Rauche, some 750 meters off the coast, and they appear at 40 meters and below. And only in the summer months.

Anonymous said...


Don't if you're referring to the ship that sunk off the Bain Militaire is the one that I'll recall, which has quite a story.

Forgot what year it was, 69 or 70.

A cargo ship was approaching Beyrouth from the south, and according to the captain he mistook the heavily lit area of Raouche as being the port of Beyrouth, and kept steaming forward until the hull of the ship got wedged beween two big rocks about a KM from the shore of Manara.

The crew was rescued by the army only hours before a major storm hit the coastline very hard. It was the strongest storm that I remember my childhood. The storm lasted three days of relentless rain, good size hail, ferocious winds and powerfull waves.

In Hamra where I lived, the streets were turned to rivers as the storm drains couldn't keep up. Lots of hail damage to cars and windows. The waves were surging big time on the Corniche, they were going over to the road even by the high wall by the AUB beach.

Well, after the storm ended, lots of people went to the beach to collect items that washed ashore from the by then broken up ship. Shoes, cloth all kind of stuff litered the beach area.

Some media reports had suspected that the ship was grounded on purpose to collect insurance money. Who knows, could be another consipracy story that lebanese are famous for.

Though I thought that the ship was dismantled by pieces as there was a barge that anchored there for a long time. And the word was that it was being salvaged for metal by the divers.

Oh the good old days. Not a dull moment in that town and still is this way it appears.

Anyone that remember that storm, please chime in.

Anonymous said...

That's the Macedonia. A cargo ship.