Sailing At The Dead Sea
Last week I have seen some life signs in the Dead Sea and I am not speaking about aliens. The Dead Sea to me represent relaxation, salty water, mud, and floating near the shore and this time it was completely a different experience. My friend and I went to a secret beach which belongs to the local kibbutz and sat in a kayak to explore unknown Dead Sea angels. Some of the natural phenomena we have discovered have not been researched yet! What are the life signs I mentioned above? I am speaking about a very watching more and more people trying the new attraction of Kayaks and a special boat which is only in its beginning stage but is gaining momentum at a rapid pace. When I looked back and forth, I saw couples rowing vigorously and admiring the view just like us.
What is so unique about sailing or paddling in Kayaks on the sea? How safe is it to try those activities?
The reasons that this experience is so unique are: firstly, This is not a regular sea. The lowest lake on earth water consisting of 34% percent salt which is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean water. Secondly, Another factor is the climate condition, due to its location and topography the evaporation here is very high, meaning in the summer it is super hot and the water reminds me of a chicken hot soup (without the chicken). This property makes it impossible for humans to swim in it but to float without effort. This is also why it is very easy to drown while swallowing water.
What about boats? Trough out history there were people like Christopher Costigan and Thomas Howard Molyneux who tried to cross the Dead Sea by boat but they all faced a big danger and some even lost their lives. Don’t worry, today it is possible and safe! take a big bottle of cold water and Join our journey in the Dead Sea by boat or Kayaks!
I was very excited to join the Kayaks activity in the Dead Sea. In my imagination, I thought of a relaxed and calm experience where I can slowly paddle and enjoy the gorgeous landscape. Well, to be honest only the second part was right. It was more challenging than I thought, my kayak partner and I had to keep on paddling together and move on in order to follow the other kayaks. The route was extremely gorgeous and out of the world but because my expectation and mindset were that it’s going to be like in a movie, meaning too easy and someone is paddling for me, after a few minutes of paddling I had few conclusions: I’m not in shape, this is super hard for me, I wish this route will be shorter! On the other hand, when I looked at the other people paddling we realized that we are the only ones to complain about it… my message of this long story is: If you like adventures, loves kayaks, and ready for some hard paddling this is definitely for you (and I’m so jealous!). Otherwise, take the boat and “seas” every moment!
Drive on road 90. To Mitzpe Shalem Junction. There is a secret road that will be open just for you and will take you directly to the parking. From the parking lot the local jeep will pick you up for 5 minutes’ drive to the Dead Sea private shore.
This attraction can take 1.5 hour or 3 hours according to your reservations. Taking off in the morning and afternoon (you don’t want to be here in the hot noon).
You have two options:
1] Boat ride.
Both options have the same route, you will sail to explore imaginary landscapes, including shapes of salty stalactites, sinkholes and amazing layers of soil with salt. Your boat and Kayak will make a stop near a sinkhole with cold and turquoise water, totally worth the journey!
Boat ride is up to 12 people and it is very romantic experience, especially in the sunset.
Kayaks is for the adventures type of people, If in doubt paddle on.
Main Travel Information
We will meet at Mitzpe Shalem junction. You need a special premition by a local person to open the gate. Then you will be picked up by a jeep to the starting point
Address Mitzpe Shalem Junction.
|Bus lines||From Jerusalem Central bus station, line 486 From Maale Adumim, Line 26 Rate: 38 Nis per direction.|
|Car||If you are coming from Jerusalem: drive on Route No. 1 to the west until you reach to rout 90. Then turn left to the south until arriving the Mitzpe Shalem Junction.|
|Taxi||You can take a taxi from Jerusalem (about 150 Nis per direction, not cheap)|
This attraction is not suitable yet to wheelchairs. However, it is possible to people without a wheelchair but with walking disabilities to enjoy the Dead Sea boat sailing.
For more info, check my post about accessible beaches
Apparently, the lowest point on earth is quite warm! Take with you a swimsuit and a towel, a sun cream, sunglasses, wide hat and enough water (minimum 1.5 Litter per person is a must). We also recommend to wear long and thin clothing over the swimsuit, which suitable to the sea and will cover your body.
Sailing In The Dead Sea Today | My Experience
If I need to choose a sentence to describe this experience I would have chosen “Entering a piece of heaven”. I truly believe this view is something you could not see anywhere else. The combination of the turquoise /sky color water with the surrounding red mountains and salt, white soil fail to reveal its real magic experience trough a camera lens.
This is a very new adventure that pulls in some old stories of people trying to cross the Dead Sea and mostly did not made it. Now it is possible to get ride of a boat ride in a special rubber boat on the Dead Sea and even a kayak, this experience considered as a singular adventure that only few people are cognizant of.
Sailing in Boat: level of difficulty : Easy- Medium.
Kayaks in Dead Sea: Level if Difficulty : Medium- Hard
Dead Sea was and still a mystery and a Sea of Stories
Dead Sea like other lakes has its own unique stories, however its too salty for any creature so don’t look for any monster here.
Although many researches set a goal of crossing the Dead Sea with a local boat, they mostly had failed and even died during their mission due to the special climatic conditions.
It’s hard for a boat to sail in the dead sea as any metal or wood can easily become a rust or eroded by the salty water. We did some research and surprisingly archeological find out that during ancient times there was a harbor in the Dead Sea:
According to archaeological finding, Going back in time to the Hasmonean period (c.140 and c.116 BCE) in Dead Sea shores, south of Einot Tzukim reserve there was an ancient fortress and a boat dock. This site which named Khitbet Mazin dated to Alexander Yanai’s period due to a discovery of 2,500 coins from that time founded near the site. Researchers believes that the site indicates that Dead Sea used as a transport artery between Judea (today West Bank area) and Moab（Today its inside Jordan）. Therefore, according to those findings, people did cross Dead Sea by boat!
Archiologic Prof. Ehud Netzer claimed that in the dead sea there was a magnificent royal building built in Alexander Yanai's time and was used for the storage of a luxury cruise ship used for royal cruising between the Dead Sea sites.
We promised interesting stories, Lets jump to the 19th century.
One of the first who came to explore dead sea by boat during this time was Christopher Costigan an Irish who had encounter many difficult in his journey. For example, he chose the hottest season in Dead Sea, during August… (hell is here). He also had difficult to bring the boat he bought at Beirut to the dead sea. In his journey he was curios about biblical stories and investigated local ruins following biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Unfortunately, due to the hot weather and lack of water he became sick and became to feel weaker until he died being only 25 years old.
Another interesting story belong to Lt Thomas Howard Molyneux during 1847 September the 3th. He also came in during the hot season but not like Costigan he was well equipped. His team was the first to record the lake maximum depth 1,350 of ft. after few days of discovering the salt stones “pillars”, he became ill and died a few days later.
Our last story belong to Lt William Lynch who served at U.S.A navy and arrived during the same year of Molynex 1847, but this time the story have better ending. He learned from Costigan and Molyneux mistakes and came ready for this hard journey. His expedition followed their footsteps and lead to the making the first modern map of Dead Sea. To the memory of his predecessors he decided to name the northern extremity point of Dead Sea “Point Costigan” and to the southern extremity point “Point Molyneux”, this point disappeared due to the receded id the water. Fortunately, he survived and even wrote books about his journey! Now, Can we change the name of “Dead Sea” to something more optimistic?
If Dead Sea is in your bucket list you must try boat or Kayaks in the Dead Sea, it is a life time experience! You will arrive to a small mystery beautiful strip of beach surrounded by special white and brown colored rocks, sail away to an adventure and come back to take a shower with the track we arranged for you. you can easily start the day with this activity or end it with an unforgettable Dead Sea sunset and a glass of wine. Dead Sea is alive!