Interesting. No hint of that going through the Panama Canal.Shakedowns are a way of life in Egypt. The canal pilots and their buddies are real experts. They used to want cigarettes, now it's cigarettes and money.
It's nothing personal--just part of ordinary business.
One American who went through the Suez Canal at the same time we did refused to pay baksheesh on principle. He was rammed hard by the pilot launch for his audacity.
Most of us just considered it as another cost of cruising.
However, when we finally got rid of the pilot and turned into the Med, it was with a huge sigh of relief.