Day 3 (6) The Sea of Galilee

Riding in a boat that resembled Jesus' time was undoubtedly a sort of nostalgic experience. The lake was always live in my mind as we have read in the Bible about Jesus roaming around the lake and its shores. The one hour boat ride was eventful with hoisting of Indian and Israel flags together and singing and dancing. (The boat was managed by a family and the family members including women performed various tasks in the boat.) The three of us did not pay much attention to the happenings in the boat as we confined to three corners of the boat watching birds busy in fishing and lost in memories of bible events.
The boat ride started from the premises of Yigal Allon Museum on the grounds of Kibbutz Ginosar . Though we did not enter, later I came to know that a boat called Jesus Boat is on display at the Museum. (History : - A few miles north of Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee is the "Jesus Boat, " a recently-discovered fishing boat dating to the 1st century AD. -- In 1986, an ancient boat was pulled from the mud along the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was a unique and exciting find that gives us an idea of the sort of boat used during the time of Jesus. The boat is made of 12 different types of wood and measures 25.5 ft. (8.2 m) long, 7.5 ft. (2.3 m) wide, and 4.1 ft (1.25 m) high. It would have had a crew of five (four rowers and a helmsman) and could carry about 15 additional persons. This seems like a lot for such a humble boat, but men were smaller 2,000 years ago — about 5'5" and 140 pounds.
We ended our boat ride with a grand lunch with Peter's Fish. A large fried fish was the main item in the menu.

St. Peter's Fish

Three types of fish were primarily sought by fishermen in antiquity in these waters. Sardines likely were the "two small fish" that the boy brought to the feeding of the 5000. Sardin0es and bread were the staple product of the locals. Barbels are so known because of the barbs at the corners of their mouths. The third type is called musht but is more popularly known today as "St. Peter's Fish." This fish has a long dorsal fin which looks like a comb and can be up to 1.5 feet long and 3.3 lbs in weight.(http://www.bibleplaces.com/seagalilee.htm)

By the time we finished lunch, our bus had reached the other side of the lake to take us further.
The Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Gallilee, also Lake of Gennesaret, Lake Kinneret or Sea of Tiberias ), is Israel's largest freshwater lake, being approximately 53 km (33 miles) in circumference, about 21 km (13 miles) long, and 13 km (8 miles) wide. The lake has a total area of 166 km², and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m. At 209 meters below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake). The Kinneret is situated deep in the Jordan Great Rift Valley, the valley caused by the separation of the African and Arabian Plates and is fed partly by underground springs although its main source is the Jordan River which flows through it from north to south. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_of_Galilee)
The Sea of Galilee is located in the east side of the Galilee, in the north of Israel. It is a large sweet water lake (168 square KM), has 55KM of shore line, 21KM long X 12KM wide (at its widest section at the Arbel cliffs), and has a kind of the shape of a pear or a violin. The lake is shallow - the maximum depth is 44M.

The entire lake is located within a great depression, about 210M below the (Mediterranean) sea level. It is the lowest sweet water lake in the world. The hills around the lake are even higher: 400-500M above the lake's level. This depression is part of the Syrian-African fault line, which includes the Dead Sea.

Most of its water comes from the northern Jordan river. It also comes from springs and flow of water from the surrounding hills in the winter time.

The water comes out through the southern Jordan river that flows to the Dead sea. The water is regulated, so the southern dam is rarely open, mostly in wet winters.

The water is also pumped out and supplied to the south of Israel by the the ambitious project called "Movil Haartsi", or the national water canal. This project has a number of facilities in the Sea of Galilee - a huge water pump in the north-west side of the lake near Tabcha, and bypass canals that divert the "salty" water (hot springs) around the lake, in order to keep the lake clean. Some of the water is also supplied to the Kingdom of Jordan, as part of the peace treaty with this neighboring Country. (http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/SeaofGalilee.html)

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