And Seoul Betimes To Donghae.
Our hopes to return to The National Museum of Aviation were dashed by a call to report to the UHL Focus - the ship to be loaded - at Donghae. We left Seoul the following afternoon in anticipation of the vessel's arrival and our going aboard.
Seoul's suburbs are vast, its tenements plugged into the landscape like components on a computer's motherboard.
Half an hour passed before the vista changed to a seemingly endless series of gorges....
... and tunnels - one of them two kilometres long. The journey across the South Korean peninsula to Donghae in Gangwon state took another three hours. Our taxi was comfortable, but I noticed the driver was showing signs of tiredness and I suggested he stopped for refreshment. Unfamiliar with Korean cultural taboos, I was nervous that he might somehow resent my observation, but better him upset than us all at the bottom of a ravine.
Arriving at the port, we were directed to a crew container on the dockside where we sat for the next three hours. It would transpire that not much notice was taken of this chap admonishing everyone to "Organise it right away."
Our ship arrived and we learnt that a. they weren't expecting us, and b. there were no spare cabins for the next five days - by which time the job would be finished. Our agent arranged for us to stay at the Hotel New Donghae for the night and that we would come back to assemble our equipment in the morning.
Breakfast was excellent with traditional Korean dishes served - a spicy vegetable soup, despite the hour, was particularly moreish. Returning to the ship, we were once again sent away until the following day.
We were lucky to eventually set up our magnetising equipment in clear skies. Shortly after the cable started to load, the heavens opened. It was the only rain forecast for the duration of the project. The business of undersea cables being a small world, some of the chaps from the Dutch company 'Wind' who managed the load-out, we'd met before on previous jobs. They're relaxed and efficient; they know their stuff - good people to work with.
And so, at the end of my shift, to bed.