Tropical climes are our usual haunts, this voyage of Discovery is an exception. It’s the first time that I have ever packed a heavy coat, scarf and gloves for a Grand World Voyage, however they have come in handy for the past couple of weeks. This morning has been the coldest yet, at 5 a.m. it was below freezing and even now, at midday, its hovering around 0°C or 32°F. We drained our outside lines in preparation, but even so, we had some bursts in the most unexpected places. The Oasis, (a tropical paradise on warm days) could now be used as a skating rink, owing to a shower-pipe burst.
The morning was an early one too. It’s a 4-hour journey from the pilot station to the berth which lies in a non-tidal basin. Access to this is through a lock. I turned on the GoPro and let it run, (I have it on the bridge, on a mount close to the window). I notice that in bright light, one can see the specks on the window, however nowadays we can’t wash-down in port and on our way here we had a good salt-water wash-down, a force 9 gale sending spray as high as the Bridge. You’ll have to bear with the ‘spots’, however the video turned out quite well, even though I say so myself…….
We are staying here in Inchon for the night and another day. Our call after here was scheduled to be the island of Jeju, to the south, which ironically, we passed on our way here. The challenge was that we were stemmed to use the breakwater berth, a secondary berth because another cruise ship was scheduled for the cruise terminal. Well, access to the breakwater pier is, how should I politely describe it? ‘Difficult’ would suit admirably. A steep, short gangway; concrete steps to negotiate and a long walk to where the buses congregate, to name but a few. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the expected weather made the decision easier, 30-40 knots of wind were/are forecast for our day of arrival, I had to make a decision as to whether to try to stick to the schedule, taking us through quite a ‘blow’ and then getting there (and possibly not being able to berth) and then having to come all the way back again in the same gale. I was given 2 hours by the Korean authorities to decide if I would stay in Inchon; so after much soul-searching I decided we would stay here. Just as well I think, looking at the forecast, Jeju is going to expect 55 knots of wind, (that’s around 60 mph to landlubbers) 🙂
I have yet to manage to go ashore, I’ve had a busy time since arrival and the likelihood of my feet touching Korean soil is zero. We have Hazel’s husband, Arnold Donald, CEO and President of Carnival Corporation, on board (and soon we have President of HAL, Orlando Ashford boarding). Arnold will be leaving here in Inchon, however we soon start our ‘President’s week’ festivities. Karen, Hazel and Arnold visited Seoul and it is Karen who provides the post’s photos, (apart from one or two that I took during our arrival). Here are mine……
Now those of Seoul, (and Karen’s)
A visit to the Gyeongbokgung Palace