March 9th 2008 - Anniversary

March 9th 2008

Isobel and Campbell's Ruby wedding anniversary

This week started a bit slow .... at home at least. At work I had a lightweight survey to attend to on Tuesday. On a lightweight survey you try to determine the weight of the ship. This is done by reading the draught marks (see how deep the ship floats) and the go through all the ship to determine the weight of all items that are missing and all items that are in excess. On the previous vessels I have had to be very attentive, to get the procedure the way I want it (the right way, if you ask me!) but now the yard and designers are tuned into my wishes and everything went well. Now all that remains is to check that the calculations the yard submits are correct. After the survey the yard invited me to a restaurant together with the Bureau Veritas surveyor. We went to one of the local restaurants by the fish market. This was one of the dirtiest restaurants I have been to in Korea ! I had sworn never to go to any of the restaurants by the fish market, but now I had to go. The food was not bad, but this is probably the only positive thing I can say about this restaurant !

On Friday I was summoned to play in the pool tournament. I joined as a reserve, but am now called to every game. I am not too keen to play so much, as I end up spending the whole evening in a smoky bar without Paula. I don't understand why I play so much, because I haven't exactly been on a winning streak. But this Friday was different. Paula came to the bar and helped me on for my first win. Some of my colleagues were there as well, so we ended up celebrating till late !

Our neighbor Stewart gave me an excellent tour of the Offshore Yard on Saturday. Unfortunately he couldn't take me on board the FPSO Akpo, which was the main reason for the tour. But he still gave me a good introduction to the function and construction of this immense vessel. An FPSO is a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel. So a different kind of oil platform, one could say. About 300m long and 60-some meters wide. Maximum draught around 23m and with a 120 riser (a vertical tower for burning off "excess" gas). It's huge and as you can imagine, full of pipes ! After the tour I went out mountain biking with Geoff. He took me on his favorite ride, which included a massive climb. I was cramping up from the alcohol from the night before whenever I got off the bike ! But it was a great ride. The terrain here in Korea is perfect for mountain biking.

Saturday night we went to Isobel and Campbell's Ruby wedding anniversary. As always, Isobel had arranged some amazing food and the company was off course top notch. We had a great time but the day had taken it's toll on me, and I had to drag Paula home just before 1am, when the party was still going strong.

Today we have had our Korean friends for dinner here at our apartment. It was an interesting and funny experience, as we opened our eyes to some of the many differences there are between Koreans and Westerners. We had made Mexican food, but realized too late that they would have problems eating burritos, as they are not used to use knives and forks ! For them it must be a very strange experience to see how we live. We had a good time though - maybe because of the differences !