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Published: December 21st 2008
Pete & Susan
Starting Out !
6.15 am UAE time Sunday morning aboard Rickmer Seoul alongside the wharf at Fujairah following a wonderful night’s sleep on the ship and a whirlwind 36 hours earlier to get here, largely without mishap: but there is always something, isn’t there?
The flights from Singapore saw us upgraded from there to Bangkok courtesy of Cathay, very nice, thank you Cathay, and an 8 hour wait in Bangkok before the leg to Amman. No sign of unrest or blockade in Bangkok these days, the airport was bustling like a large town, but given the distance it now is from central Bangkok, and the inability to ‘freshen up’ between legs we erred on the side of ‘sensible’ (assisted no doubt by ‘tired’) and remained in transit. Connections were seamless and we landed in Dubai as scheduled at 1pm Saturday. Unfortunately one of our suitcases did not!
Much boring drama and recruiting of friends and helpful agents to rectify this worrying development as we taxied our way across UAE to ensure we could catch our vessel before she sailed that afternoon. She didn’t, but is due to do so this morning. It seems our bag was located overnight but some additional crossing of wires
At the Wharf
Guess which one is our's!!
has seen it winging its way back to Singapore, where we hope and trust we will be reunited with it in about 8 days time. The random selection of packing everything we felt we would need into 2 large suitcases has thrown up some oddities. PP has only the boots he is wearing, hardly ship-board suitable, and I have a distinct lack of knickers (more than adequate supply of bras, however). We have all our winter woolies with us (most useful for our equatorial travel sector) but not my personally tied dyed shorts. Some immediate issues were easily resolved via the selection of ‘duty free’ shops on the wharf (they sell almost everything including a fine range of wines from almost everywhere at almost unbelievably low prices - needless to say a considerable boost to morale). We are certainly going to ‘manage’ this coming leg notwithstanding some lack of commodities and as PP was heard to venture: it will be good when we get our bag in Singapore so as to be as equipped as we initially intended to be, from Singapore!
And so to the heart of the matter: what is it really like on board a freighter? My first impression, even before we reached the gang plank was the all pervasive but subtle smell. That mixture of oil, salt water, crane-grease and whatever else, that marks, for me at least, being proximate to working ships and harbours. That smell lodged in my olfactory memory before I was two years old, during our first passage from Denmark to Australia and has been attractive to me ever since, signifying as it does adventure, travel, new experiences but also safety and solidity. So I was smiling as I tripped (literally) up the gang plank and we proceeded to our cabin. It is as we expected, if not better. Very roomy and light and equipped with magnificent storage, which will ensure it will be a most convivial living space for the next 4 or so months.
Cursory introductions to the Captain, Chief Engineer and Super Cargo were truncated by the need to discuss locating our bag, but later we were engaged by our steward, Daf and shown about the ship.
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