Typhoons

Today was a long, hard day. The second of two typhoons arrives in the morning so we spent all day–twelve hours in the hot Korean sun–preparing. The first typhoon passed 48 hours ago and we could have faired better, but that said we faired alright.

We’re moored here in Busan, South Korea between two other ships and in total there are six of us moored with our sterns to the key, our headlines to a mooring ball in the small marina and the rest of our lines tied to each other. During the first typhoon we broke two lines–a headline and a spring–and nearly all of the car tires we were using as fenders along our port side broke from chaffing. So today, while we were suppose to be spending this whole week on larger maintenance projects for the ship, we prepared for this next go-around:

– Built scaffolding for the installation of our new radar. This involves bring the scaffolding from “the hold” in the lower deck off the stern to the “monkey deck” on top of the bridge.

– Set a new headline with 100m of brand new 4″ mooring line. This involved directing the crane to lower the two new mooring lines onto the heli-deck, dragging the line up to the bow, sending a heaving line to the tug boat below, then heaving in the slack in the line once it was connected to the mooring ball.

– We re-installed the gangway which had been removed for the first typhoon. Again, more with the crane and then securing the gangway and lashing the handrails.

– Brought on a pallet of provisions of fruit and vegetables for the next two weeks and stored them in the walk-in coolers on the lower deck. This is actually one of my favorite bits of work–all of the available crew form a chain from where the provisions are to where they need to go and the boxes are passed down the chain. A very efficient way to move a lot of items.

– Brought on a half of a pallet worth of painting supplies and stored the 20lbs buckets and tins all the way forward in the forecastle.

– Repositioned all of the stern lines which included hauling another mooring line from the hold and completely removing and coiling two others.

– Took on 6 tractor tires and set 3 of them along our port side as fenders. Mind you these tires are huge and heavy so this was quite the operation involving first lifting the tires by crane onto the heli-deck, then rigging each with heavy chains to secure them to the rail and finally lowering them slowly over the side by means of a line.

– Removed and lashed the gangway to the heli-deck.

– Adjusted and added chafe gear to all of the lines.

– Oh, and I cleaned all of the toilets in the morning.

So lots and lots of hauling and lifting today. We were so covered in dirt and grease by the end of it that when we took a quick break for dinner we were all exiled to the outside to eat. Rest assure I will sleep well tonight.

*Also because of poor internet connection since arriving in Busan, I haven’t been able to successfully upload pictures save for the one in this post. So whenever our internet becomes more stable, there’ll be pictures from where we are moored in Busan as well as my adventures from the weekend.

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