A Meeting on the Waters
Sometimes things that happen spontaneously can turn out to be great and memorable events!
This happened on a crisp, sunny winter’s morning to Chelsea Palmer, a Coleman Marine Insurance Account Handler who joined the team in August 2018.
A meeting had been arranged with one of Coleman Marine’s key commercial craft clients, Phil Higgins, who had initially invited Tony Pauffley (Head of Yacht) and Dee Barron (Account Handler) to a meeting on board his vessel on Poole Quay to discuss the forthcoming AGM of the Professional Boatman’s Association (PBA). This is the beauty of having an office so close to many of our clients!
Phil is an official of the PBA which is a UK wide, 120+ member organisation representing commercial vessel operators and promoting safety at sea. Coleman Marine has enjoyed a solid relationship with the PBA for many years and is again sponsoring their AGM which will take place at the RNLI HQ in Poole in February.
As with many meetings, something cropped up which meant that Tony couldn’t make it….but rather than postpone the meeting, it was felt that Chelsea would really benefit from meeting Phil and from getting a feel for how a commercial craft owner operates, so it was agreed that Dee and Chelsea would attend.
As always, Phil was extremely welcoming and enthusiastic and after covering matters of business, Phil proudly showed them around his boat, ‘Mistress Linda’- a Bullett 38 designed for a whole range of charter work including angling and sightseeing . It became very clear that ‘seeing the real thing’ as opposed to looking at an insurance schedule was of real benefit to Chelsea and, in Phil’s words, ‘far better than reading a book’!
When Chelsea mentioned that Tony had recently talked to the team about Poole Harbour and its myriad of channels and buoys, Phil suggested that they ‘go for a spin’ around the harbour to again, ‘bring everything to life’….so within minutes, they were motoring away from Poole Quay and into the largest natural harbour in Europe. With Chelsea and Phil at the controls, they went as far as Sandbanks and skirted Brownsea Island (where the red squirrels live!). Throughout the trip, Phil explained in detail the ‘rules of the water’, nautical definitions and the significance of every buoy and marker we approached. As they returned to the pontoon, Chelsea said that it was one of the best training sessions she’d ever had and that the knowledge she’d gained would increase her confidence when dealing with new commercial enquiries.
Phil has kindly extended this ‘on the job’ training to all of us at Coleman Marine Insurance….so another ‘meeting on the waters’ may take place sometime soon!