The lights of home

Managing Director - John White

Managing Director - John White

Managing Director John White sails the seven seas in search of safe harbour.

Welcome dear reader to your latest edition of Inside Marine. I am proud to bring you the first edition of 2019 in the same month as the ten-year anniversary of our company.

Much has happened in those ten years and Inside Marine has played a vital role in the growth of the company since it joined the crew in the early years. Thanks also should go to you, our faithful readers, for your continued support, advice and commitment over those years. It is you who have helped lift this magazine from its humble beginnings to the internationally recognised, burgeoning and ever popular must-read that it is today.

Anyway, enough about our celebratory year… well for now anyway… and more about this edition and what it has within the pages that follow.

I always enjoy writing about our ports and harbours editions as they are close to my heart. Being born, brought up and currently living and working in port towns, I have always had a fascination for the bustling industries that surround and serve the port and jostle for space in and around the harbour entrance.

As an ex-mariner, I also know the feelings associated with seeing land again after months at sea and the pleasure experienced when entering your home port again after your time away from friends and loved ones. There is also the thrill of adventure when leaving your home port, traversing the oceans and then pulling into a foreign port for the first time to experience the new sights, sounds and smells.

Interestingly, in my opinion, although a port is essentially a business with infrastructure like any other company, it differs hugely when one looks at the competition. Other manufacturing and service providers compete for customers, whereas, although still competitive to some extent, ports tend to communicate with each other and work together for the common good.

One of their collective goals is to provide a safe harbour for vessels and crew who have maybe had to endure an arduous passage, through rough seas, to land or collect their cargo. As a former seafarer, after a long time at sea in gale force conditions, I can tell you that there is no more welcoming sight than the warm glow of shoreside lights at night around the harbour entrance. It matters not what country it is, what language they speak, who runs it or what side of the road they drive on. “Any port in a storm,” as the saying goes.

Communication between each ‘oasis of the sea’ helps to keep the seafarer safe and each port ready to receive them. Long before the vessels pull alongside, much has already happened in the harbour amongst the many businesses that make up the community, in order to accommodate the vessel, its cargo and crew and see them safely off to sea again en-route to the next port.

Those of us reading this who do not make our living at sea these days can still appreciate the importance of communication at and between ports. After all, the same thing happens within an efficient company.

If we liken each department within a company as a port and the ship as our product, the product is only any good if all departments have been able to look after it on its voyage to our customers. The ports in our publishing company consist of editorial, design, administration, distribution, sales, accounts, marketing, human resources and even the cleaners. As our ship needs to interact with each of these ports before arriving at your harbour, if any were to fail to do their job well, it would not be this glorious looking vessel you see before you now, nor would contain such treasures as the pages that follow will offer.

My respect therefore goes out to all of you that make the weary seafarer welcome. I know from experience that it is truly appreciated – if not always acknowledged! 

John White - Managing Director