I am very pleased to report that the Four Sisters has been launched, new microphone and speakers have been purchased, the tatty flags from last year have been replaced (well one of them, the other is work in progress), and the log book has been filled in with the times of the trips, ready for action! At this point I do feel a mention and explanation of the flags might be useful. For many years, while doing the quayside job of managing people and pointing them towards the correct jetty, the first trip of the day was often tricky to direct. When we are using the start of the tide the boats will always leave from the furthest point, nearest the first bridge. From where my base is, this could well be obscured from view by tall vehicles, be it mini buses or coaches, so the directions often became muddled and laboured. One of us suddenly had a light bulb moment……lets put up a flag pole and flag, and save all that bother! It was a revelation, and proof that there is always room for improvement and change!
So, on a seal counting note, we are pleased to say numbers are increasing slowly. We started this March with not many at all, (after the spectacle of grey seals and their pups at Christmas/New Year the seals soon disappear to go and feed) and we always try to inform our customers if numbers are a bit low, and seals could be scarce. However, the joy of getting on a boat and experiencing the freshest of air is often the main aim, and our customers seem very happy to go for the ride anyway, obviously tolerant of the wild animals doing their own thing! The added bonus of course is the double act they get from Jim and Derek – which brings me to our staff!!
Jim, as mentioned before, is our Red Leader; Captain of the Ship; Head of the Tribe; Master of the workforce…….but in true partner style, there are many equal opportunities in this business, and all elements of the business are balanced between the both of us. In amongst my diplomatic rambling, it has to be said there are many jobs in this trade that have my name on them, and there are many that are truly for Jim only. So, under the Temple Seal Trip banner, the two of us are greatly supported by the most exceptional team. We are truly blessed to have Derek with us. He is our inspiration on a daily basis. I can honestly say that he has lifted our outlook since day one, and continues to do so in every element of the business. He is efficient, friendly, enthusiastic, happy and reliable. Need I say more. He manages to remember all the customers, which can be from one year to the next, and he passes on his great humour to everyone. He is infectious. Once the boats get busier we have Andy who is relatively new to the job. What a blessing he is! He has managed to very quickly be integral to the team – and although he has visited the area for many years, he has finally made the move and is living here in Morston full time. Andy mostly skippers Morston Ferry, although was training in the Four Sisters towards the end of last summer. This is my aim. Having the staff to allow Jim the ability to have a day off (well, preferably quite a few, but happy to start with the odd one here and there!). The worry of leaving the boats to be run in his absence is immense for Jim, but, gradually, with the right people at the helm, I can see my vision becoming a reality. Apart from the actual trips we have a massive cog running throughout the day, seven days a week. This is the office and telephone. Huge task. Our lives, and the lives of many friends and family who spend time in our house, is a never ending reaction to a bell, a constant response to the telephone. We are absolute slaves. So, with this in mind, anyone who is taking the enquiries to the office (removing the diverted phone from the house) is an absolute saint in our eyes. Lucinda is our number 1 saint. She is number 1 to Jim because she is able (and patient enough) to help him with his iPad. She is number 1 to me because she goes above and beyond what I would expect from an employee. She not only sees a job, she has thought of it, sorted it, informed everyone and completed it long before we have finished our first cup of tea of the day!! She happily moves from ticket office, b&b, quayside, boat, home, back to ticket office. We often tell her she is more of a Temple than we are!! Part time staff include Adam – oh my, how we wish we could secure him full time!! Brilliant with everyone – brilliant at his job. Adam works on the boats, and to be fair, if anything gets wrapped round the prop and needs a prompt member of staff to jump into the water to cut it off, he’s your man. We had a moment last year at the quay when one of the boats got fouled up on a mooring. Quick as you like, Adam peeled off his top and dived in……a tense moment for a commercial concern facing a huge setback…..but for all us ladies on the quay that day, an absolute treat! Definitely look out for Adam! Lastly we have my girls, Elsie and Lily. They too are saints in our eyes. Their whole lives are conditioned by the phone, being constantly polite and helpful no matter what is occurring in the vicinity. Its manic here, and they have to cope with that everyday. They are truly amazing, and at the drop of a hat fill in wherever they are needed, never complaining, always willing. Jim and I feel truly blessed, and very grateful to everyone who helps to make Temple Seal Trips the success that it is.
Goodness, I have run on tonight!! Speak soon………