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THERE’S nothing like a good snowfall to reveal three distinct characteristics of the British nation.  First, whilst they may seem like a shy bunch, they’re just waiting for an excuse to break down the social barriers and have a chat.  A jolly good war has the same effect!  Secondly, nothing works in Britain when it snows.  Thirdly, the second thing gives the British a subject for the first thing and whilst, as a nation, complaining feels uncomfortable, everyone is just desperate for the opportunity for a moan, especially if the subject is the result of the latest battle between the weather and the transport system.
THE transport system did not stop us getting to the HQS Wellington this week for the retirement party of our former Chairman and dear friend, Michael Grey.  Very few maritime figures can boast retirement speeches given by Lord Sterling, IMO Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos and BIMCO President Philip Embiricos.  Described as "a wonderful humanitarian," Michael managed, in his own inimitable fashion, to steal the show.  Describing his new ´retirement´ job at BIMCO, which involves him spending a lot of time working from home, Michael explained that his wife had not yet got used to having him around all day.  "She married me for better or worse but not for lunch".
WE saw Michael again the next day at the Southampton Master Mariners Club´s annual Sea Pie Supper, an incredible black tie dinner at which 600 shipping folk get together to sing sea shanties.  Sound awful?  Not a bit of it.  Don´t knock it till you´ve tried it. 
FOR those of you who read Changing Course and resist the temptation to hit the delete button, you´ll know that several months have passed since the last edition.  This is not because of the snow, nor even the chill wind of recession but simply because we have been so busy building our new website and installing new software.  Never again!  Or at least, not for while.  If you haven´t seen the new, please take a look and if you are reading this as a potential jobseeker and have not yet registered on it, please do so.  It only takes a minute.  You can then rest assured that we will call you if we´re handling suitable jobs or you can opt to have job alerts sent to your inbox.
IT´S still just about a New Year.  Looking back on 2008 we would like, as ever, to thank our fantastic clients around the world for using Spinnaker.  Last year was our best year ever.  Turnover and profit were up and, even in 2009, things seem to be holding up (read on for more on this). 
SPINNAKER has now been recruiting for the shipping industry for 12 years.  We´ve recruited Chief Executives in Dubai, Lawyers in Singapore, Engineers in Houston, CFOs in London, Charterers in Shanghai…. in short everything from graduates right up to the top.  We´re proud of the repeat business we get and we enjoy seeing people we´ve placed succeeding in their jobs and running huge organisations.  It is our aim to be the best in our business by delivering ethical, outstanding customer service and by ensuring that our consultants are true shipping experts.  We do this by working in specialist teams – Technical, Commercial and Professional Services.
IF we´re doing it right, we´d love to hear from you.  If we´re doing it wrong, please tell us so we do it right next time!

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