All six of us are just arriving in the Estela Shipping office. It’s been a long night. A bosun on board a 50-meter yacht which is here doing a three-month yard period fell ill overnight. We are on call 24 hours a day, so Jack, one of our team members, ran over to their crew apartment with a doctor at about 2.00 am to get him meds and is going to follow up in a few hours to see how is doing. In addition to small emergencies like this one, we help with scheduling doctor’s appointments, blood tests, and exams and go with them to assist with translating or anything else they may need.
After a few coffees, the team is starting to get busy. Phillipp is running out to evaluate a few new apartments for crew. We have three yachts arriving next week for a short prep period before the season. We have developed great contacts over the years and are able to secure fantastic accommodations, even short term. The housing market has become extremely tight in the last few years, but we are able to negotiate great prices that include utilities and Wi-Fi in central locations.
I am working on getting a few visas sorted this morning for two yachts, a 40m Heesen and a 65m Benetti who have just arrived. Running off to the authorities with all the documentation to get them stamped in and also going to manage the process again, for the new crew arriving, the day after tomorrow. With lots of crew changes and new legislations practically every month, we put a priority on making sure our crew are “ship shape”, excuse the pun!
Two of our staff are on the way out with two transfer vans to take 16 crew out for a team building day. They are just in the final week of their refit period and the captain asked us to organize a fun day out for the crew. First, they will stop at the incredible Vins Miquel Gelabert winery for lunch, where they will also learn how to make two local dishes from a professional chef, and then we are going take them around the island. We’ve done adventure days with zip lining, trampolines, go-karting and to the mountains. There are tons of cool activities we can organize for crew and we are constantly giving suggestions to them for activities on their days off.
All of us are on the phone at the moment working on sourcing some expert technicians to send to three yachts in two different shipyards nearby. We’re lining up an upholsterer and marble finisher to send onboard a 32m sailing yacht that has some urgent repairs needed in the dining room. For the others, we are setting up appointments with an electrician, a metalworker and a sander for on deck work. We have a cabinet maker arriving onboard a 50m CRN right now as well. Luckily, we have great relationships with the best technicians on the island and work alongside the captain to make sure they have access to the best resources on Palma. They know they can completely trust whomever we send on board, so we get a lot of these types of requests.
One of the crew just realised they have lost their wallet. I am sending Antonio down to the yacht to help them file a report with the local police. Poor guy was most upset about losing his Estela Shipping Crew Discount Card on his day off, but luckily, we can replace that quickly! This card gives crew discounts to 150 different venues on the island… Everything from dentist visits to lunch at the local pub.
Francesco is on the way to speak to a Captain about the timing of tomorrow’s WSC Training. It stands for “When Seconds Count” and is a program that was developed in-house by us to provide hands-on, onboard safety training practice. When the crew are in the shipyard this is a great time to simulate emergencies and run drills, which is a very different experience from safety training done in a classroom. These training sessions are both on board, and in water, and is particularly popular with sailing boat captains who find that the simulations are essential to knowing your way around the vessel in emergency situations.
I am just reviewing our handbook, that is distributed to all captains and gives up-to-date information on all the regulations for immigration and arrival. We are continually updating this to include everything imaginable to support the captains and crew. We are still happy to get a call for info, but find the handbook is a good resource for them to have onboard.
Last minute call for provisions for the morning departure of a 75m motor yacht on the way to Sicily. We are all the on the phone making sure the fish, meats and fresh fruit and veg are ready for delivery at 9.00am. They have also asked for a particular type of soy milk, which like some products can be a challenge to find, particularly on an island, but I’m confident we’ll get it tonight. They also asked for a few flower arrangements and I am going to run out now to select those with our local florist and hopefully get a chance to grab a quick glass of wine before dinner. Luckily our office is just a stone’s throw from Palma and we are only about a 2-minute drive from every marina.
Hard to believe the summer season hasn’t even started yet when we start really working!
A day in the life of Estela Shipping in Palma as told to us by Kristy Hollingsworth.