Chittak Blog - its not all work work work!

We are sailing... or drifting!

Saturday 21st of September 2013 02:49:00 PM     Business, Clients, Colleagues, Networking, Sailing, Social     Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK

No, that's not a life comment! It was 8th August, the middle of Cowes Week. A small bunch of us from Chittak (well, just Trevor and I actually) slipped the mooring with an enthusiastic group of business colleagues and clients on a chartered yacht to enjoy some camaraderie and observe a day's racing at close quarters. Good plan. The camaraderie was evident from the outset, bolstered by bacon butties and coffee at Port Hamble Marina, the arrival of a very convivial skipper called Nick, and a 37-foot Beneteau Oceanis boat that was in exceptionally good condition.

The view from the galley with Natalie Alder at the helm
Motoring the craft down the river was uneventful; tranquil even, apart from the gentle phut phut of the engine. Then a couple of minutes of relatively frenzied activity ensued, as Captain Nick declared that we should hoist the sails. The result? Nothing! It was equally uneventful and even more tranquil without the engine. And that pretty much set the scene for the entire day.

After drifting aimlessly yet enjoyably for an hour or more, the consensus was to drop the sails, restart the motor and get to Cowes. At this point, Chris Alder (from JP Morgan) was taking a turn at the helm. He bravely remained there and navigated us through the marine equivalent of the M25 at rush hour as we entered the Medina river with what must have been a couple of hundred other craft, all going at different speeds and in different directions. There are no traffic lights at sea! Chris was very quiet, I noticed, with intense concentration etched into his face - clearly a man for the job in a crisis. Those, like me, tottering around on the foredeck were secretly rather pleased not to have been stationed at the helm for this part of the passage.

Captain Nick, presumably keen to keep to some business-like agenda, asked the rhetorical question: did we want to hang around off Cowes to catch some racing, or would we rather push a mile up river to the pub...?

...Liquid lunch at the Folly Inn at Whippingham was very pleasant indeed. The sun had burnt thorough the morning haze and there was plenty of space in the pub garden perched right on the river bank. It was all over too quickly.

Captain Nick inspects lunch
An hour later we headed back downriver in anticipation of some racing, munching on crisps and sandwiches provided by the skipper. Once into the Solent, we hoisted the sails and pointed east. Then proceeded to drift slowly west as the tide proved to be stronger than the negligible wind. The news of all racing being cancelled came as no surprise.

There was nothing for it but to take decisive action. So we all sat back and relaxed as the boat pretty much did its own thing, with the occasional adjustment at the helm. That was the collective decision, and a very fine decision it was too. Lots of chatting, plenty of laughter, loads to see, and not a hint of sickly corporate team-building anywhere. Perfect!

I'm sure there are numerous motivating business metaphors and analogies we could draw from this experience: you know, things like the importance of remaining agile to adapt to a changing climate, keeping a team together in challenging conditions, that sort of stuff. But in truth, none of that was on our minds as we drifted sedately around the Solent in what the sailing fraternity call 'light airs' (i.e. no wind to speak of) for the rest of the afternoon. More pressing at one point was the size of the container ship bearing down on us; but that's another story.

Trevor taking decisive action
So we didn't get to see any racing. But we did get to spend the day with a bunch of great people. I like to think of it as floating networking. Who knows, it could catch on.

Our thanks must go to Trevor for organising the day and 'investing' a wad of his hard-earned Bartercard points to charter the boat. And an acknowledgement to Fairview Sailing for keeping their craft in such fine condition - we can recommend them.

Cheers - Steve.

Buy Dorset

Tuesday 11th of June 2013 10:41:00 AM     Minterne Magna, Dorset DT2 7AU, UK

Trevor was out of the office yesterday exhibiting at the Buy Dorset event at Minterne House near Dorchester. He demonstrated our own CRM system called Titan and also showcased what we do here at Chittak.
It was a successful event as Trevor spent the day promoting Chittak to the show visitors and to other organisations attending. Click here to view the gallery.

Sendgrid Conference

Wednesday 5th of June 2013 10:36:00 AM     Conference     London, UK

Trevor had a great afternoon in London finding out the latest cool features in the SendGrid api from the team presenting, if you want to attend another event they are going to Berlin June 7, 2013 and then Paris June 11, 2013 We'll be working with the Newsletter API next month.

Indoor Go Karting

Thursday 23rd of May 2013 10:34:00 AM     Karting, Social     SP5 5RL, UK

It was that time again, twelve of us made our way to the track, a rare chance to see everyone’s true competitive nature! With some confident words said by certain drivers (*Ahem, Trevor*) ringing in everyone’s ears, the final was a site to behold!
Click here to view the gallery!

Our New Office!

Friday 5th of April 2013 10:32:00 AM     Branksome, Poole BH12 1AZ, UK

We have moved! Admittedly we are still in the same building and same floor, but we have moved into a new space where we can express our own creativity and expand our team!
Click here to view the gallery.

Tons of Impressive Demos' at Zend Summit 2012

Wednesday 28th of November 2012 11:31:00 AM     Zend     Paris, France

Trevor attended the Zend 2012 Summit in Paris and learnt about the upcoming developments for enterprise PHP solutions with the Zend Software Applications (Server, Studio, Guard) for the year ahead in 2013.

First Class Honours and A BCS Award

Monday 19th of November 2012 11:28:00 AM     Awards, Graduation, Staff     Southampton Solent University, East Park Terrace, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 0YN, UK

It was a very special day for our Developer and Designer here at Chittak, with three years of hard work coming to a close!
With an impressive first class honours degree in web design Jamie was also awarded the British Computer Society prize for finishing top of his degree.
An all-round exciting day with many teary eyed parents!

Coles Miller Golf Day - A broken club & A birdie

Friday 28th of September 2012 10:25:00 AM     Golf     Wimborne BH21 3AS, UK

Many thanks to Coles Miller who put on a fantastic golf day at Canford Magna golf course to run alongside the Ryder Cup 2012.
As shown in the photo above Trevor's 3 wood broke half way round the course to everyone's amusement and he managed to tap a birde shot too!

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Charity Golf Day - Trevor and his team in action!

Friday 3rd of August 2012 10:23:00 AM     Charity, Golf

With Chittak sponsoring a hole, this fun day out was a great success in raising money for Hope FM.

Office Go Karting - Spin-outs galore!

Thursday 19th of July 2012 10:20:00 AM     Karting, Social     Thruxton, Hampshire SP11 8PW, UK

A great team bonding day out for the office, with many showing their true competitive side!

Office Warming Party - A great evening all round!

Wednesday 11th of July 2012 09:40:00 AM     cupcakes, Party     Branksome, Poole BH12 1AZ, UK

Many thanks to all those who turned up, it was a great evening all round!