21 Dec 2022
Authored by: Simon Doran, HullWiper MD
Well, what a year this has been! It’s almost the end of our first post-pandemic year and the majority of the world has started returning to some kind of normal. It was business as usual for the HullWiper family, and we learned, like everyone else, to be flexible and adapt our methods when faced with challenges.
One of these was the ongoing supply chain issues that impacted the availability of spare parts for our HullWiper Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), so Daniel Wilson joined our HQ family in Dubai to manage inventory procurement and stock control. His role will support our investment into a dedicated warehouse space to increase our stock inventory and overall efficiency in response to requests from our global operational bases.
We completed on-site audits with our partner locations (with excellent results) and continue to go above and beyond to provide technical support as needed. Several units have been upgraded with a software update that increases the ROV autonomous feature, and we will roll out upgrades for biofouling capture in the coming year with our new fabrication partner here in the United Arab Emirates.
Ultimately, there will always be challenges that have to be faced and overcome – for HullWiper, our partners and even our customers. As we approach 2023, we fully understand the requirements to stay ahead of the game in providing compliant, eco-friendly and affordable hull cleaning solutions to ship owners and operators worldwide. The regulatory landscape, limitations, and new technologies are changing, and we can either adapt or become dinosaurs (look what happened to them). Transparency and collaboration among all stakeholders are essential for progress, and with over 100,000 ships on the ocean, there is a lot of cleaning to be done!
Now that I’ve shared my two cents on the past year and my expectations for 2023, I’ll leave the closing thoughts to our HQ family. But first, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ajit Matthew, Finance Manager
The pandemic was an eye opener for me. Many of my priorities shifted as I realised how valuable life is and how important it is to spend quality time with my family and loved ones. Staying positive and focusing on my well-being are now part of my daily routine.
Working remotely has gained popularity, which has both advantages and disadvantages. We can now work from almost anywhere, and our working hours have become much more flexible, and in some cases, longer. Although we have begun to move away from the stereotypical "8 to 5" working day, we must not lose sight of the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Melamie Malaluan, QA & Administration Manager
When the gravity of the pandemic became clear, alarm bells rang all over the world. Many of our loved ones were affected, and the global lockdowns had an impact on businesses as well. Despite the fact that we were unable to travel due to restrictions, we could care for and support one another through online communication. We learned that staying strong and positive is essential for survival, and the difficult times made me appreciate things I had previously taken for granted. My motivation to persevere in the face of adversity was to remind myself that tough situations build strong people and that tough times do not last, but tough people do.
I now begin each day with a smile and laugh more frequently. I've made more time for self-care, such as regular exercise, daily meditation, and taking time to relax and recharge. Reaching out to others, whether socially or online, and doing good is food for my soul.
Salvador Awingan, Office Administrator
Everything changed during the pandemic's peak. Once busy streets were now empty, shopping malls, churches, parks, and beaches were closed, and flight restrictions were imposed. It felt like the world had stopped turning for a while, which was personally devastating to me because I couldn't travel home to the Philippines to see my children.
But I knew I couldn't change the situation, so I decided to channel my boredom into something productive. When I started baking my own bread, cookies, and even simple recipes, I discovered I had a hidden talent! I also challenged myself to a one-month fitness regimen to boost my immune system, and as a result, I became a health enthusiast. I took the necessary steps to maintain a positive mindset and a healthy body. These are the principles I actively apply in my personal and professional life today.
David Jones, Technical Manager
Life seems to be back to normal again with restrictions on the wearing of masks, travel and social interactions lifted. My personal life is rocking and I am happy Covid is behind us! My wife’s salon is booming, and we'll be taking a break soon to go on a family vacation to meet my mother and brother in France.
Due to certain events that unfolded this year, one major issue we are dealing with is the global energy crises which has had a direct impact on the cost of spare parts for our ROV. That said, 2023 is set to be a year of doing what we do best: providing quality, trusted and eco-friendly hull cleaning solutions through our network of partner locations around the world.
Wilhelm Alberts, Technical Supervisor
This was a fantastic year. The requirement to perform PCR tests when entering or leaving a country was largely lifted around the world, and we could travel as freely as we could before Covid. Many of us returned to work, and while working from home has its pros and cons, I found that being back in the office and interacting my coworkers helped me feel like life has returned to normal. And, given the heat in Dubai, not having to wear masks is a bonus!
Mitchel Malpass – ROV Technician
I am glad the pandemic is becoming a thing of the past and that things are pretty much back to normal. Concerts and sporting events are back in full swing, we can participate in outdoor activities, go to restaurants and travel again.
The requirement to work from home showed that a lot of businesses can operate with employees working remotely, and while this is not an option for me in my line of work, many of my family and friends has said how much easier it is to maintain a health work-life balance when working from home. Being able to go to work without wearing a mask or undergoing the twice-month Covid testing is a huge plus for me.
Rhys Johnson, ROV Technician
We had to rely on video calls to communicate with our customers and partner locations during the height of the pandemic. While this provided us with the opportunity to stay in touch, nothing beats face-to-face conversations for making that personal connection. Being able to fly home for some much-needed family time was a highlight of my year as an expat.
Daniel Wilson, Stock Control Supervisor
I'm relieved that the world has returned to normal after Covid. Travel restrictions have been lifted, allowing us to travel freely once more. I am very excited to have joined the HullWiper family. It’s great to be part of a team with which I can grow. 2022 has had its ups and downs, but that is part of the journey we call life. Here's to 2023 and all the new adventures that await us!