Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea and controlled the safety and destiny of mariners. Where old fashioned sailors trusted to a god, modern sailors trust in themselves, and POSH people are there to support them.
When naming the company we wanted a title that would still mean something when “initialised” So it is no coincidence that the name breaks down to provide a shortened version of the name; POSH.
In itself POSH is reputed to be a marine phrase developed from “Port Out, Starboard Home”. This designation on ones luggage guaranteed a cabin on the North side of the ship to and from India, thus it would be cooler and more comfortable. Of course this choice was more expensive and exclusive and the abbreviation soon stuck to the social strata that could afford this. Some correspondents have pointed out that it might be an urban myth, but still it is a nice story whether it is true or not.
Poseidon was also the name of one the founder’s cats and it is her face that is depicted in the company logo. Sadly the eponymous cat died in 2006.
In researching the advisability of using a cat’s head as the company logo the following information came to light;
“Mi-Ke, or tri-coloured cats, (similar to Poseidon) were taken by Japanese sailors on their ships to bring them good luck.” The various colours of the cat apparently brought protection and security from various woes: pestilence, storms, and ill fortune so that voyages would be safe and profitable. The more colours the cat carried the luckier they would be.
” Sailors believe that if a ship’s cat mews and appears to be cross, they will face a hard voyage – but if it is bright and lively, there will be a brisk “following” wind. It used to be said that a contrary wind at sea could be raised by shutting a cat in a canister. Throwing a cat overboard resulted in an immediate storm. No sailor would dream of doing this, however, since it was considered good luck to have a cat on board.”
The association with cats and the sea has always been a long and respectful one with cats conferring good luck upon vessels that carried them, quite apart from keeping down the rats and mice.
The position formerly occupied by the ship’s cat, that of protecting the vessel and bringing “luck” or good fortune, is now where the Safety Management or ISM system sits. We no longer rely on luck or the reputed effects of a feline presence but on structured management and the control of the risks and hazards of our adventures.
Poseidon Offshore (Safety and Health) Ltd is a company that can be called upon to assist, support, audit and inspect these features in the modern idiom, but it also carries with it the generations old veneration of the cat as man`s protector at sea.