John Laing

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OYT South bulletin 12th December 2003

The good news is that this week Craig earned his Wolf Cub’s Camp-making Badge by building a tent on board JOHN LAING so the deck is covered and will be much easier to work on. We now have a chance for the refit team to re-enact “Carry on Camping” – please send in your casting suggestions….Personally I can think of members of the team who are dead ringers for Barbara Windsor, Sid James and Kenneth Williams but I shan’t name names in case they never speak to me again!

Anyway, just when the permanent sea staff thought there was nothing left on the boat that could be taken apart, various volunteers found more things to dismantle. Roo Parkhouse is now back from skippering Glasgow Clipper in the Clipper Round the World Race {note to readers with an ambition to sail professionally: Roo is the latest in a long line of ex-OYT people to have skippered in round the world races – it just proves how OYT training is respected in the sailing industry}. He spent a happy time working on the stern platform and says he much prefers working on JOHN LAING in Warsash in December to all those days in Hawaii, the Galapagos, Mauritius…..(actually, that may not be exactly what he said….).

Fraser and Cathy Old also came down; Cathy helped out with the cooking, most of which is still being done by Penny Buckley, so the refit team continues to be very well fed. Fraser removed the fore hatch and has actually taken it home with him, which is probably the best place for it. Cathy and Phoebe also did the inventory of the medical kit.

The lifejackets and liferafts have all gone off to be checked; there has been a preliminary check on the state of the oilskins; and the flares have been checked too.

Wolf and Craig removed some of the deck but had to stop when God filled the holes up with rain (this was before the tent).

Caz and Wolf between them completed the check on the running rigging and measured everything. It all seems to be in good condition apart from the bits of wear and tear we already knew about, and the bits which we had planned to replace this year anyway. We’ve also had the riggers’ report on the masts, booms and standing rigging. The very good news is that the standing rigging is all fine, as we had been worried that it might be time for some expensive replacements; but it has now been fully tested and passed with no problems. The riggers did come up with a few jobs which need doing, notably welding on the spreader arms, and replacing the wheels on the main outhaul.

Dinghy Boy and Phoebe have been doing various courses for most of the week – Ship Captain’s Medical, First Aid, Sea Survival. Craig was seen trying to teach Phoebe self-defence but we can confirm that this was not because of the anticipated reaction from victims of her first aid skills.

Gary has been sanding the antifouling; and next week we really need people to get on with the topsides and the rest of the stern platform. Inside jobs include getting the seacocks off and servicing the bilge pumps. Hope to see as many people as possible to give us a hand!

Thanks to all those who have replied to recent refit bulletins, and all those who’ve been in touch with Wolf, Craig and the team on the boat. But there are still quite a few people whom we haven’t heard from. If you’re not free to come to the refit now but are still intending to come over the next couple of months, could you please let us know? It reassures us that you’re getting these emails; and it also helps us to plan the jobs which need a lot of people.

 



“This has been one of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget it.” Sam, aged 16

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