John Laing

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 10th September 2004

Crew vacancies:
Four days, 20th-24th Sept, £230
Weekend, 24th-26th Sept, £130
Six days, 15th-21st Oct, £270
Weekend, 29th Oct – 1st Nov, £110
Call the office 0870 241 2252

Adult vacancies (age 16+):
Weekend, 22nd-24th Oct, £110 – aimed at sea staff training but open to others aged 16+ who want to find out more about how we work and would be interested in seeing (and joining in with!) a staff training weekend. Call the office 0870 241 2252.

Sea staff vacancies:
Two voyages which currently don’t have full crew bookings will need sea staff if we get enough crew to run them: 20th-24th Sept and 24th-26th Sept. If any sea staff would be available to step in and help if these voyages go ahead, please call Wolf a.s.a.p. on 07771 771864 to get on a standby list, so that he isn’t left with a frantic search for sea staff if we get some crew bookings at the last minute.

We also need a woman (!) for 27th Sept–2nd Oct and 3rd-7th Oct. We have enough sea staff to run these voyages but they are all male, and for child protection reasons we must have an adult woman with a CRB check on these trips. It doesn’t matter whether you are an assessed member of sea staff or not. Again, call Wolf on 07771 771864.

Southampton Boat Show:
This has now started – thanks very much to everyone who is helping on our stand. We still need a few volunteers between now and September 19th to come and be enthusiastic about all that OYT South has to offer. Extra help would be welcome on any day, but is particularly needed on Tuesday 14th and Thursday 16th.

Boat maintenance:
Owing to crew cancellations, JOHN LAING is in Ocean Village, Southampton until at least Sept 20th, and skipper Wolf and Princess Craig are hoping to get through a lot of maintenance and other jobs on board. If you can spare some time to help (perhaps combined with a trip to the Boat Show), give Wolf a call on 07771 771864. There may be accommodation available on board, but this will depend on what jobs are being done each day, so please check with Wolf.

2005 season:
We are taking bookings for 2005, including the Tall Ships Races (with legs to great destinations such as Ireland and Norway) – check the schedule on www.oytsouth.com, or contact the office (0870 241 2252 or oytsouth@aol.com).

The lack of crew over the next few weeks is of course extremely sad (not to mention a big financial blow, and a real disappointment for sea staff who had booked to sail). We haven’t had a problem on this scale in recent years, but we really must plug some of the gaps and ensure that next year is a lot stronger. If everyone reading this email could recommend us to your friends, or give us contact details for your local schools, youth groups and other organisations which might be keen to sail, hopefully we can make sure that this never happens again. Please do what you can to help with this!

It isn’t all doom and gloom, though, as we’ve had some good sailing since the last bulletin.

We did a two day trip beginning on Bank Holiday Monday for a number of people with links to CHASE Children’s Hospice and their friends and families. It was very much a family trip, with two contrasting days’ sailing. The first leg, from Poole to Weymouth, mainly consisted of beating into fairly strong winds in a lumpy sea, and not everyone found this much fun! However, the return trip on the second day provided ample compensation, a calm downwind sail in bright sunshine.

On Thursday last week we were joined by a new crew: eight people who came through a contact of Chris Hirst’s, plus two individual bookings. They really managed to cover some distance in the week: Poole to Cherbourg to Honfleur to Le Havre to Southampton. They enjoyed a BBQ in Honfleur in excellent weather; but while the sunshine stayed with them, the winds got up to Force 8 accompanied by rough seas when they left. Wolf’s tactful comment was “Some loved it….and some didn’t.”

However, the Le Havre to Southampton leg sounds like ideal sailing: boat speed never below 9.5 knots, and staying on one tack all the way across the channel, through the Solent and up Southampton Water to the entrance of the Itchen River.

Evidently all this was enough to inspire some of the crew with ideas of sailing again, and Wolf says that a couple of them might be good potential sea staff.

Wolf also wants to thank this week’s sea staff: Craig, Graeme, Trevor and Julia, especially for their support in the worst of the weather. In fact Julia (Davies), who was sailing as crew earlier this summer, and then moved on to be trainee bosun and then relief bosun, was this week signed off as an assessed Third Mate – a great success and a demonstration of what can be achieved by really enthusiastic crew members who are prepared to make the effort.

All the existing sea staff love watching young crew members make progress through the system like this – so let’s have plenty more! Anyone who has sailed as crew in the last couple of seasons and wants to move on with OYT South – please get in touch, stay involved, come to the winter refit, join us for the training weekend on 22nd – 24th October (if aged 16 or over) – call Wolf 07771 771864.

Before we get too depressed about a few empty voyages, we should all remember that we’ve done some great trips this season and met some fantastic crew members – and if you all stay involved, then we’ve got plenty of future successes to look forward to!

 



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

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