Another week in the life of JOHN LAING and Ocean Youth Trust South….
Last weekend consisted of two day sails. Saturday’s trip was an opportunity for people from some of the companies who contribute enormously to our work to see the boat in action. We had on board representatives from MDL, Raymarine, Sabre, Contact Marine and Hamble Yacht Services – all companies who give us invaluable support, and as ever we can’t thank them enough.
On Sunday, most of the crew were staff from Bourne College in Southbourne, a school which regularly sends young people on the boat. They all appeared to have a good day on the water, and between us we gave quite a lot of thought to imaginative ways in which we might deliver key skills and elements of the curriculum to their pupils during our voyages. We also had on board a representative from Credit Suisse, which is hoping to sponsor a crew of young people later in the season.
The other star guest appearance on board over the weekend was Si Holman, who was our staff bosun for several years until 2002 (pre-Rosie, pre-Craig). Simon accompanied the Army to Antarctica on board JOHN LAING – and is now settled and doing very well at Southampton University (firsts and 2:1s on his exams this year….). This was his first sail with JOHN LAING since he stopped working for OYT South but he doesn’t seem to have forgotten anything, and was very complimentary about the condition of the boat.
Also sailing on Saturday was one of our relief skippers (and ex-round the world racing skipper) Rupert Parkhouse. The designated sea staff for the weekend would particularly like to thank Simon and Ru for doing so much work and letting the rest of us have a more relaxing time than normal!
The voyage during the week was for Alfreton Park School, for seven crew members with learning difficulties (one of whom has cerebral palsy as well). They came on board with four support workers, and sailed from Southampton to Hamble Point, Yarmouth, Portsmouth, Cowes and Southampton. In Yarmouth they all walked to Fort Albert; and in Portsmouth the whole crew learned to row the dinghy in Gunwharf Quays. Wolf reports that they particularly enjoyed the boat’s new Take That CD, which is now being played regularly whenever anyone wants to wind up Dinghy Boy (whose taste in music seems to involve the compulsory wearing of black whilst making as much noise as possible).
Wolf says that they had light winds through the week but that was perfect for this group, and the crew were really good and very impressive. They had some long days but coped extremely well: “The voyage was a complete joy”.
We are now close enough to the exam season that many young people are unable to sail, and so we have some gaps in the programme. Next week (Monday17th – Wednesday 19th May) we are taking the opportunity to slot in some extra maintenance days in Southampton. Little Princess Craig will be in charge, back from his break and hopefully recovered from last week’s cross-dressing trauma. He needs as much help as possible over these three days for a wide range of jobs including a hull clean, touching up some paintwork and all sorts of other excitements. Please give him a call on 07990 518915 if you can spare some time to give him a hand.
On Thursday 20th and Friday 21st next week we will be holding boat open days (not sailing), and on the weekend of Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd May we are again doing day sails, all to introduce people to JOHN LAING and Ocean Youth Trust South. Please have a think about whether you know someone who might be interested in sending young people on a voyage, joining us as volunteer sea staff, raising money for us, or helping with organisation ashore. These days really are open to anyone who wishes to find out more about our work. The one restriction is that the day sails are adult trips so everyone must be aged 18+; and we’re asking for a contribution of £10 for food and fuel for the day for those who come sailing. For more information about these four days, contact Chris Hirst firstname.lastname@example.org 07810 101446. Please help us to make sure that these four days are as useful as possible, and we make lots of really good new contacts. But in order to make sure the boat is full for the two day sails, existing OYT members and supporters are also encouraged to come out for the day – just contact Chris and ask if there is space for you.
After that, we have some regular voyages coming up shortly with berths still available, including a few cut-price special offers. Please ask around amongst all your friends and acquaintances and we’ll see if we can get these voyages filled:
Voyage 19A (24/5 - 29/5), £125, departure port Southampton
Voyage 22A (4/6 - 10/6), £125, departure port Portsmouth
Voyage 27 (20/6 - 25/6) £200 (reduced from £330)
Voyage 28A (26/6 - 1/7) £200 (reduced from £330)
We have also had a group booking cancellation for voyage 31, which we had thought was fully booked some time ago. This is from Poole to Brest, 6 nights, Fri 9 July to Thurs 15 July, cost £450, travel not included. It will be a particularly special voyage as it is timed to coincide with the Brest festival for traditional sailing boats – a spectacular event which would be a memorable experience for anyone.
For all these voyages, please contact David Salmon in the office as usual, 0870 241 2252
Finally, Yvonne Taylor is offering a Sea Survival course on 12th June for £40 – contact her on 07785 335189 for more information. This course is highly recommended, including information about flares and other bits of safety equipment, as well as a practical session in a swimming pool with a liferaft. It would certainly be worthwhile for any member of our sea staff to get this certificate.