John Laing

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 15th January 2004

Apologies for the delay in sending out the first Ocean Youth Trust South Refit Bulletin of the New Year; hope you haven’t missed us too much….(And welcome to all those who have recently been added to the mailing list – this is the regular update on progress with work on board JOHN LAING).

The refit started again on January 5th, and the full-time team are all back from their holidays and hard at work.

Phoebe got new thermals for Christmas which are great for refitting in but unfortunately seem to have turned her skin blue. She was also given a skirt and make-up and is wondering what they are for…are you meant to eat lipstick? Does the skirt go on your head?

Dinghy Boy was given a pair of binoculars incorporating a digital camera. Anyone sailing with him this season should be advised that there is now a 100-metre exclusion zone for bad behaviour around him otherwise you risk a permanent record of all misdemeanours.

Craig’s Christmas present was a Santa stocking willy warmer…they come in sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL but no-one knows which he got.

And Wolf? As usual, they begged him to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, the Mr Universe award, the World Cup and the Booker Prize for Christmas, but he says he doesn’t want material things and he’s happy just to have the love and admiration of the whole world.

We’ve also had a steady supply of refit helpers since New Year, some of whom have come a long way to be with us. Matt Bland is back from voyaging in the Pacific with the Merchant Navy, consoling himself for having failed to find a Filipina wife by working on JOHN LAING. Mark Boggis is also back from his travels and using the refit as a chance to get acclimatised to English weather again. Mike McBrinn, one of the skippers from LORD RANK (OYT Northern Ireland), came along to find out how real boats work (sorry Mike, LORD RANK’s lovely too).

Among new crew members from last year, Linsay Griffiths came back, as did George Furber and Ollie Watts. Ollie brought his dad Steve and together they cleaned out the mid bilge – many thanks guys! Ollie also managed to tell Craig he had the body of a Greek goddess – anyone out there with a classical education like to suggest which one? (Or maybe it’s just that he has the body under his bed, or in a cupboard…the mind boggles).

Rob Harwood, Andy Royce and Caz have also been down. Penny Buckley continues to keep the whole team fed. And Phoebe asked for a special mention for her friend Karen, who came and worked before Christmas but somehow never made it into the refit bulletin.

So what have all these people achieved? They’ve been prepping the bilge for painting, as well as the forward bulkhead and anchor locker. Work has begun on the forepeak. The holes in the deck are being filled every time it stops raining, and the hull is being sanded above and below the waterline. Work is ongoing in the cockpit locker; and some of the seacocks have been serviced. There’s lots more to do – the most urgent priority is to find someone who has a 72-foot umbrella or the ability to make it sunny!

The refit continues until mid-March, so if you haven’t yet been down, there’s plenty of time. Just ring skipper Mark Todd / Wolf on 07771 771864 and let him know when you’d like to come.

Meanwhile, berths for both crew and sea staff are booking up fast – move quickly if you want to sail this year. And don’t forget that if popular trips are over-subscribed, help at the refit will be taken into account!




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

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