John Laing

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OYT South bulletin 17th September 2004

Just a short note this week as JOHN LAING isn’t sailing so there isn’t much in the way of gossip or funny stories.

Skipper Wolf and Bosun / Princess Craig have spent the week planning the winter refit which, alarmingly, is only two months away. From the size of the refit jobs list, I can only assume that they have started allocating specific tasks to every individual connected with OYT South, so there is a job with YOUR name on it and we need you to turn up! (Note to readers aged under 16: I think the jobs list might last until about the year 2010 so the fact that you aren’t old enough to help with this year’s refit does not mean you aren’t on the list).

This is slightly tongue in cheek; but with these bulletins going to several hundred people each week, if everyone did one refit day between November and March we would have a superb refit. Provided you don’t all want to do the same day…..

Meanwhile, the enforced break in the sailing season has at least allowed us to get a number of other jobs done this week. Chris from Contact Marine has been working on the generator and heater, and Craig, Wolf and assorted helpers including Julia Davies, John Parkin and Andy Royse have all been getting on with other tasks.

Thanks also to all the people who have been helping with our stand at the Southampton Boat Show. We really appreciate all your efforts; but we just need to make one final appeal for this weekend as we are desperate for a few extra helpers on Saturday and Sunday. Anyone who could give a little time to this should call David Salmon on his Boat Show special number, 07850 723646.

Also at the Boat Show this week was the presentation to the next group of MDL award winners, who will be sailing with us next summer. MDL have a great track record of selecting some really deserving and inspirational young people for their awards and the annual sponsored sailing trip with OYT South, and Wolf says that, having met the latest group, they seem to be very good and thoroughly looking forward to their voyage. This is probably also an appropriate place to thank MDL for all their support for OYT South in so many ways throughout the year – not least for finding room for us in Ocean Village at the moment, when the Boat Show means they are really busy.

However, we do hope to be leaving our marina berth soon and getting back into some sailing. Just as an incentive, the new mainsail will be delivered next Monday, although it is unclear whether Wolf and Craig will ever let anyone take it out of the bag for fear of it getting wet or – heaven forbid – dirty.

Remaining crew vacancies this year include 24th-26th Sept (£130); 15th-21st Oct (£270); and 29th Oct – 1st Nov (£110). In addition, there are still spaces on the adult (16+) trip 22nd-24th Oct (£110) – call the office 0870 241 2252 for details.

We still desperately need a woman for Tony Whiting, for 27th Sept–2nd Oct and 3rd-7th Oct. This is no reflection on Tony (one of our most experienced relief skippers); but as with all our voyages we must have an adult woman with a CRB check on board, or we cannot take any girls in the crew; and the sea staff who have booked that trip are all male. Anyone with the appropriate chromosomes and a few days to spare should call Wolf on 07771 771864.
Meanwhile, best of luck to all those sea staff and crew starting at college and university about now. Dinghy Boy is obviously settling happily into university life as his answer to my last text was kept short in order that he could go to the pub. Julia will be off to uni shortly; and Andy Royse is going to university on Monday for the second time, having decided that since his first degree appeared to have condemned him to a life working with street lights, it might be time to do something different.

Good luck also to Colin Robinson, who is in the process of making a career change from the Navy to a law firm and says he found week one a bit confusing! Matt Bland has just gone off to Poland to join a new merchant navy ship. I’ll try and get an update for Phoebe fans for next week’s bulletin (what’s happening, Phoebe?). Thanks to all those who reply to these bulletins, and please, everyone, keep in touch!

 



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

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