One of the great things about an Ocean Youth Trust South refit is the huge variety of abilities and experience brought to the boat by our many volunteers. We have some helpers who possess an immense range of strong technical skills…and some who are perhaps a little lower on the learning curve. This week, the refit enjoyed the enthusiasm and support of Jamie (“Gravy”) Scott and Joe, who sadly arrived late owing to having been unable to get off the train because they had failed to complete the training course in “opening the door”. They got off at the next stop and caught a train back, having secured the help of a fellow-passenger to get the door open successfully.
Other helpers this week included Andy Royse, Mike McBrinn, Mark Boggis, Matt Bland, and a team of six Millennium Volunteers: James, Jude, Andrew, Dave, Katy and Fay. Sarah Hughes also arrived to help and actually plans to stay till the end of the refit! The core team of Mark “Wolf” Todd, bosun Craig, Phoebe and Dinghy Boy are all still going strong.
All of this means good progress with the jobs list: the cockpit locker is well under way; the gas locker has been started; work on the hull continues every time there’s a break in the rain (Craig and Caz are planning a training session in how to paint the hull the way we did the top coat last year – drying each section with kitchen roll before applying paint – and a very good lasting finish we got, too!). Craig and Wolf went to visit Fraser and Cathy Old, where they got a very good meal and in return left them all the sole boards, the danbuoy, the jackstays, the smoke float boxes and virtually anything else portable in need of care and maintenance.
We should be ready to antifoul this week, weather permitting. Seacock maintainance is ongoing. The water tanks are exposed (Chris Lane, who was stuffed inside them last winter with a brush and a pot of bitumen varnish, visited the boat this week, took one look at the open water tanks and…doesn’t seem to be on the boat now). And the forepeak is nearly finished.
Next week Wolf, Craig, Phoebe and Dinghy Boy are all off doing their Day Skipper course. Wolf is really hoping to pass this time….(ouch, sorry, only joking, meant to say “Wolf is really confident the other three will pass” – how can they fail with him as instructor?).
In their absence Caz and Andy will be on the boat this Sunday (Andy - very strict instructions from Wolf: DO NOT take anything else to bits!) There will be no-one on the boat next Monday 26th January, but after that a whole galaxy of stars will be keeping the project going: Fraser and Cathy Old, Brian Eyres, Tom Sage and John Parkin. They don’t know it yet (you heard it here first) but they will be getting on with all the ongoing jobs above, plus installing a new fire system for the engine room, fitting the new nav instruments, replacing the log, servicing the bilge pumps and tidying the cable runs in the starboard cockpit locker. This means they would appreciate any help you can give. In Wolf’s absence, call Brian Eyres on 07773 282095 if you want to come to the boat. After next weekend, you can get back to using Wolf’s number, 07771 771864.
Thanks as ever to Penny Buckley for the food for the refit house; and also thanks to Kevin & Brian Monk and John Walker who have donated lots of scaffolding boards to OYT South - to keep.
Also don’t forget the weekend of activities on February 20-22 in Gosport, with the Sea Cadets – lots of training courses including GMDSS updates, radar, First Aid, and basic navigation; activities including power boating, air rifle shooting and canoeing, plus the Ocean Youth Trust South AGM on Sunday. Overnight accommodation available, minimum age 16, contact the office for details (0870 241 2252).