JOHN LAING is still tied up in Ocean Village with Princess Craig in charge. He has various jobs to do, so if anyone wants to lend a helping hand, give him a call on 07990 518915 and see if there is anything useful you can do.
Next week we finally start sailing again, with a voyage beginning Monday 27th September. This is the trip for which we still need a woman on the staff, for child protection reasons – not necessarily a qualified watchleader, but any adult woman with a CRB check and a bit of enthusiasm. We have now run out of time to try slipping hormone tablets into the tea of the male staff on that trip; and we are reluctant to let Craig loose on the streets of Southampton the night before the voyage, shouting “I need a woman”. (Come to think of, it might be even worse to make him shout “I need a woman without a criminal record.”) So PLEASE think about whether you know anyone who might be able to help! The trip lasts till October 2nd, the weather might be nice (no promises), just think of it as a free holiday. Call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can solve this problem.
After that, we still have a few crew vacancies this year: 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.
If you really can’t make any of those, and you haven’t already booked your sailing for 2005, then you really should check out the 2005 sailing programme on http://www.oytsouth.org/, as things are booking up rapidly. Crew members who are only available during school holidays should definitely start making enquiries now, as some of those trips are almost full. Call the office 0870 241 2252 or email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, on the shorebased side of OYT South’s operations, it has been an eventful week. Last Friday we held a fundraising dinner at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, in association with CHASE Children’s Hospice. Guest speaker was the writer, broadcaster and sailor Libby Purves, who gave a speech that was both inspirational and split-your-sides funny. Initial indications suggest that the event will make a good contribution to the funds of both OYT South and CHASE. Many thanks to Chris Lane, Chris Hirst and everyone else who helped to organise the evening.
Thanks also to all those who helped with our stand at the Southampton Boat Show, especially to David Salmon for long hours and enormous efforts.
And finally, the Board of OYT South has a new chairman. We owe thanks to Roger Mowll who has stood in as chairman in recent months; but we now have someone formally in post: Mark Boggis, whom many of you will know as a long-standing member of the organisation, a second mate and committed refit helper. I’m sure everyone wishes him luck. Mark’s past nicknames have included “Sunny Delight” and “040021” (don’t ask, it was his own idea). But we may shortly be looking for a new name as he is evidently in the process of transforming himself from a cheerful, mild-mannered character into a demon of energy with a wild glint in his eye at the slightest mention of fundraising. You have been warned….