John Laing

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 27th August 2004

If there is anyone out there who doesn’t always read to the end of these rambling bulletins, you may not have realised that you’ll normally find all the last-minute berth vacancies and other news at the bottom of the email. This time I’m moving it to the top as some of the gaps in our bookings need to be filled urgently.

First, this coming Monday (Bank Holiday) and Tuesday (30th – 31st August) is an adult voyage (18+) with spaces left: crew, sea staff and friends who want to come for a short break, you are all welcome. £25 a head – an amazing bargain.

Next, 2nd – 8th Sept has now got some crew but it’s still worth enquiring about the last few spaces, as it’s first come, first served to get this voyage fully-booked. £125 for 6 nights.

Finally, 9th – 15th Sept, because of a short-notice cancellation, is now available and we really need to fill the voyage. Again, £125 for 6 nights.

Please call the office on 0870 241 2252 if you can think of anyone who might like to sail on one of these trips. Now is the time to recommend us to everyone you know. We really can’t afford to have JOHN LAING out of action – and apparently the weather is set to improve….(well, how could it get worse?).

Also don’t forget the Boat Show – we still need people to come and do a shift on our stand, some time between September 10th and 19th. Again, call the office for details.

Meanwhile, the current voyage is going well: skippered by Steve Furness, we have a youth group in Bedfordshire on board and apparently they are having a great time.

We also have on this voyage Ollie Watts, sailing as relief bosun. One of the youngest bosuns we have ever had, Ollie has only just turned 16 (the minimum age) and did his bosun’s training in July when he was still 15 (and yes, Ollie, I do have those incriminating photos of you wearing pink marigolds…). This voyage has been something of a baptism of fire for him, as watchleader Andy Haynes’ version of what they have been up to is dominated by the Exploits of Ollie.

The boat left Plymouth in a Force 6 and sailed to Fowey with sick buckets in full use. Ollie found that unprepping the anchor while going to windward in these conditions can be a slightly damp experience.

After arriving at Fowey at 0200, Ollie had to get up in the morning and spend some time stitching the mainsail – this has become a bit of a habit with JOHN LAING lately, but a new sail is on order…..

They left later that day and sailed to Lezardrieux so fast that David Salmon in the office actually wondered if the satellite tracking system was faulty. Arriving in the narrow approach channel, the engine started to overheat. Ollie scrambled to the engine room, opened the door and was met with a cloud of what he thought was smoke. Fortunately, after some uncomfortable and alarming moments, it turned out to be dripping coolant which was evaporating; the problem was simply with the pump impeller, which Ollie had to replace as they sailed up and down the channel.

While they spent a day in Lezardrieux, Ollie did more sewing….

The next passage, to St Peter Port in Guernsey, was relatively peaceful: more daylight, less zoom, less vomit and fewer alarms for the bosun.

As I write, they are heading for Alderney, and Ollie has just been told that on a voyage there earlier this season, the bosun got kidnapped. However, I pity anyone who tries to kidnap Ollie, who is not small (in the sense in which the sea is not dry and the sun is not cold).

This voyage ends on Sunday, another one in a long series of great trips and excellent crews. Please help us to fill the boat so that the next few weeks are just as good.

 



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

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