First, a short-notice opportunity for anyone who reads this bulletin on the day it goes out: there are spaces available on the one-day first aid course TOMORROW, Saturday 4th December, at Universal Marina (not far from Southampton) – call Yvonne Taylor on 07785 335189 for more details.
With slightly more notice, there are also spaces on the sea survival course the following weekend, Saturday 11th December. This is the course which includes a session in a swimming pool, practising using a liferaft, and I would recommend it very highly to all sea staff and prospective sea staff. Again, call Yvonne for details.
While on the subject of training, here’s another date for you to put in your diaries: the weekend of February 19th-20th, location to be confirmed. Sunday is the AGM for OYT South – all welcome. But we are planning some other events, training courses and general merriment over the rest of the weekend. More details to follow but it is definitely set to include skipper Wolf’s famous VHF / GMDSS course. Any sea staff and prospective sea staff who haven’t done this course (or haven’t updated the old VHF radio course), be warned: John Laing will have shiny new GMDSS set next season, so you really do need to take the opportunity to learn how to use it. Anyway, it should be a good weekend so please put the date in your diary now and email me to let me know you are coming.
Wolf has himself been doing some training recently: last weekend he went to Scotland for a week’s very intensive sailing, and came back as a qualified Yachtmaster Instructor. No surprise to those of us who had been telling him that he’d been sailing at that standard for several years, but still a significant achievement.
Meanwhile, the refit continues. John Laing should have come out of the water this week, and the refit team had got everything ready…until the yard asked for a delay. It now looks as though the lift-out will be next Tuesday. This hasn’t slowed down the pace of work, though: the team has continued the work of decommissioning the boat; and they also spent a day sorting out the Gosport shed (this is where a lot of our stuff is stored, thanks to TS Hornet, Sea Cadet Corps, Gosport, who kindly let us use the space). Refit helpers alongside Wolf and Craig this week have been Kathryn Francis and Kerry Adams.
We’re still looking for lots more volunteers to come down to the boat over the next few weeks, and we are gradually getting people booked in (call 07771 771864 to tell us when you’re coming). But if you want a job that can be done from home, we need someone to look after the oilskins. This is a job that has been done by Penny Buckley in recent years, but she’s unable to do it any longer so we need someone to take over. It involves laundering all the sets, checking through them for wear and tear, stitching them as needed, and making a list of how many usable sets we have in each size, in time for us to order any replacements needed for next season. Call Wolf on 07771 771 864 if you feel this is something you could help with.
A new job has been added to the refit list this week: thanks to a very generous donation from SC Johnson Ltd, the makers of Toilet Duck, we will be having two new toilets on board John Laing for next year. Any of you currently using other toilet cleaners: we recommend that you switch to Toilet Duck now! As we are always looking for ways to motivate our refit helpers, how about this for an idea: an award for outstanding contribution to the refit – the Honour of the First Wee in the new heads?
The OYT South Southampton Support Group had a very successful AGM this week, with a good turnout. They very kindly donated £900 towards the refit, and also put a substantial sum into bursary funds to contribute towards the voyage fees for deserving crew members (setting a condition that recipients must find at least 50% of the cost for themselves). The Southampton Support Group are now planning to meet monthly: email Peter Hughes (email@example.com) for details if you would like to join in.
Finally, the usual notices:
FUNDRAISING: We are also still looking for donations to help with the refit, so please give generously (Cheques payable to OYT South to Spur House, 1 The Spur, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants PO12 2NA – but taxpayers please contact the office on 0870 241 2252 to ask about GIFT AID first.) Thanks very much to all those who have contributed so far.
There is a fundraising event planned for Monday 6th December, when we have permission to hold a collection at Waterloo Station from 7am to 7pm. Anyone able to help out: please contact Chris Hirst on 07810 101446 or email CJ.HIRST@VIRGIN.NET.
CREW BOOKINGS for 2005: see the 2005 sailing programme with dates and prices at www.oytsouth.org. Crew members, group leaders and anyone with suggestions for new groups to approach should contact the office on 0870 241 2252, firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
SEA STAFF (and prospective sea staff) BOOKINGS for 2005: email me with your booking preferences (including second choices where possible), both for normal trips and assessment or familiarisation voyages. If you need to discuss anything, call 07986 354697.