John Laing

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 30th January 2004

I’m sure I said in a recent bulletin that we needed you all to pray for better weather for the refit. Well thanks a lot, guys – really appreciate your efforts!

Last Saturday it wasn’t too bad and all the usual jobs continued above and below decks. On Sunday the full-time refit team of Wolf, Craig, Dinghy Boy and Phoebe, plus Chris Hirst, headed off to do their Day Skipper course, while the B-team (no reflection on their quality!) of Andy Royse, Matt Bland, Mark Boggis and Caz were left in charge of John Laing. The deck was thick with ice and those of you who know Matt and Andy will probably already have been struck by their marked resemblance to Torville and Dean. You haven’t seen anything if you’ve never watched those two doing double axels on the coachroof.

Luckily the sun came out and the ice melted, and it turned into a perfect painting day. The first coat of antifouling was completed. Unfortunately, Wolf’s cunning purchase of an enormous bargain tin of the stuff may have saved OYT South a lot of money, but it wasn’t in the colour of our choice and has dried a rather distressing shade of orange, a sad contrast with the dark red topsides. The plan now is to sail undercanvassed all year as it won’t show if we never heel over.

Also on Sunday, Chris from Contact Marine turned up with Adge and Ian to work their technical wizardry on the engine and the windlass – much appreciated as always.

All sorts of people came to help on the boat during the week in the absence of the core team. Sarah Hughes is there full-time now, and has been painting in the forepeak and continuing the work in the cockpit locker. Beverley Lewis has also enjoyed the pleasures of the locker. Fraser and Cathy Old have been there since Tuesday. Cathy has been cooking, relieving the load on Penny Buckley – who has nevertheless continued to supply scones and cake. John Parkin has been helping Fraser and between the two of them a lot of work has been done on the cabling in preparation for putting in the new instruments.

Wolf may have been absent but we haven’t been short of skippers on board. Brian Eyres arrived rather later than expected, having travelled down from Scotland by train after Edinburgh airport was closed by the weather. (Note to Jamie and Joe who came last week: that’s a better excuse than not being able to open the train door….) At the time of writing, Brian is installing the new fire system. Meanwhile, Tom Sage has been servicing the bilge pumps.

I don’t yet know for sure what’s happening over the weekend and who, if anyone, is going to be on the boat, but if you want to go down and help, call the refit house on 01489 574694. Skipper Mark (Wolf) Todd will be back on Monday, so anyone coming down next week should call him then on 07771 771864.

Obviously we owe special thanks to all the volunteers who have been on the boat during this exceptionally cold weather. But spare a thought for the Day Skipper squadron, who have spent all week in a small boat on the Solent, much of the time with no heating at night and an interesting display of indoor icicles. I have rung them several times hoping to get anecdotes for this bulletin, but all I can get is the sound of chattering teeth on the other end of the phone line…..




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

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