The great Valentine’s Refit Weekend!
Don’t forget this weekend is the great Romantic Valentine’s Refit Weekend – a not-to-be-missed opportunity for slow-dancing around the shed to DJ Wolf’s collection of Classic Love Songs while dressed in your sexiest overalls, goggles and dust masks; for volunteering to work in a confined space with the man or woman of your dreams (shame the cockpit lockers are finished); and for sharing a romantic candlelit meal with a dozen assorted friends and total strangers. The weekend is open to anyone from confirmed singletons to loved-up couples. But should any of our single refit helpers find their eyes meeting across an electric sander, their hands irresistibly touching as simultaneous brushes dip tantalisingly into the paint pot, or their heads spinning for reasons other than not wearing their masks properly in a boat full of paint fumes, then Wolf has promised to look out the regulations for Marriages at Sea. There will be a choice of 12 delightful young people as bridesmaids and pageboys; the wedding breakfast will be the best John Laing’s galley can manage, with touches of Italian and French sophistication to the menu (i.e. it’ll be spaghetti Bolognese followed by crème caramel); and of course the romantic honeymoon cruise goes without saying (Southampton – Cherbourg – Cowes – Southampton).
As ever, call us on 07771 771864 to tell us when you are coming to the refit. It’s less than a month till John Laing goes back into the water, and just five weeks until we go sailing again; there’s lots to do and we’d really love to see you! If you can’t make it this weekend, don’t forget that next weekend, Craig desperately needs helpers on Saturday 19th while the rest of us are doing courses, but the boat will be closed on Sunday 20th as everyone will be at the crew welfare training session and the AGM in Gosport.
Thanks very much to all this week’s refit heroes: Kat and Ceri, Beth Pope, David Blogg, Mark Boggis, Mike Makepeace, Mike Martin, Joel, Vic Stephens, Kerry McMillan, Nicholas “Henry” Watts, Fern McDowell and David Parrish. For the last few days they have been working under the direction of Princess Craig while Wolf took a trip to Venice to enquire after an alternative career as a gondolier (he reckons they’d be quicker to refit).
The gang have been working on the scuppers; they’ve finished the crew accommodation; the portholes are being done; the first coat of antifouling is on; the capping rail has had some more work; and the mid-bilge and heads are underway. But there’s masses still to do – including plenty of both interior and exterior painting.
Training weekend 19th – 20th February
Just over a week to go till the training weekend, which now has one space left on the radar course, owing to a cancellation – does anyone want it? All other courses are full. It will be great to see so many people there: as we will be such a large group eating in the Clarence on Saturday night, they have asked us to order our food in advance, so someone will be phoning you this week to tell you what’s on the menu and ask you to make a decision!
Don’t forget that the AGM starts at 2.30pm on Sunday in the Gosport Sea Cadet Headquarters, Berkeley Hall, Royal Clarence Yard, Weevil Lane, Gosport.
Sea staff bookings
Thanks to various sea staff who have recently sent in details of their availability for the year, especially second mates - apologies that it’s taking a while to confirm your voyages, but it’s a question of juggling people around so that as many sea staff as possible get what they want, while leaving space for assessments on appropriate trips, ensuring there is a woman on every voyage etc. – it’s not entirely straightforward but we’ll get back to you as soon as we can (this only applies to those of you who have not yet had your bookings confirmed).
Mates training: one berth left for the mates training weekend 6-8 May; nine berths left for 16-18 September.
Don’t forget mates’ training is not only for new sea staff – those of you with plenty of experience can come along too!
Adult familiarisation (for prospective sea staff, group leaders etc): one place left 6-10 April; plenty left on 12-16 September.
Otherwise, email me for an up-to-date list of vacancies for mates at each level, or phone me on 07986 354697 for latest availability and to book your berth(s).
Can we try to sell the last four places on the trip 1-5 April, out of Southampton, £235 per person? This is in the school holidays for most people. And at the time of writing we’re also still looking for full boat bookings for 18t-23 April (£265) and 16-22 May (£385), and a few berths 23-27 May (£235).
After that, there are still spaces on every leg of the Tall Ships Races (various legs between 2nd July and 17th August, including the UK, Ireland, France, Norway and Germany). And we have plenty of vacant voyages in the autumn.
For bookings and latest updates on available berths, contact the office (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 0870 241 2252).