For those of you who don’t automatically read right through these emails the moment you get them, we have three particularly important things to cover urgently, so please try at least to read down far enough to find the words “accommodation”, “this weekend’s refit”, and “P38”. One of them may be something you need to know!
First urgent appeal: Can anyone living reasonably close to the Hamble / Southampton area offer accommodation on an occasional basis to refit helpers over the next month?
We have a bit of a problem with refit accommodation over the next few weeks as, having had large numbers of volunteers in the house recently, the neighbours are not very happy about the noise. Not that OYT South refit helpers have been rampaging out of control, but with a dozen people staying there on some nights (and rather thin walls) it has obviously become an issue for the people on either side. We can’t afford to make ourselves unpopular (it’s not just about this refit: if we get a bad reputation with letting agents then we’ll have real trouble in future). We do still need lots of help for the refit; but if anyone who wants to come down has friends and relatives locally who might let you stay, that would be great.
But if you live nearby and have a bed or a sofa available on any nights of your choosing (as many or as few as you like) between now and March 18th, please let me know. There is a particular demand at weekends, but if we can farm out some of the volunteers for any nights you can manage, that would be an enormous help.
Second urgent appeal: We use a lot of P38 (for those who don’t know, it’s a kind of filler). Wolf and Craig have bought every tin of P38 within a wide radius of the refit and still need more. So if you live anywhere which still has stocks of the stuff, and you would like to donate a tin to a worthy cause, please buy some – especially if you can bring it down to the training weekend this weekend. It’s David’s Isopon P38.
Third vital point: Contrary to earlier announcements about this weekend’s refit, the boat will be closed this weekend. We initially said that we could use volunteers on Saturday but this is no longer the case – sorry.
Meanwhile, many readers have been anxiously enquiring for news of last weekend’s Great Romantic Valentine’s Refit. Did love blossom? Did hearts tremble? Did the earth move? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but all those present have agreed a pact of silence to protect the reputations of those involved……..
Refit helpers supporting the increasingly frantic Wolf and Craig in the last seven days have been: Kat, Ceri (renamed Bridget owing to a striking resemblance to Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones – don’t mention the big pants), Harry, Jude, Geoff Dickerson, Andy Royse, George Furber and Richard, John Parkin, Tom Kemp, Kerry, Joel, Graeme Cole and a special guest appearance by Wolf’s Mum (big morale boost all round).
One major job completed this week was the antifouling. Those of you who were reading these bulletins last year will remember the shock when Wolf’s special deal cut price antifouling paint turned out to be a sort of peach colour (an eye-watering contrast with the dark red topsides). With that in mind, he has been busily reassuring everyone that this year’s antifouling would be “a sort of off-white.” It’s definitely off white: it would be hard to be any further off. It is off-white in the sense that the top one of a set of traffic lights is off-white. As red-green colour vision is essential for a skipper, we can only hope this is a temporary aberration and that we don’t spend the whole year confusing port hand lights and stern lights.
Other jobs done this week: the scuppers are finished; the deck tangs have been chipped; the mid-bilge and toilet bilge painting is finished and the workshop bilge has had two coats; the skipper’s bilge and the watermaker bilge have been started; the fuel tanks are back together; the crew area has been varnished; the saloon has been started; John Parkin has installed our new DSC set; and Wolf and Craig have continued what is beginning to seem like a lifelong relationship with the portholes.
Major jobs coming up shortly: portholes, deck, bilges, portholes, anodes, deck, portholes, steering gear, deck, portholes, seacocks, and hull painting. Oh, and portholes. And deck.
Anyway, accommodation problems or not, WE STILL NEED YOU! Please call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can come to the refit over the next few weeks.
Anyone coming this weekend who has any problems or queries should call Mark Boggis on 0787 943 0749.
We’ve got 34 people booked on courses, and at least 35 people coming to dinner at the Clarence Tavern in Gosport on Saturday night.
The crew welfare session, starring Dougie Walker and Steve Lacey, starts at 1030 on Sunday.
The OYT South AGM starts at 1430 on Sunday at Gosport Sea Cadet Headquarters, Berkeley Hall, Royal Clarence Yard, Weevil Lane, Gosport.
There is a rule that at the AGM a certain proportion of Trustees must stand down each year in rotation, though they can offer themselves for re-election. Travis Musselwhite, Caroline White and Andy Royse are this year’s candidates (all three are standing for re-election). In addition, Mark Boggis is seeking election, having been co-opted to the Board since the last AGM. Short biographies of all four follow:
Mark was co-opted to the OYT South board in July 2004 and elected Chairman in the following September. He has sailed as a second mate with Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust since 1988. Prior to moving to Surrey in 2001 he had lived in Scotland and the North of England and had been involved with Ocean Youth Club in these areas. When living in Newcastle, he was a school governor and a chair of governors for an all year Special School. He has worked in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector since 1984, in a variety of national account, commercial and team management roles.
Travis is a founder director of Ocean Youth Trust South, being one of the three directors who formed the original Trust board in December 1999. Travis sails as a first mate on John Laing but has previously sailed on most of the OYC boats. He is a qualified Yachtmaster Instructor and a social worker with special needs children.
Andy was first appointed to the OYT South board in 2002. He sails with the Trust as a second Mate and as well as being a regular at the winter refits has also completed most of the chart corrections that require doing before the start of each season. Andy is an engineering graduate, and after working in industry for some years, he is currently undertaking a postgraduate qualification at Swansea University.
Caroline was first appointed to the OYT South board in 2001. She sails as a first mate on John Laing and has also sailed on other Ocean Youth Club vessels. Caroline is a regular contributor to the boat's winter refit activity, writes the regular e-mail bulletins, co-ordinates sea staff bookings and liaises with many of the groups that sail on John Laing. Caroline is a BBC journalist and producer who is currently the corporation's Employee Volunteering Manager.
News and gossip section
Rob Harwood currently has one of the best excuses for not being at refit: he has gone to Mexico for several months to study volcanos. He emailed from Cancun to say that he had been walking on the beach: “The sand is fantastic. It’s a very fine white powder which runs like water through your fingers. The water is turquoise and it is sunny and pleasantly warm…..The bird song at dawn and dusk is absolutely deafening. They have these things like blackbirds, but with a longer tail that make a beep beep noise like a fire alarm going off. And then they flock at dusk, so walking to dinner last night was like walking through the set of a horror movie.”
I imagine Rob will shortly be writing to say that he has been offered a job with the Mexican tourist board….
Meanwhile bosun Katy Tarrant is in New Zealand (Katy, would you mind calling in on Phoebe while you’re there and asking for her latest news?). Katy’s been jumping out of planes, fulfilling a love of adventure which I seem to recall we instilled in her by allowing her to dangle in a climbing harness as a trainee bosun.
And news of yet another Katie: a new baby daughter for Steve and Lucy Furness.
This has been a very long bulletin so I’ll keep this bit brief: anyone wanting information about crew bookings should call the office on 0870 241 2252, email email@example.com.
And anyone wanting sea staff bookings should email me or call 07986 354697.