First, many thanks to everyone who came along and made last weekend such a success. Thirty four people plus trainers took part in various courses on Saturday; the GMDSS class all passed their exam, the first aid and radar groups all said they’d learned a great deal, and the chartwork group managed a virtual voyage to Alderney without getting lost. We also had 34 people (not quite the same 34) at a meal in the Clarence Tavern that night. The youthwork training on Sunday was lively and well-attended; and we had a good turnout at the AGM. Special thanks to the Sea Cadets for the use of their facilities and some excellent catering. Many thanks also to those who kindly brought tins of P38 in response to last week’s plea!
Any comments or feedback on the weekend to me please, including requests for future shorebased training – if I can keep a register of people wanting to do various courses, we can look at further opportunities to get a group together. If anyone wants to see a few pictures from the weekend, take a look at http://www.oytsouth.org/OYTSfunweekendpictures.htm.
The training weekend gave everyone a short break from the refit, but this seems to have allowed people to get back to work with renewed energy and enthusiasm: the portholes are finished, the hull is being painted, the end is in sight for the work on the deck, the engine is all back together (thanks, Contact Marine), the steering gear is nearly in (Contact Marine again), lots more varnishing has been done, and Craig has bought some new seacocks which he says are all shiny and spangly.
Refit heroes this week were: Wolf, Craig, Pete McSherry, Chris, Ian and Joe from Contact Marine, Andy Shuttleworth, Dings, Kat, Ceri, Joel, Jude, Julia Davies, Matt Le Page, and Chris Morris from Northern Ireland who has come to join us until the end of the refit.
Major jobs in the next week: lots more painting – please come along (call Wolf on 07771 771864 to let him know when you’re coming).
The other excitement this week was Princess Craig’s 27th birthday, which naturally he spent working hard. Kat gave him a new wallet as his old one was falling apart, and Craig would like it generally known that he now has somewhere to put any tips, bonuses, pay rises and spare change that anyone might like to give him.
Berths still available (all open to ages 12-25, except JL05-29, 30, 31 and 32, which are 15-25):
JL05-03: 1st-5th April, Southampton, £235 (3 berths available)
JL05-15: 16th-22nd May, Poole, £385 (12 berths)
JL05-16: 23rd-27th May, Poole, £235 (5 berths)
JL05-20: 6th-11th June, Poole, £300 (berths available tbc)
JL05-29: 8th-15th July, Waterford to Cherbourg, £560 (3 berths)
JL05-30: 16th-26th July, Cherbourg to Newcastle, £635 (8 berths)
JL05-31: 27th July – 5th August, Newcastle to Fredrikstad, £635 (9 berths)
JL05-32: 6th-10th Aug, Fredrikstad – Bremerhaven, £305 (11 berths)
JL05-34: 12th-17th Aug, Bremerhaven to Ipswich, £380 (10 berths)
Plus lots of options in the autumn - including a few full-boat bookings if there are any groups still looking for a trip.
Anyone wanting information about crew bookings should call the office on 0870 241 2252, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sea staff bookings
Email me or call me on 07986 354697 and tell me whether you are looking for first mate, second mate, third mate or an assessment berth, and I’ll send you a list of vacancies. There aren’t many third mate or assessment berths left, so please get in touch quickly!
I did meet someone last week who hadn’t tried to book a sea staff berth because she had been unable to come to the refit and therefore was worried she wouldn’t get a place on the boat. If you’re in the same situation, it’s still worth letting me know when you’re available to sail as there might yet be a space for you. We try to give priority to refit helpers as an incentive for them; but that doesn’t mean others are excluded entirely – we do recognise people may have good reasons for not being able to turn up.
News and gossip section
Good news for those of who have been mourning the absence of news from Phoebe in recent months (for those new to this bulletin, Phoebe was full-time on last year’s refit, became a second mate – and then moved to New Zealand with her family). Here’s the latest: “I'm at Christchurch university doing three biology courses, two psychology courses, a medieval history course and antarctic studies. A bit of a strange mix, but apparently this is all good and means I have 3 different subjects I could actually complete a degree in (although I think they expect me to actually make up my mind by the 2nd year......clearly don't recognise my lack of ability when it comes to decision making).” And the really shocking news: “I haven't missed a lecture, even the one that starts at 8am.” That’s what OYT training does for you, getting up to go on watch all the time!
I’ve also had a long email from Rob Harwood in Mexico: “The local fire brigade and police are on strike, and their favourite method of demonstrating this is to sit next to their vehicles next to the city hall and all sound their sirens every half an hour. All of them. Police cars, fire engines, sirens, horns the lot. It makes it sound like there is some massive incident, hotel on fire or major pileup.” Rob tells a very good tale about how the strike was broken but it’s a bit long for this bulletin. The essence of the story was that the US embassy threatened to advise US tourists against travelling, owing to the lack of emergency cover. The authorities point out to the strikers that if there are no tourists there will be no need for such a big fire service. Strikers disperse. Rob concludes: “So it is possible for American foreign policy to actually work sometimes. And it can be a tremendous force for good when it doesn't involve laser guided bombs.”
The rest of Rob’s email is full of evocative descriptions and very entertaining. Rather than trying to abridge it for the bulletin, anyone who knows Rob or is just interested in Mexico should let me know and I’ll forward the whole thing.