An eventful few days on board John Laing: is it a coincidence that, in the week in which the BBC changed the style of the TV weather forecast and was inundated with complaints from viewers who found the new approach confusing and misleading, the weather decided to be as complex and varied as possible?
The crew joined on Monday: a small group from Cardiff plus a few individual bookings. Sea staff were skipper Wolf, 1M Graeme Cole (doing some practice skippering), 2M Jonny Holman, trainee 3Ms Di Roberts and Allan Norman (a member of Portland Coastguard recommended to OYT South by one of our longstanding supporters, Bruce Lack), plus two bosuns: the return of the refit volunteers, Gizmo and Bridget.
They were unable to set sail from Poole that day due to gale force winds, so everyone was up by 0530 on Tuesday to make an early start. However, when everything was ready, a final check was made with Poole Harbour Control: what was the wind at the harbour entrance? Answer: a force 8 gale. Departure plans abruptly abandoned.
The weather continued hostile throughout Tuesday and it remained impossible to leave. Fortunately, trainee watchleader (and our boat surveyor) Di Roberts had a friend in the local RNLI who was able to arrange a tour of the lifeboat station to keep the crew occupied.
Wednesday was much better, and they were able to have a good sail into the Solent. Thursday looked better still and they set off to return to Poole via the south of the Isle of Wight. Wolf phoned up Alice Poyner (2nd mate and newly qualified doctor) to boast that he was enjoying blazing sunshine, sailing along in shorts and t-shirt. No sooner had he completed this call when the fog came down and the visibility fell to under 200 yards – and stayed that way for hours. It was still like pea soup when John Laing crept into Poole in the early hours of Friday morning – some very demanding navigation for Wolf.
However, despite all the problems with the weather, all the crew (plus Allan) got their RYA Start Yachting certificates. Allan got some sections of his third mate’s assessment signed off as well. Di is also part way through completing her assessment and just needs to get to know the boat a bit better. Graeme made a good start at developing some big boat skippering experience. All the crew enjoyed the trip and several are talking of sailing with us again.
Sea staff vacancies
First mates still needed for: 26 Aug-2 Sept; 3-9 Sept; 12-16 Sept; 19-23 Sept; 24-30 Sept; 10-14 Oct; 15-20 Oct; 21-25 Oct; 26-31 Oct; 1-5 Nov.
Second mates needed for: 10-11 Sept; 2-7 Oct; 26-31 Oct; 1-5 Nov. Not all of these are entirely straightforward as it may be essential to have a female second mate on some of these trips, but do let me know if you are interested in doing one of them anyway.
We still have spaces for sea staff and prospective sea staff on a familiarisation (or re-familiarisation) voyage 12-16 September (£200); and there are also spaces on the mates’ training weekend 16-18 Sept (£100)
Please email me or call 07986 354697 if you want to do any of these voyages.
Future crew bookings
Thanks to everyone for a huge effort in filling voyage 20, which at one stage looked at risk as we couldn't get enough bookings following an earlier cancellation. The good news is that we have found enough people and the trip is on after all!
We still have spaces on the following voyages:
JL05-30: 10 nights, 16-26 Jul, Cherbourg to Newcastle, £600
JL05-31: 9 nights, 27 Jul – 5 Aug, Newcastle to Fredrikstad, £585
JL05-32: 4 nights, 6-10 Aug, Fredrikstad to Bremerhaven, £260
JL05-34: 5 nights, 12-17 Aug, Bremerhaven to Ipswich, £325
JL05-40: 4 nights, 12-16 Sep, Southampton, £200
JL05-41: 2 nights, 16-18 Sep, Southampton, £100
JL05-42: 4 nights, 19-23 Sep, Southampton, £220
JL05-46: 2 nights, 7-9 Oct, Southampton, £110 (whole boat group booking available)
JL05-47: 4 nights, 10-14 Oct, Southampton, £210 (whole boat group booking available)
JL05-48: 5 nights, 15-20 Oct, Southampton, £225 (whole boat group booking available)
JL05-49: 4 nights, 21-25 Oct, Southampton, £200
JL05-51: 4 nights, 1-5 Nov, Southampton, £160
For information on latest vacancies, please contact the office on 0870 241 2252, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are now taking bookings on the 2006 programme, also available from the office, or on the website at www.oytsouth.org.
Many of you will know that refit helper and trainee watchleader Rob Harwood is currently in Mexico studying volcanoes. He has recently emailed some footage of a spectacular volcanic eruption, as well as a rather fetching shot of himself standing in front of an active volcano. I can forward these emails to anyone who would like to see them and has a computer which doesn't take too long to download these things.
Good luck to Jo Nahum who is about to start sailing in the Caribbean – (we are not jealous at all, are we?)
International Festival of the Sea (IFOS)
Please can everyone who is helping at IFOS, plus sea staff and crew for the voyages finishing and starting at IFOS, please send their passport numbers to David Salmon (0870 241 2252, email@example.com) – he needs them for security passes. This means everyone on voyage JL05-25, 24-28 June (Southampton to Portsmouth), and everyone on voyage JL05-28, 2-7 July (Portsmouth to Waterford).
This also applies to everyone helping either on the boat or the OYT South stand at IFOS from Thurs 30th June – Sun 3rd July. If you can come along and help and haven’t yet told David, you need to do so NOW!
Storage space needed
Does anyone within about 30 minutes or so drive from Gosport have any spare, clean and dry storage space? We would like to re-locate the OYT South files archive from David Salmon's garage! Again, call 0870 241 2252. We had one kind offer of space in a loft but unfortunately it wasn’t suitable – we need something a bit more accessible.
Dates for your diaries
Sun 5th June: John Laing maintenance day, Poole (call Wolf 07771 771864).
Weds 29th June: John Laing maintenance day, Portsmouth (call Wolf 07771 771864).
Thurs 30th June – Sun 3rd July: IFOS, the International Festival of the Sea, in Portsmouth: volunteers needed on the OYT South stand for all four days, and to show visitors around John Laing on Thursday and Friday, before she sets sail for Waterford.
Thurs 11th August: John Laing maintenance day in Bremerhaven.
10th and 11th September: More John Laing Open Days.
Friday 16th Sept: OYT South annual dinner, Royal Southern YC, Hamble, held jointly with two local children’s hospices. Tickets £65 each.
16th – 25th September: Southampton Boat Show: volunteers needed for the OYT South stand.
Saturday 1st October: John Laing maintenance day, Southampton (call Wolf 07771 771864).
Saturday 5th November: End of season party and possible other weekend activities tbc. Individuals welcome aged 18+; crew members under 18 who have sailed this year and would like to keep in touch are welcome to come to the weekend with a parent or group leader.
For more information on any of this, email me or contact the office on 0870 241 2252, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget the OYT South link to Amazon!
At the bottom of the OYT South home page (http://www.oytsouth.org/) is a link to Amazon. Use this link whenever you order anything from Amazon and they will give a percentage of the price to OYT South funds.