Dorset crew


OYT South bulletin 30th September 2005

Urgent notices

Welcome to new readers
Loads of new people added their email addresses to the list at the Southampton Boat Show, so welcome to the weekly email newsletter which will keep you in touch with everything that’s going on with OYT South and John Laing. Please feel free to reply to the emails, send comments, and join in with sailing and other activities – don’t feel that anything here is restricted to established OYT South supporters: you are always very welcome to come and meet us and get involved. Especially with the item immediately below!

URGENT short-notice vacancies
Last chance to sail in John Laing in 2005!

* 10-14 October voyage open to anyone aged 16+ (no upper age limit). An ideal “taster” voyage for new people, or a fun few days for past crew and sea staff. We need three more people to book or this voyage can’t run – and we really don’t want to let down the people who have already booked.

* 15-20 October voyage open to people aged 12-25. We need four more bookings to ensure this voyage goes ahead.

For more details or to make a booking, call David Salmon on 0870 241 2252. Bursary funding may be available so these could be very affordable trips as we really want to fill the places and avoid cancelling the voyages. Anyone on a gap year or not working for any reason – please come along and help these trips to run!

End of season gathering and party November 5th
We are hoping to get as many people as possible to join us for the afternoon and / or evening of November 5th in the Gosport Sea Cadet Headquarters, to celebrate the season, look forward to the future and have a great social get-together. The idea is to have meeting for sea staff and potential sea staff in the early afternoon, and then everyone else (crew members, shore supporters, new members and anyone else interested) can join us for the second half of the afternoon, with a meal and a party in the evening. However, in order to make firm plans and think about overnight accommodation on the Saturday, it is vital that we have some idea of how many people are likely to come - so please email me NOW if you are interested, and I will circulate firm details once we have more idea of the scale of the event

Lord Iliffe
OYT South’s Patron, Lord Iliffe, becomes Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron on 1st October. This is a great honour and I’m sure everyone in OYT South would like to join in sending their congratulations and wishing him luck in the role!

Job advertisement - Staff bosun
For anyone who missed last week’s bulletin: Craig Dickerson, our staff bosun, is leaving us at the end of the season and we are inviting applications to replace him, starting around November 5th. Please send CV and covering letter to OYT South, Spur House, 1 The Spur, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants PO12 2NA, email The ideal candidate will have experience in sail training; some familiarity with maintenance and ships’ systems; sympathy with the aims and objectives of OYT South; and be aged 18+ on November 5th. We are looking to appoint someone for a minimum period of two years. Deadline for applications Monday 10th October.

Photos and stories
Thanks for all the photos I’ve been sent from voyages this season – but don’t stop now! We can always use more photos, articles from crew members or even just a short quote about your voyage which can be used in our publicity.

Voyage news
This week’s crew was another group organised by Steve Lacey. By all accounts they made an excellent team who worked really well together, and it was a really successful voyage. They started by sailing from Southampton to Gosport, and then had a tough thrash to windward with a fair amount of seasickness which took them to Cherbourg and a 3am arrival on Monday. This was followed by a day in port to recover, and some time was also spent working towards RYA certificates.

On Tuesday evening they set off back across the Channel in much more favourable conditions – a great overnight sail with the wind on the beam, arriving at 6am on Wednesday (this voyage reminds me of a comment written in the boat’s visitor’s book over the summer, as one boy said that the main thing he’d learned on his voyage was what early mornings looked like).

Thursday saw a day sail down towards Yarmouth with lots of sail training exercises; and the trip finished in Southampton today.

Two new third mates successfully completed their assessments this week: Dave “Tigger” Heffer and Alex “Leek” Evans – both great new sea staff who will hopefully sail a lot with us in future.

Second mate Steve Lacey had a practice at being first mate, including a “skipper down” session on the Thursday (when the skipper pretends to be ill or injured and the first mate has to run the vessel).

The crew all got their RYA Competent Crew certificates; and several of them were recommended as future sea staff.

Thanks to all the sea staff who made this voyage such a success: Wolf, Hels, Craig, Steve, Dave and Alex.

Sea staff vacancies

Second mate needed on 26-31 Oct. Email me or call 07986 354697 if you can help!

I can now take provisional sea staff bookings for 2006 – see for the official 2006 voyage programme. As ever, people who help with the refit over this winter get priority with 2006 staff bookings, but I can always pencil people in now.

I’d also like to hear from people – whether new to OYT South, or former crew members who want to make progress – who would be interested in joining our volunteer sea staff in 2006, so that I can start planning familiarisation and assessment voyages. 

Crew bookings

Current vacancies as follows:

JL05-47: 4 nights, 10-14 Oct, Southampton– 9 berths available, age 16+
JL05-48: 5 nights, 15-20 Oct, Southampton – 10 berths left (12-25)
JL05-49: 4 nights, 21-25 Oct, Southampton – possibly 2 berths left (12-25)

NB there is bursary funding available for some of these trips so I'm not even quoting a price here. If you would like to go, call David Salmon and see what you can negotiate! We really need to fill these trips so we are not likely to exclude people with limited resources.

For information on latest vacancies, please contact the office on 0870 241 2252, or email

We are now taking bookings on the 2006 programme, also available from the office, or on the website at Don’t forget the 2006 Tall Ships races to Spain and Portugal!

Dates for your diaries

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.

Don’t forget the OYT South link to Amazon!
At the bottom of the OYT South home page ( 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.

Credit cards
Don’t forget the office can now take payments over the phone - just call 0870 241 2252 and have your credit card handy.

People News
Lots of emails this week from our Official Favourite Canadians, who sailed with us in the Tall Ships Race this summer. Skye has been on the front page of her local newspaper in Canada, talking about the trip, and she also sent a copy of some diary entries she made on the voyage; and Liz Laan also sent some great stuff she wrote for Paul Bishop of ASTO, who organised the exchange from the UK side. These are both fantastic evocative pieces of writing – too long to include here but I’m happy to send them on to anyone who knows Skye and Liz if you want to email me and ask for a copy.

All of this came in an extensive exchange of emails between ourselves, the crew members and the organisers on both sides of the Atlantic, from which I will just highlight a line from John Hamilton, who helped arrange things in Canada: “Obviously the Skipper and crew of John Laing were terrific hosts - many thanks.”

 Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

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