John Laing at sea


OYT South bulletin 18th May 2006

Latest news

International crew
For the second year running, OYT South has been awarded a grant to get young people from outside the UK involved in our voyages. We have already allocated some money to French and German crew members from last season with the potential to become watchleaders, but the terms of the grant mean that we have to find five more young people from overseas who would be able to sail this year. Any ideas, please contact me by replying to this email. (Readers on the web: email the webmaster)

Don't forget the new office postal address
Ocean Youth Trust South
PO Box 203
PO12 9AZ

OYT North West - sea staff needed
There are a few vacancies for qualified watchleaders to sail with OYT North West in May and June. Their boat, GMC, is gaff-rigged so it might be good experience for people who haven't tried gaff before and want to learn something new. Call 07967 589116 if you are interested.

Crew bookings
Current crew vacancies:

22-26 May       Poole                                            £250    2 spaces
24-29 June       Southampton                            £315    6 spaces possible (we have unconfirmed interest in these berths but would welcome other enquiries from people who would like to sail with the 6 confirmed crew from the Teenage Cancer Trust)
4-8 July            Southampton to St Malo           £290    1 space*
8-22 July          St Malo to Lisbon                     £830    1 space*
22-28 July        Lisbon to Cadiz                        £420    4 spaces*
28 Jul-9 Aug    Cadiz to La Corunna                £700    5 spaces*
9-20 Aug         La Corunna to Antwerp            £700    3 spaces*
4-8 Sept           Southampton                            £275    8 spaces
9-15 Sept         Southampton                            £390    10 spaces
9-13 Oct          Southampton                            £250    12 spaces (full boat)
14-20 Oct        Southampton                            £340    12 spaces (full boat)
30 Oct-3 Nov  Southampton                            £200    12 spaces (full boat)

Call 0870 241 2252 for bookings.

* Voyages marked with an asterisk are part of the Tall Ships Race series, for which we can take up to four crew aged 15; all others must be 16-25. Potential crew members who will be aged 15 this summer should contact the office to discuss which legs have not already filled their quota of 15 year olds.

All other voyages can take crew members aged 12-25.

Voyage news
This week's crew consists of 10 people from Devon and Cornwall branches of the Foyer Federation, a charity which offers accommodation and training to homeless people aged 16-25 - plus one thirteen year old who was booked on the voyage before the group booking came in, decided to stay with the trip anyway and is doing very well despite being much the youngest - helped by having some previous sailing experience!

On the first night they motored (no wind) to Osborne Bay, Isle of Wight, and anchored for the night. Sunday was spent doing sail training exercises in the Solent and ending up in Royal Clarence, Gosport.

On Monday they had a decent sail down to Weymouth, and planned a day sail out of there on the following day; but when Tuesday dawned with rain and no wind at all, that plan was abandoned and they had a day in harbour instead, including a trip to the cinema and bowling.

The next day brought much better weather, and after some man overboard recovery exercises in the bay, they had an absolutely cracking sail to Dartmouth, covering 45 miles in 5 hours and occasionally surfing at 12 knots! They are still in Dartmouth this morning, aiming to get to Poole later tonight, with an unexpectedly bad forecast suggesting a rough and windy passage.

All the sea staff are filled with enthusiasm about this crew. Devon and Cornwall Foyer is a new booking for us, but evidently one we should seek to turn into a regular occurrence. The crew members seem to be seeing it all as a real life-changing experience: one-star hotel accommodation, five-star food, five-star sailing!

One reason for the five-star food has developed from the fact that there is a lot of sea staff training going on this week. Apart from David d'Costa doing his third mate's assessment (not quite completed as I write), second mate Cathy Lacey is acting up as first mate, while first mate Graeme Cole acts up as skipper. The official skipper, Dave Carnson, introduced himself to the crew as the chef, and they still haven’t sussed that there might be anything else going on! I think Dings is still sailing as bosun, but as so many other people have gone up a grade for the week, perhaps we should call him Chief Engineer.

The coming weekend will be dominated by engineers, as we shall be in Poole while Chris, Dings and the team remove the head gasket and do more work on the engine, while the rest of us do other jobs around the boat.
Sea staff training
We are now taking bookings for the autumn mates training weekend 22-24 September (£150) and adult familiarisation voyage 25-30 September (£275). Please email me for places on either trip.

Dates for your diaries
5 June: maintenance day, Poole - volunteers needed.

3 and 4 July: Southampton - maintenance and preparation for Tall Ships races - help needed.

15 September: OYT South Annual Dinner

Don't forget the OYT South link to Amazon - click on the Amazon logo at the bottom of the OYT South home page ( and a proportion of any money you spend will be donated to us - at no extra cost to you!

“Thank you all for this brilliant journey with lots of fun learning and friendly people.” Dan, 18