Bursary funding for 2006 voyages
Thanks to funding from generous donors we again have some money available to support young people who would not normally be able to afford to sail with us; and I'm looking for fresh ideas on how we might spend it.
What worked well last season was to invite other youth charities and community groups to nominate deserving young people - so last year's recipients included people who had been in care, or homeless, or refugees, or had suffered very traumatic home lives.
This year it would be great to have some new ideas for organisations working with deserving young people. This may be a charity you know or are involved with; or it might just be something you have read about. You might not even have a specific charity in mind, but just want to recommend a cause which you care about or which you think might include young people who would particularly benefit from a voyage. Just email me your suggestions and I'll try to make an approach to the relevant charity.
Unlike last year, the bursary money is not chiefly linked to Tall Ships voyages, so there is more scope for bursary winners with an illness or physical or learning difficulty which means they would be better doing one of our less challenging voyages. Don't forget we also support young family members, as with the voyages for brothers and sisters of life-limited children run with our two children's hospice partners.
As well as our charity nominations, we will also consider applications from and on behalf of individuals - just email me for application guidelines.
It is rare for OYT South to offer bursary funding to cover the full cost of a voyage. Applicants who can demonstrate that they have personally made the effort to raise at least part of the voyage price through hard work or imagination will get priority over those who have put little or nothing into it.
Training / AGM weekend
Thanks to everyone who made this event such a great success - especially to everyone at TS Hornet Sea Cadet Unit for providing the venue and helping with the catering.
22 OYT South people successfully completed training courses on the Saturday (thanks to Wolf, Yvonne, Tony and Pat for running the courses). 25 people came to a lively meal on Saturday evening.
At the AGM on Sunday we recorded thanks to two of our Trustees who had decided to stand down from the Board - Travis Musselwhite, one of the founding Trustees of OYT South, and Roger Mowll. We elected one new Trustee, Cathy Lacey, who had been an acting Trustee since November. So the complete list of Board members is now: Brian Eyres, Yvonne Taylor, Caroline White, Andy Royse, Chris Lane, Steve Lacey, David Illingworth, Cathy Lacey.
….to Phoebe, who was 21 last week, and to David Salmon, our General Manager, who will be - well, let's say 21 again - next week!
The refit team took Phoebe out for a birthday meal as all her family is in New Zealand. Unfortunately she had to be carried home by a riot policeman; but luckily it was our very own riot policeman, John "Cuddles" Snowden. An early memory that many of us have of Phoebe was on the foredeck during dreadful weather in the 2002 Tall Ships Race. When asked if she was OK, she said very brightly: "Yes, but I didn't know it was possible to get this much of the Bay of Biscay inside my knickers!" So one of her birthday presents was a copy of Adlard Coles' "Heavy Weather Sailing", hopefully to prevent a repetition of this distressing incident.
Thanks to all those who responded to this week's emergency extra bulletin begging for more refit help, we are now OK for a few days. The next period when we are definitely short of help is 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th March. Call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can help.
The season is nearly on us and we have a few early voyages which still need extra crew members, so please do anything you can to encourage bookings on the following trips:
JL06-03 1-6 April £320 5 spaces
JL06-04 7-12 April £320 5 spaces
JL06-05 13-19 April £375 4 spaces (Easter)
JL06-11 13-19 May £375 12 spaces (full boat)
JL06-12 19-21 May £150 11 spaces (age 16-25)
JL06-14 22-26 May £250 4 spaces
JL06-21 24-29 June £315 10 spaces
Call 0870 241 2252 for bookings.
Criminal Records Bureau checks are essential for all adults sailing with young people on board John Laing - those on assessment as well as qualified sea staff. Please note that it takes several weeks or even a few months for checks to be completed once you have sent your form to OYT South. If you have been given a form and have not yet returned it, please do so as soon as possible if you hope to sail this season.
The hull has had its third and final coat of paint and looks fantastic. The rubbing strake and boot top has been painted (John Snowden: "I don't think this antifoul is working - I've been cursing all afternoon"); the white sides on deck have been painted, as has the coachroof; and a first coat of paint is going on the deck today. The crew quarters have had more paint but still more is needed. The skipper's cabin headlining has been done, his ceiling boards have been painted, and the cabin is being reassembled.
Refit helpers this week were Wolf, Dings, Phoebe, Caz, Alex "Leek" Evans, Laura, "Cuddles" Snowden, John Parkin, Dave Blogg, Andy Royse, Vic Stephens, Chris Lane and Alex Phillips.
We still need more people, so keep ringing Wolf on 07771 771864 if you have any time at all to spare. Key refit dates coming up shortly:
7th March - John Laing back in the water
8th March - masts back in
9th March - move boat back to Ocean Village
14th March - compass swing
15th March - coding inspection 0930 (this is a key date – everything MUST be ready for the inspection as we have to pass in order to sail)
16th and 17th March - move out of refit house (what would be fantastic here is to have a few volunteers to help clean the house, freeing up others to work on the boat and helping to ensure we get our deposit back).
Send cheques payable to OYT South to David Salmon, or phone him with a credit card donation (OYT South, Spur House, 1 The Spur, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants PO12 2NA, tel 0870 241 2252).
Sea staff bookings
I've started confirming some early season bookings; if anyone else needs an urgent answer on your provisional bookings, please drop me a line!
For early season voyages we still need:
30 April-5 May - third mate (adult FAM voyage)
6-7 May - second and third mates (possible marketing day sails)
19-21 May - first mate and one other mate (one must be female)
22-26 May - second mate
6-11 June - second mate
12-16 June - first mate
17-23 June - second mate
30 June-2 July - first mate
Lots of other vacancies after that - apart from Tall Ships voyages, there are spaces on most trips.
The mates training weekend 21-23 April was full but it is possible that there might now be one vacancy, so I could take a provisional booking in case that space comes up. Otherwise, we are starting to take bookings for the next one: 22-24 September (£150).
We still have three spaces on the longer adult voyage 30 April to 5 May (£275) - suitable for training, new prospective sea staff, group leaders, parents or anyone else who wants a first hand look at how we work at sea.
The prices for these adult voyages include £30 annual membership and £70 annual mates sailing fee, so once sea staff and prospective sea staff have paid this you can sail as often as you can manage in 2006 at no further cost.
Please email me to make sea staff bookings or reserve places on adult voyages.
See above for early-season vacancies for young people aged 12-25:
Call 0870 241 2252 for up-to-date availability and to make a booking - you can pay your deposit by credit card over the phone to secure your place.
Anyone looking for something a bit more adventurous over the summer should consider one of the legs of the Tall Ships Race series:
Tall Ships rules allow us to take a maximum of four 15-year olds on each leg for these five voyages; all other crew members must be aged 16-25. As ever, most of our other voyages are open to people aged 12-25.
For crew bookings, call the office on 0870 241 2252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Marketing day sails
We are still seeking bookings for marketing day sails, on Sat 6th and Sun 7th May this year. If you know anyone who would like to see the boat in action, with a view to booking a new group for a voyage, donating some money, or supporting us in other ways, please spread the word and make sure any new contacts know they would be welcome on one of those days (and either keep me or David Salmon informed). These days are also open to existing OYT South supporters who prefer not to come on full voyages but would like a short taste of life at sea in John Laing.
Dates for your diaries
17 March: shakedown weekend - make sure you have done your stint at the refit before this date!
20 March: first proper voyage begins.
20 April: maintenance day, Southampton - volunteers needed.
5 June: maintenance day, Poole - volunteers 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 (http://www.oytsouth.org/) and a proportion of any money you spend will be donated to us - at no extra cost to you!