A few early-season voyages which still need extra crew members, so please do anything you can to encourage bookings on the following trips - tell your friends, and encourage other organisations to book:
JL06-03 1-6 April £320 4 spaces
JL06-04 7-12 April £320 2 spaces
JL06-11 13-19 May £375 12 spaces (full boat)
JL06-12 19-21 May £150 11 spaces (age 16-25)
JL06-18 6-11 June £315 12 spaces (full boat)
Call 0870 241 2252 for bookings.
No bulletin last week owing to illness – but in case you haven’t heard, we passed our coding inspection on Tuesday 14th March. This involved a massive effort over the final few days by a big team including Wolf, Dings, John “Cuddles” Snowden, Laura, Lorna, Cathy Lacey, Flav, Caz, Andy Royse, Mark Boggis, Phoebe, Trevor, Tim Deverson, Rebecca Causer, Jo Rule and her husband Phil. Thanks very much to everyone involved. It all went so well that those of you familiar with the normal practice of working till at least 0230 on the morning of coding will be astounded to hear that we were actually able to stop working at 2130 the night before, with just a few jobs left to do in the morning – mainly involving ferrying the last of the gear in the van. However, things never go that smoothly for us, so it should really have been no surprise when the van broke down. Dings and John got home with a tow truck after midnight, not long after Wolf, Caz and Phoebe who had faced immense struggles getting some vital coding documents printed off a computer.
However, coding went well, with the inspector very happy with the condition of the vessel. The same sadly cannot be said about the condition of the van – is there any chance of someone donating a working van to us?
The aftermath of coding precipitated a complete physical collapse from skipper Wolf, who retired to his bed (Bird flu? Kennel cough? Canine distemper?) and was too ill to take part in the last days of refit and the start of the season. The team managed to move out of the refit house, with help from Jane Francis and Chris Lane, while the Contact Marine team (Chris, Tristan and Ian Webster) worked on a complete service for engine and generator.
Relief skipper Dave Carnson stepped in at short notice to run the shakedown weekend, taking Dings, John Parkin, John Snowden, Laura, Ian Leedell, Mark Boggis, Phoebe, Tim Deverson and Chris from Contact Marine on a demanding voyage from Southampton to Gosport and back, testing everything on the way. Tim was particularly pleased that the new rigging he made all worked perfectly.
By Monday Wolf had still not recovered, for fortunately we were able to postpone the crew for the first half of the week – though they did come for a visit and a look round the boat on Monday. Otherwise, the sea staff for the voyage were able to carry on with key jobs like servicing the winches. Third mate Tom Hughes taught himself to splice and whip and did a great job on the fenders and fenderboards.
On Tuesday night, relief skipper Helen Acton flew in from Belfast to take over, and Wednesday’s crew were able to join as planned. They were experienced dinghy sailors and instructors from West Sussex, and apparently they had a great couple of days – from Ocean Village to Gunwharf, out the the Nab, back to Cowes and Ocean Village. Lots of highly competitive inter-watch tacking, and the crew took responsibility for all the navigation for the whole trip. Dings said there were half a dozen potential watchleaders in the group, so hopefully we shall see them again.
A sign of a good refit: nothing broke during this first voyage except the loo roll holder in the starboard heads (and possibly the staff bosun). The sea staff who kept the show on the road were Hels, John Parkin, John Snowden, Tom, Dings and Laura – who completed her bosun training so that she can cover some of Dings’ reliefs this season.
Huge thanks from Wolf to everyone who kept things going in his absence. He’s on the mend now and delighted that the season has got off to a good start.
The office has also been working hard to prepare for some great voyages later this year. David Salmon did a presentation last night to the members of Leonie Warnick’s Young Carers group who will be sailing at the end of the summer as part of a project funded by Comic Relief, which looks really exciting. David said the evening went really well and there is every sign that this will be another really good crew!
Sea staff bookings
For early season voyages we still need:
22-26 May - second mate
31 May - 4 June - second mate
17-23 June - second mate
30 June-2 July - first mate
The mates training weekend 21-23 April is full and we are starting to take bookings for the next one: 22-24 September (£150).
We still have two 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.
Some minor changes to Tall Ships start and finish dates, to fit in better with travel arrangements:
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.
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.
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
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!