We'll be at Hamble Yacht Services, as last year, taking the masts out on 15th November and lifting the boat out of the water on 16th November.
In order to get ready for the lift-out, from 8th November we need volunteers to help decommission the boat and get all the gear ashore, as well as major cleaning of the bilges and engine room. Please call skipper Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can give a day or more to help.
We are still looking for accommodation in the Hamble area, so we can't make detailed arrangements with volunteers until we have somewhere for you to stay, but Wolf can still be making a list of who wants to help on which dates.
For more information on how the refit works, who can come and what volunteers can do, see here.
Refit accommodation - ideas welcome
We need to rent a house in the Hamble area from November to March. The skipper and bosun will be living there full-time, and we may have some other virtually full-time volunteers; the house also needs to accommodate other volunteers who turn up for odd days or weekends. We're looking for a place with at least 3 bedrooms, and furnished. Property within walking distance of Hamble Yacht Services would be ideal, though we can go further if necessary. If anyone has suggestions about affordable accommodation in the area, please email me!
End of season gathering on the boat - Sunday 5th November
The final voyage of the 2006 sailing season ends on Sunday 5th November. There will be a gathering on the boat that evening for anyone who wants to come along and celebrate another great season - ideal for old friends or new people who want to come along and say hello. It’s going to be a very informal event. If you want to sleep on board that night, let me know by email as I’ll need some idea of numbers!
OYT South staff bosun appointment
The closing date for applications for this job has now passed. Thank you to those who have applied. We have a good field of applicants and we shall be shortlisting and interviewing in the next few weeks, hoping to make an appointment as soon as possible.
Don't forget OYT South is a charity - we need to raise a considerable sum of money each year to keep John Laing going and offer affordable voyages to young people from a very broad range of backgrounds, including many who are disadvantaged and highly deserving. We particularly need your help over the winter, when we don't have income from voyage fees but expenses for the refit are high. Please consider making a donation to help us this year - or persuading someone else to help!
Sea staff who will be paying their £100 fee to sail next year (£30 membership, £70 annual sailing fee): could you pay early, to help us through the winter, rather than paying during the season? And don't forget that our mates fees have not been increased for many years; if you can afford more, please think about increasing your contribution. Any sea staff who plan to sail for more than a weekend next year are getting an incredibly cheap deal from their sailing fees, so please pay more if you can.
Please see here for information on making a donation to OYT South.
We are interested in receiving enquiries from anyone interested in adults-only voyages other than the mates training and familiarisation voyages for prospective sea staff. Please contact the office if you (and a group of friends or family, a club, or a workplace teambuilding group) would like to do a fun, adventurous trip in 2007. We will also consider applications for group voyages from disadvantaged or deserving adults.
Adult voyages will only take place at times of year when we have no bookings from young people, and cannot take place during school holidays. Please note that our published voyage prices are subsidised for young people aged 12-25. Adult voyage prices can be negotiated with the office but are likely to be higher.
At the OYT South AGM next February it will be possible for our members to consider electing some additional Trustees to the Board of OYT South. If you think you might have something to offer and would be interested to get involved in the running of the charity, please start thinking now about whether you might be interested in standing for election, and contact the office for more information. We are keen to attract new trustees with skills or experience which may be useful in developing the charity and improving our work. In addition, we would like to consider having at least one youth member (aged under 25) standing for election to the Board.
2007 voyage programme
NOW AVAILABLE here. Hundreds of exciting sailing opportunities, from local trips to adventures overseas, including the 2007 Tall Ships race series in the Baltic. Weekends up to 2-week trips; voyages for young people (12-25) or adults (16+); training voyages for prospective volunteer sea staff; opportunities for individuals and groups. Some voyages have already been sold - bookings are being taken NOW so please start making your bookings for next year - don't leave it too long or your chosen dates may be fully-booked by others!
Last week's crew consisted of experienced young dinghy sailors from Clevedon sailing club in the Bristol Channel, led by OYT 3rd mate Steve Harman. It was great to have so many good sailors on board as the weather was quite challenging: they sailed to Cowes on the first day in Force 8 winds and a Solent monsoon. A highlight of the evening in Cowes was apparently Steve's peach crumble!
Next day they went to Yarmouth and picked up a buoy before sending the crew in the water taxi to explore the town. Second mate Matt Bland took charge as they sailed off the buoy without using the engine. This was followed by a lot of energetic tacking as they made their way back to Cowes.
The following day it was gybe practice as they went out to the Nab Tower, before returning to spend the night on a Solent berth we had never used before - at least for as long as anyone on board has been around. Hard to believe this is possible considering how many night we spend in the Solent each year! But faced with a complete lack of available berths in the Hamble, they rang the harbourmaster and were offered a night on his own berth in Warsash. While in the area, they were able to catch up with OYT South trustee and relief skipper Yvonne Taylor.
Another very windy day took them back up to Ocean Village to end the voyage on Wednesday.
All the crew earned RYA Start Yachting certificates; they were a very good young bunch of sailors, some of whom are interested in joining us for Tall Ships races next year, or helping out at the refit.
Sea staff were Wolf, John Smith, Matt, Steve and Zennor Pascoe, another of the ASTO cadets on the same scheme as our own Gizmo. Zennor was doing her very last trip of her cadetship and enjoyed being bosun for the voyage.
Website - volunteer and relief sea staff
Thanks to everyone who has submitted pictures and background information for the volunteer profiles page of the website. A new version will be available shortly. I am still lacking pictures and captions for a few people so please keep adding things, or rewriting your own caption if you think it could be improved. All contributions by email to me.
Shorebased training for sea staff
We hope to have dates shortly for some winter training courses, but if you haven't already done so, please email me if you would be interested in any of the following:
* RYA Powerboat level 2 (two day course, required for driving John Laing's dinghy, especially useful for relief bosuns but valuable for all sea staff)
* RYA Sea Survival (recommended for all - this is the course on which you can practice setting off flares, and try using a liferaft in a swimming pool)
* GMDSS / VHF radio (recommended for all; compulsory for second mates and above)
* First aid (recommended for all; compulsory for second mates and above. NB certificates only valid for three years – will yours expire in the next year?)
* Radar (recommended for 2M and above)
* Food hygiene (recommended for all)
Please also let me know if there are other relevant courses you would like, and I’ll look into organising anything else if there is sufficient interest.
For those who are particularly keen to do the Sea Survival course, Yvonne Taylor occasionally has vacancies on her courses - call her on 07785 335189 for more information.
Voyages for sea staff and prospective sea staff
For those of you who are new to the organisation, or who have only recently been recommended for sea staff, dates for adult training voyages next season are:
30 Mar-1 April (£150)
17-22 April (£275)
7-9 Sept (£150)
10-14 Sept (£275)
Prices include £30 annual membership and £70 mates sailing fee - which means that any other voyages you do in 2007 would be free! Anyone new to the organisation who wants to get to know the boat, see how we work and find out whether you would enjoy being a member of volunteer sea staff should book on one of these trips - email me to book.
All these training voyages are also open to current qualified sea staff who are looking to make progress, brush up on a few skills or practice something they don’t often get a chance to do - as well as helping us introduce the new people to John Laing and OYT South. Email me to reserve a place.
Prospective sea staff who are hoping to sail next season: please note that to sail with young people, you must complete an OYT South application form, providing references, and have clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau. If you aren't familiar with this system, it is perfectly straightforward but it can take weeks or even a few months for the CRB to deal with your form, so it's well worth starting the process before the end of this year to ensure that you are ready to take up any opportunities to sail from the start of next season. Email Brian Eyres for application forms.
I’ll start taking sea staff bookings for voyages with young people next season once the refit is well under way.
Funding idea for young people - Youth Opportunity Fund
Don’t forget that groups of young people looking for ways of funding their voyage for next year might like to investigate the Youth Opportunity Fund. This is designed to help projects where young people get together to organise activities for people aged 13-19 in their local area. You can find a factsheet here.
New readers’ section
If you are reading the OYT South newsletter for the first time, I hope you will find it useful and interesting, and filled with opportunities for things you will want to get involved in. Please feel free to join in any OYT South activities - nothing here is restricted to longstanding members or people who already know one another. New people are always very welcome!
If you feel that you don't yet know much about OYT South, you will learn more by keeping a regular eye on these newsletters; but for a lot of background information, take a look around the rest of this website.
If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here.
Adults interested in joining our volunteer sea staff can check here.
To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please look here.
To help with the winter refit, see here.
And if you have any questions, please email me - or contact the office on 0870 241 2252.
Don't forget the OYT South link to Amazon - click on the Amazon logo here and a proportion of any money you spend will be donated to us - at no extra cost to you!