Chichester XL group


OYT South bulletin 28th April 2006

Latest news
New website
Thanks to those who have sent feedback on the new website. If you haven’t looked through it yet, it’s at . Do please keep sending me suggestions for further improvements, and let me know if anything doesn’t work or doesn’t seem to be making sense.

Accommodation available
OYT South volunteer watchleader urgently needs lodger, Portsmouth, double room £300pcm, working people only, apply

Adult voyages
Just one space left on the adult familiarisation voyage 30 April – 5 May (£275) – suitable for adults (16+) who want to find out more about OYT South – as potential sea staff, clients, parents of crew members etc. Phone the office on 0870 241 2252 if you want to come on this trip!

Open Days weekend, 6 and 7 May
These Open Days are now FULL (indeed slightly over-subscribed). If you know anyone else who would like to do a day sail with us or come on a future Open Day, please keep emailing me and I’ll start compiling a list for the next available dates.

Sea staff bookings
I’ve had a few emails from people enquiring about the remaining sea staff and assessment berths this year – I’ll be getting back to you after the adult familiarisation voyage.

Crew bookings
Current crew vacancies:

13-19 May       Southampton to Poole              £375    1 space
19-21 May       Poole to Poole                          £150    11 spaces
22-26 May       Poole to Poole                          £250    4 spaces
6-11 June         Poole to Southampton              £315    12 spaces (full boat)
8-22 July          St Malo to Lisbon                     £830    5 spaces*
28 Jul-9 Aug    Cadiz to La Corunna                £700    8 spaces* (but 4 provisionally reserved).
9-20 Aug         La Corunna to Antwerp            £700    7 spaces*
9-15 Sept         Southampton                            £390    11 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
Last weekend was the mates’ training voyage: very sunny for skipper Wolf’s first trip back in charge! A good team of people, including a few current sea staff getting in a bit of practice; a few new to the Ocean Youth Trust; and some who had sailed with other OYT regions but were new to John Laing. The weekend began with second mate John “Cuddles” Snowden organising the group to warp the boat round in the berth, an exercise which thoroughly reinforced the importance of good communications. They then set off and did a lot of practice sail hoists – remarkably, involving Wolf standing forward of the nav lights for over an hour and confounding all scurrilous rumours about him not doing the hands-on stuff.

They went round to Gosport and spent the night in Royal Clarence – our first visit to the new facilities there, which look set to become a regular location for us. Lots of practice manoeuvres there before sailing back round to Ocean Village.

There were several people on the weekend whom we hope to encourage to get more involved with OYT South, so it was a successful and productive trip – thanks to sea staff Wolf, Cuddles, Phoebe, Laura and a special guest appearance as first mate by Brian Eyres.

On Monday a new voyage began, with crew from the Chichester High School for Girls XL club. Wolf says it’s a long time since a crew has made him laugh so much: “I’ve never met a funnier bunch of people in my life.”

A communications code was developed on board for the hoodie-wearing crew: hood up = “I’m having a pissy fit”, hood down = “It’s OK to talk to me”.

Day one involved a trip to Yarmouth, where they spent the night on a buoy; and the next day they sailed to Weymouth, pursued by fog and accompanied by the seasick buckets.

In Weymouth they joined the Sea Cadets’ power boat, TS John Jerwood, and our crew were given a tour. Much envy from our team for their TVs and DVDs – much less envy when they found some of the Sea Cadets condemned to scrub the deck at 10pm for misbehaviour.

The following day the team enjoyed a good sail to Cherbourg – our first cross-Channel trip of the season! The wind died for the last stretch of the passage but it was very sunny, and remained so for the next day in France, which included sunbathing, shopping, training for RYA certificates, a big water-pistol fight and a game of bobbing for apples and other slightly skanky fruit in buckets.

A 5am start the next day, and they reached Ocean Village seventeen hours later – at 10pm tonight.

This was a really excellent group with two good group leaders, and we really hope to see them again and develop a good working relationship with their organisation. RYA Start Yachting tests will take place tomorrow morning but the skipper is quietly confident about the group…

Many thanks to sea staff Wolf, Graeme Cole, John Snowden, Laura, Jonathan Cheshire, and Becca Causer doing her third mate’s assessment – not quite completed yet as the voyage isn’t over!
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!


“Really nice time, fantastic crew, really funny, would definitely come again, will remember it very well.” Kelly, 15