John Laing at sea


OYT South bulletin 28th August 2006

In this Bulletin

  • Voyage News - John Laing visits three countries in three days and ends the voyage sailing alongside at Ocean Village.
  • Voyage opportunities - Book fast for the few remaining berths this season
  • Boat Show - More volunteers please to staff the stand.
  • Diary Dates - New Arrangements for the OYT South Dinner
  • OYT South People - Welcome back to Margaret Smith.
  • Reader Competition Results - A What of Skippers ?

Voyage News
The crew from Roundwood Youth Club, Brent Youth Service started their voyage by travelling by train from London arriving Antwerp Monday 21st August.  On Tuesday they participated in an impressive parade of sail which marked the end of the 50th anniversary Tall Ships race. John Laing’s crew marked the occasion by engaging various yachts in water fights including Tall Ships Youth Trust vessel Prince William.  Crew member Pratish is clearly something of an expert with a water balloon as witnesses say that he not only got the Captain of Prince William but also the pilot !

The first trip was from Antwerp down the River Schelde and along the coast to Flushing in Holland.  From here John Laing went up the canal to Middleburg.  Middleburg is a charming Dutch town, much visited by OYT boats over the years.  It seemed to be the favourite port for this crew.  Krissey liked “looking round the square“ and Robert A really enjoyed the “rice pudding cake with chocolate and jam“.

John Laing departed Holland on Thursday morning and went down the coast to arrive Ostend, Belgium that evening.  On Friday John Laing sailed overnight to arrive Dieppe, France early Saturday morning.  3 countries in 3 days!  The overnight passage was appreciated by many of the crew with Krissie writing in the visitors book “the night watch was good as it was so fascinating how the stars and sky and sea collided together“ while Shekahar liked the “millions of stars at night.“

John Laing left Dieppe at 06.25 hrs on Sunday morning with the plan being a fast motor sail back across the Channel and into the Solent.  The engine however had other ideas, so from 10.30 hrs John Laing proceeded under sail alone.  This voyage ended with an epic beat across channel in winds up to Force 6.  Zowey remembers  “reefing the mainsail (in the dark at 22.00 hrs) with the water coming at me and getting a lot of water in my mouth“  Robert W remembered the boat being at 45 degrees for much of the crossing.

 The wee small hours saw John Laing tacking steadily up Southampton Water before arriving at Ocean Village marina at 05.00 hrs.   Here Dave Carnson and crew sailed John Laing onto the harbour wall at the entrance to the marina.  A difficult manoevre which went very well.  “Classy“ was 2nd Mate Andy Shuttleworth’s comment.  To round things off they then warped the boat (i.e. moved it by pulling on ropes) across the gap to lie in the usual berth alongside the yacht Creighton’s.

The crew really rose to the challenge of the final 24 hour sail and after getting to bed at 06.00hrs promptly got up to clean the boat at 07.30hrs.  I was absolutely amazed to see so many smiling faces and enthusiastic crew members at the voyage debriefing on Monday morning.

Zowey wrote in the visitors book that “Sailing as an activity was scary but so much fun, really exciting“

Krissie summed the trip up by writing “Overall I thought this trip was brilliant and it is definitely one life time experience I will never forget……I learnt a lot of new things such as working more in a team“

Voyage Opportunities
Berths have been disappearing fast over the past week.   If you would like to book one of the few remaining places for this season please call David Salmon on 0870 241 2252.

9-15 Sept           Southampton                        £390    4 spaces left
9-13 Oct            Southampton                        £250    12 spaces (full boat)
30 Oct-3 Nov    Southampton                        £200    12 spaces (full boat) 

Boat Show Update
Our plans for the Southampton International Boat show are progressing well.  Many thanks to all those who have come forward to help staff our stand.

If you are aged 15-24 and have sailed on John Laing it would be really helpful if you could volunteer for a day at one of the weekends – either 16th/17th September or 23rd/24th  September.   The weekends are generally when young people visit the show so it would be great if you could tell potential crew about your voyage.  Please call David Salmon on 0870 241 2252.  David may be able to help you solve problems with travel or accommodation.

More adults are also needed for all days from Friday 15th September to Saturday 23rd September. Without your help David Salmon faces very long hours on the stand while the day to day work of managing our business just piles up in the OYT office.  Remember as well as staffing our stand you will have some time to look round the boat show.

Diary Dates

Friday 15 September:   OYT South Annual Dinner now a Buffet  Supper.  This event will be held in the brand new Quarter Deck Dining Room from which a great view is expected of the most beautiful parts of the harbour.  Proceeds continue to be in aid of Children’s Hospice Partners CHASE and Naomi House as well as OYT South.

To reserve tickets (£35) email   To pay for your tickets by credit card please call David Salmon on 0870 241 2252.

Southampton International Boat Show  Friday 15 September to Sunday 24 September 2006Please call David Salmon NOW on 0870 241 2252 or mobile 07850 723646 to secure your choice of dates to help man the stand.

Sunday 1 October: maintenance day, Southampton (call Wolf 07771 771864).

Winter 2006/2007
John Laing’s annual refit will be taking place in the River Hamble area.  Please start to think about the dates that you could come down to help. (You need to be at least 16 years plus to help at the refit.)

OYT South People
A big welcome back to John Laing for Margaret Smith from Brent Youth Service.  Margaret has been leading groups from Brent on OYT vessels most years since 1995.  Thanks for bringing all these groups ! Thanks also to Assistant Group Leader Anthony Smith (no relation) for joining the group onboard.

Thanks to all this weeks Sea Staff:-   Relief Skipper Dave Carnson, 1st Mate Graeme Cole, 2nd Mate Andy Shuttleworth and 3rd Mate Annant Shah.  Congratulations to Watch Leader Ben Martin who passed his 3rd Mate assessment.

Many Thanks to Dave Carnson for skippering the last two voyages.  Dave is going almost directly from John Laing to start his Horticulture course at the Perth campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands.  We wish Dave all the best with his studies.

Reader Competition Results
It’s a gaggle of geese, a pod of dolphins and coven of witches.  But a what of Skippers ? We asked  for your suggestions on a collective noun for Skippers.  There was a good level of response though the ideas tended towards the less than complimentary !

Jo Rule started the ball rolling positively with a number of thoughts including  “A Skool of Skippers“ and “A Stern of Skippers“ or “A Lugger of Skippers“.  Ru  Parkhouse  cleverly suggested  “A Thicket of Skippers.“  A late entry from Andy Shuttleworth was “An Abundance of Skippers“ 

Suggestions then veered towards the less good humoured side of our imaginary skippers' personalities with Chris Lane proposing “A Grumble of Skippers“ and  Jon Westoby “A Grouch of Skippers“.  The skippers’ conditions then worsened with Tim McEvoy suggesting “A Neurosis of Skippers“ and  “A Therapy of Skippers“

Jo Rule’s final suggestion effectively ended the competition - “A Wreck of Skippers“

Thanks and well done to everyone above and also to Rob Harwood whose suggestion was amusing but probably best unpublished.

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!

“It was really fun. I learned new knots and how to maintain a sailing ship. Thanks for the trip!" Dave, aged 13