Spanish crew member Irene prepares for Wolf's birthday party


OYT South bulletin 5th August 2006

In this Bulletin

  • Voyage News - John Laing crew rise to the challenge from the North !
  • Voyage Opportunties - including possible adult voyages.
  • Diary Dates - Have you bought your dinner ticket ?
  • OYT South People - Happy Birthday to Wolf !

Voyage News!
This voyage  should have been a pleasant mid-summer “cruise in company“ – up the coast from Cadiz, Portugal  to La Coruna, Spain with John Laing sharing passages and stopovers with other vessels in the Tall Ships.   The reality has been a battle against the elements. But the great news is that the crew have risen magnificently to meet this challenge.

To reach La Coruna John Laing needed to sail northwards.  The big problem has been that the wind has blown relentlessly and strongly from the North. 

This has resulted in a continuous “beat“ – sailing the boat at  45 degrees into the wind, and the weather, and the seas.  What it feels like is being beaten – or kicked – as the boat slams into wave after wave.

John Laing left Cadiz last weekend with a strong Northerly Force 6 blowing.  The wind rose further, towards Force 8 and wave heights reached 5m.   The crew were kept busy with frequent sail changes and reefing of the sails, by day and by night, sually in showers of spray.  Torn sails, missing sail battens and bilge pump repairs have also been features.  

One overnight stop was made at Cascais, Portugal and then it was back out to sea.  Friday saw some brief respite with a lunchtime anchorage at Islas Cies, a beautiful island and national marine park lying in the entrance to the Ria that leads to Vigo, Spain.

By Friday evening when I spoke to John Laing she had reached a marina at Sanxenxo, Spain on the Ria de Pontevedra. – the next ria North from Vigo.  This leaves John Laing  well placed to round Cape Finisterre and reach La Coruna in the next few days. 

 Skipper Mark Todd (Wolf) described the crew as “Real Stars“.  Mark has been highly impressed with how well the crew have coped with these difficult conditions and kept the boat sailing. A very diverse crew including 4 from Dorset, 2 Germans and 2 Spaniards have melded together through the storms to form a really strong team.

Wolf’s main worry this week was that he thought the lid to the biscuit tin was lost  However we are delighted to say it has now been found.

 Voyage Opportunities
 4-8 Sept           Southampton                           £275   3 spaces
9-15 Sept         Southampton                           £390    10 spaces
16-22 Sept       Southampton                           £415    12 Spaces (full boat)
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)

John Laing hasn’t sailed many adult voyages this year.  If you have any interest in organising an adult week, or weekend please contact David Salmon on 0870 241 2252 to discuss the possibilities.

Diary Dates
 Tuesday 29 Aug: maintenance day, Southampton (call Wolf 07771 771864). 

Friday 15 September: OYT South Annual Dinner (To reserve tickets 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 2006.

Please 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).

 OYT South People
A big welcome back to John Laing this week for Laura Brayshaw.  Laura first sailed on John Laing last year as a member of a Dorset Youth Group crew and has since been trained as a relief bosun.  Our thanks to Laura who has been working really hard this voyage.  

Onboard for this voyage have been Skipper Wolf, 1st Mate Caroline White, and  2nd Mates Steve Lacey and  Cathy Lacey.  Many thanks to everyone in this team for a voyage where they have clearly had to work that little bit harder.

 With the fleet spread out due to the conditions there have been few sightings of other vessels.  But VHF radio has allowed John Laing to keep in touch with some old friends.

Dave Bawden, who has previously skippered OYT Scotland Boat Alba Venturer has been sailing Jolie Brise as Relief Skipper.  Rob Purkiss who was John Laing’s full-time skipper in 2000 is sailing on Lord Nelson as First Mate.

 Tuesday August 8th will be a big day onboard as it is  Skipper Mark Todd’s 39th Birthday.  Best wishes to Mark for a Happy Birthday !


“Thank you very much for letting me come on the John Laing, it was so fun.” Hannah, aged 12