Laura Aldrich-Blake started work this week as our new Staff Bosun. Aged 23, Laura has extensive volunteer experience with Trinity Sailing Foundation, working on board their three traditional Brixham sailing vessels (Leader, Provident and Golden Vanity) as bosun or second mate. We wish her all the best in her new role with us. The best way for other OYT South supporters to meet Laura is to go and help at the refit (see below)!
Refit 2006-7: volunteers needed
A quiet few days since the last bulletin, with just Chris Morris helping Wolf, Laura and Dings (acting as a volunteer in his last three days at the refit). Wolf and Laura really need some more help over the coming weekend and next week - please call 07771 771864 if you can spare a day or more. Don’t be put off by the weather - John Laing is now inside a nice warm sheltered tent!
The depleted team this week has started angle-grinding and removing filler below the waterline. They have also begun work on the stern platform; marked up the anchor chain; cleaned all the tank rubbers and serviced all the bilge pumps.
It would be great if we can have a real effort to get through some jobs before Christmas, so that Wolf and Laura can have a relaxing break without worrying too much about how much is left to do. The last working day for refit volunteers before Christmas is Dec 21st and the first working day back is Jan 3rd.
For more information on how the refit works, who can come and what volunteers can do, see here.
The office phone numbers have changed this week, and we now have new numbers which will be charged at local rates. Please amend your records as follows:
Office telephone: 0845 365 6781
Office fax: 0845 365 6782.
Individual refit donations are still coming in - thank you very much to everyone who has sent in a contribution. It really does make a difference to our hard-pressed refit team! We are now two-thirds of the way towards our initial appeal total, so we are making excellent progress.
If you haven't already made a contribution, PLEASE help us if you can. It is a very expensive job to keep John Laing in good condition, as well as keeping voyage prices down at a level which our crew members can afford - especially those from deserving or disadvantaged backgrounds. As I have said before, if everyone who reads this newsletter could afford £25, we would hit our target. Realistically, some readers are as young as 12 while others are students, or otherwise on limited incomes, so we would like to ask those of you with proper jobs to dig a little deeper if you can - and we are also asking sea staff to pay your membership and sailing fees early, so that we get the money during the refit when we really need it. And also 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.
It is so easy and quick to make a donation - just call David Salmon on 0845 365 6781 with your credit card handy. Or see here for other ways of making a donation.
Thanks to all those of you who have booked places on February 17th. The GMDSS and Sea Survival courses are beginning to look full, though people may drop out and there are still a few who haven’t finally confirmed, so keep sending in your names if you want to do either of these.
However, we still have plenty of space on the radar, food hygiene and first aid courses - book your place NOW! We need to fill as many places as possible to get down to a reasonable cost per head. Radar is particularly recommended for second mates and above, though others are welcome too. Food hygiene and first aid (which needs renewing every three years - is yours about to expire?) are recommended for anyone who plans to sail with OYT South. Email me to book.
Apart from the Sea Survival course (which needs a swimming pool), the others will be held at the Sea Cadet Unit in Gosport. They are all full-day courses so you can only choose one!
As for those wanting Powerboat Level 2: I’ve heard from Tony Salmon, who runs these courses. He’s been waiting for repairs to his boat, but says “hopefully mid Feb onwards we should have a few boats back on the water so we can start running courses”. I’ll let you know as soon as I can when I have some dates for these 2-day courses.
OYT South's 2007 AGM will take place on Sunday 18th February (the day after the training courses), also in the Sea Cadet Unit, Gosport. Details to follow but please put the date in your diary!
We've had a little bit of interest from people thinking of standing for election to the Board of Trustees at the AGM, but we are still keen to hear from anyone else who thinks they might have something to offer and would be interested in helping to run the charity. Contact the office for more information. We are keen to attract people 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
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, so don't leave it too long or your chosen dates may be fully-booked by others!
At the moment we are particularly looking to sell the first two voyages of the season, which are still empty:
19-23 March, Southampton, £230
24-29 March, Southampton, £310
Anyone interested, please contact the office.
Tall Ships 2007
Having recently been to the Sail Training International conference, we are really getting excited about the 2007 Tall Ships Race series in the Baltic, which has some beautiful sailing areas. We have spaces still available on three voyages which are official Tall Ships trips:
7-20 July: Race 1, Arhus, Denmark, to Kotka, Finland (£845)
20-29 July: Cruise in company, Kotka, Finland, to Stockholm, Sweden (£585)
29 July - 7 Aug: Race 2, Stockholm, Sweden, to Szczecin, Poland (£585)
You can find more information about the host ports here.
For Tall Ships voyages, we can take up to four crew members aged 15, and the rest must be aged 16-25.
We also have some exciting voyages to get us to Denmark at the start, and back from Poland at the end (a few of which are open to younger crew members) - please look at the voyage programme for details.
Small Ships 2007
ASTO (Association of Sea Training Organisations) Small Ships races are for sailing vessels up to 120 feet in length and with at least half the crew being aged 15-25. John Laing will be taking part in two Small Ships races in 2007:
27 May - 1 June: Torquay to Guernsey, £350
2-7 October: Solent race (starting and finishing in Southampton), £325
The Torquay to Guernsey race has the same age restrictions as Tall Ships (four 15-year olds, all the rest 16-24), but the Solent race is open to anyone aged 12-25. The Solent race itself takes place on Saturday 6th October, but the full voyage allows time to get everyone familiar with the boat and do some race training. Contact the office if you want to take part in either race.
OYT South is also keen to secure sponsorship so that places on both Tall Ships and Small Ships races can be offered to deserving young people who would never normally be able to take part in these special events. If you would like to help fund a berth for one of these races, please email me.
Voyages for sea staff and new 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) - 1 place left
17-22 April (£275) - 5 places
7-9 Sept (£150) - 12 places
10-14 Sept (£275) - 12 places
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 at for more information, or download an application form here.
I'll start taking sea staff bookings for voyages with young people next season once the refit is well under way.
Survey - tell us what you think
Thanks to those of you who have filled in the new web-based survey here - we are getting some interesting answers already but it would be good to get a lot more responses - from young crew members, sea staff, parents, group leaders or anyone who has sailed with the Ocean Youth Club or Ocean Youth Trust in any capacity since 1960. It's a very easy and quick survey to complete so please give it a go!
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.
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 at the rest of this website, particularly:
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.
Don't forget the OYT South link to Amazon - click here and a proportion of any money you spend will be donated to us - at no extra cost to you! Make this your Amazon link on your favourites list - otherwise it’s too easy to forget to use it.