Guernsey to Southampton, 2-7 June
We now have some provisional bookings from young crew members to bring John Laing back from Guernsey after the ASTO Small Ships Race. Hopefully these will be confirmed and we may be able to fill the boat; but please keep encouraging any young people to contact the office if they want to go on this voyage, as there may still be spaces. The Special Offer price is just £180 (and we will consider applications for further bursaries for people who genuinely cannot afford even this reduced price).
However, it is still possible that if we don't need enough bookings from young people, we may need a few extra sea staff or CRB-checked adults to help bring the boat back - email me NOW if you might be interested and then I can keep you informed a.s.a.p. if we need you.
Missing mail - important
The office has recently been receiving a selection of mail postmarked as far back as January! This includes bookings, cheques, etc. It is quite clear that there has been a substantial problem with letters both outgoing and incoming for some time. If you have sent anything to the office and received no acknowledgement, or if you expected something to be sent to you from the office and it hasn't arrived, please contact the office as soon as possible. We do apologise for any inconvenience and have taken the matter up in the strongest possible terms with the Post Office.
Current Special Offer voyages are:
JL07-19, 5 nights, 2-7 June, Guernsey to Southampton: DOWN from £290 to £180 (age 12-25)
JL07-21, 6 nights, 12-18 June, Southampton to Ipswich: DOWN from £350 to £240 (age 12-25)
JL07-23, 8 nights, 21-29 June, Ipswich to Kiel (Germany): DOWN from £480 to £280 (age 12-25)
JL07-24, 7 nights, 30 June to 7 July, Kiel to Arhus (Denmark): DOWN from £420 to £260 (age 15-25)
JL07-29, 7 nights, 9-16 Aug, Szczecin (Poland) to Kiel: DOWN from £505 to £280 (age 12-25)
Not all places on each of these voyage are available at the reduced rates, so HURRY - if you want to book a berth at the Special Offer price, contact the office as soon as possible.
This is in addition to other bursary funding which may be available for other voyages or to deserving candidates who cannot afford even the reduced prices: see below ("Want to sail but can't afford it?") or here for details. We also have some special international bursary funding for crew members from outside the UK.
Want to sail but can't afford it?
We now have a reasonable amount of bursary funding available to help individuals or groups who would like to sail but cannot afford standard crew prices or even Special Offer prices.
Applications for bursary funding can be emailed to me and should include the following information:
We have a variety of general bursaries available for a broad range of people aged 12-25, but specific funding priorities include:
* Young people from disadvantaged and deserving backgrounds
* Young people who genuinely cannot afford to sail
* Young people who can only afford short local voyages but with financial support would be able to take part in longer, more adventurous voyages
* People who have been recommended as future sea staff (bosuns and watch leaders) who need to sail more often in order to gain experience
* People who have sailed with us before and demonstrated that they are enthusiastic, hard-working individuals who will have a positive impact on any voyage
* Non-UK citizens: we have some bursary funding restricted to people from outside the UK. We are particularly keen this year to include people from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Poland and Germany on Tall Ships and Baltic Challenge voyages, though people of other nationalities are also welcome to apply.
If you are unsure whether you might qualify for a bursary, please ask!
2008 draft voyage programme - NEW
An early draft version of the 2008 voyage programme is now available here. It will give you an idea of what we are planning for next year, but it is not yet set in stone - if your group is hoping for a voyage on specific dates and the draft programme doesn't suit your plans, contact the office NOW and we'll see if it's possible to adjust the programme to create a voyage to suit you.
Southampton Boat Show
It may be several months away but we are already looking for volunteers to help with our stand at the Southampton Boat Show, on any day from Friday 13 September to Sunday 23 September. All welcome, including young crew members who can help enthuse others simply by describing their own experiences on board John Laing, as well as adult volunteers - some of whom will be needed as stand managers, prepared to commit to helping for a full day or longer.
We will provide a pass for entry for the period of time on the stand, so volunteers will also get a chance to look round the rest of the show - a great experience.
Southampton Asian Mela festival
As a result of the recent voyages with the Wheatsheaf Trust, OYT South has been invited to have a stand at Southampton's Asian Mela Festival on Saturday 30th June. This looks like a fantastic way of building links with local communities and helping us to get a more diverse range of young people on our voyages. It also looks like an amazing day out! If you can come along on the day and help us to run the stand, please contact the office or email me.
Last weekend we ran two marketing day sails for sponsors, potential clients etc. With Force 8 winds on both days, we were more than a little apprehensive, but in fact the whole weekend went superbly well. Saturday involved a mixed crew, with a few potential new clients from Portsmouth and Southampton, plus representatives of some of our corporate supporters, including Raymarine and MDL. The weather was so appalling that all we managed to do was sail up and down Southampton Water, without even venturing beyond Calshot - but everyone, even those who had never sailed before, got a chance to helm, plus slots of tacking practice. There was a great atmosphere on board and we have had some very positive comments from participants. Andrew from Raymarine copied us in on an email to his marketing team, saying "This is the type of organisation that is well worth supporting", and telling us "Thank you for a wonderful day…Please thank Wolf and the team for a most enjoyable time. I would very much like to come again and be further involved where possible, both professionally and personally." And Lyn Gough, who does so much for us at MDL, sent a staff member from Cobbs Quay marina on the day, and told us later: "I have just spoken to Chas who said he had a fantastic day with you. He was very impressed with you and your organisation and has come back to work convinced that MDL should be doing more to help! (And saying could he put his name down for the next trip!)."
Sunday's weather was even worse, with driving rain added to the howling winds. The crew, all from one another of our sponsors, International Paint, could not have been more cheerful about it - Wolf actually offered them the opportunity to turn back at one point but they preferred to keep sailing. This turned out to be worthwhile as things cheered up during the afternoon and we got well down the western Solent - only to be overtaken by ex-OYT South mate Gizmo, enjoying her new job as mate on an ultra-speedy racing boat. But our International Paint crew were getting a fair turn of speed out of John Laing, too. It was great to get to know one of our sponsoring organisations so much better, as they proved to be fantastic company (including taking the sea staff out for the evening after the voyage!) and very positive about finding different ways of working together. We are currently in discussions about finding places on voyages for some of their young graduate trainees. The leader of their team, Fred Cole, wrote later: "It was a great day out, we all felt that the ridiculous weather made it better rather than worse! Thanks again to Wolf and the team."
This team consisted of Wolf, Caz, Laura, Phoebe, Becca Causer and Tom Kemp - thanks to everyone who helped make these day sails such a success.
The weekend was followed by another eagerly-anticipated voyage with Alfreton Park School, a regular client whose voyages involve six young people with physical and learning difficulties, plus six adult carers. As with all our voyages, everything revolves around the abilities of the young people - which in this case means shorter and hopefully gentler sailing than usual, combined with a lot of learning, activities and entertainments in harbour.
Again, the weather was far from ideal; but the group coped incredibly well. They went to Cowes on the first night and enjoyed a spectacular thunderstorm. On Tuesday morning they shopped in Cowes for presents and souvenirs before sailing to Gunwharf after lunch, and doing some sail training exercises on the way. In Gunwharf they parked under Spinnaker Tower, which everyone enjoyed seeing, and had fajitas for dinner - putting them together was a great learning experience for some of the crew!
Wednesday saw another short sail to Hamble, where the new dinghy was launched and everyone had a go in it. First mate Martin Skipper took a group of the adult carers for a spin and tricked them into thinking that the outboard had broken, so that he could make them row back, much to the amusement of the young people. In the evening, ex-RAF trainee mate Pete French managed to get them access to the RAF Yacht Club, who were extremely welcoming and allowed the crew to play games on the green and then gather in the bar for soft drinks. The games all went very well except that head teacher Rosemary Mackenzie threw a boomerang which didn't come back…and it fell into the water.
Next day they enjoyed a walk round Hamble before sailing back to Ocean Village. This is really a very short distance but everyone wanted a last go at steering so the passage was stretched out to three hours to give everyone a chance. Fish and chips for dinner, and they all went home today having completed 42 miles on the voyage - a fraction of what we might have done with a different group, but in terms of achievements per mile, a superb week. Huge strides were made by all the young people during the voyage - one person who had sailed last year was able to look after others and show them how to do things; another had never been away from home but overcome nerves and homesickness to become really happy and enthusiastic on board. Some became much more communicative, or learned new skills - the staff saw positive changes in everyone.
Many thanks to Chris Lane, Ro Mackenzie and the other carers, and to sea staff Helen Acton, Martin Skipper, Laura, Mike Makepeace, Geoff Eddy and Pete French. Geoff did very well on his first voyage as a qualified mate, having passed his assessment just a few weeks ago; Pete was doing his first voyage with young people and made substantial progress towards a mate's qualification, with only the limited sailing and navigation required on a voyage like this preventing him from completing the assessment, which he should easily finish on his next voyage.
Current fundraising priorities are to start putting together a refit fund for next winter, so that we are better able to plan the jobs and don't face the usual cashflow problems at the last minute. See here for how to make a donation.
Volunteer press officer news
Lizzie Fiddaman, a new sea staff volunteer with extensive PR experience, has very kindly agreed to have a go at working on our press operation. If you have good stories to tell about an OYT South voyage which might be worthy of coverage in the local press or other publications, please email Lizzie. You can also contact her if you want to get involved in getting positive press coverage for us in your local area - the more help she has, the more coverage we might get! Lizzie will be starting to contact people after voyages to discuss ideas for press releases, and I hope as many crew members, sea staff and group leaders as possible will be keen to help her to get us good publicity.
London Support Group
We are still hoping to re-form an OYT South London Support Group, with the aim of forging links with London-based groups which might send young people to sail, and raising a bit of money to help them do so. Anyone in the London area who would be prepared to come and sit in a pub for an evening and discuss what could be done and how to do it, drop me an email, and we'll see if we can find a convenient date and location for a first get-together.
21-25 May: Southampton to Torquay £250 - 2 places left
27 May - 1 June: Torquay to Guernsey £350 - ASTO Small Ships race - 2 or 3 places left
2-7 June: Guernsey to Poole £290 (£180 Special Offer price) - RESERVED
12-18 June: Southampton to Ipswich £350 (£240 Special Offer price)
21-29 June: Ipswich to Kiel (Germany) £480 (£280 Special Offer price) - Baltic Challenge
30 June - 7 July: Kiel to Arhus (Denmark) £420 (£260 Special Offer price) - Baltic Challenge*
7-20 July: Arhus to Kotka (Finland) £845 - Tall Ships race*
20-29 July: Kotka to Stockholm (Sweden) £585 - Tall Ships cruise in company* - 4 places
9-16 Aug: Szczecin to Kiel £505 (£280 Special Offer price) - Baltic Challenge
10-14 Sept: Southampton £275
8-12 Oct: Southampton £240
15-19 Oct: Southampton £250
20-24 Oct: Southampton £250
See here for more information:
UK and south coast voyages
Small Ships races (summer half term - very soon! - or October)
Baltic challenge voyages (July/July, or August)
Tall Ships races (July / August)
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects
Please book now, or send the links to your friends!
For the full voyage programme, including latest figures on the number of berths available, see here.
We really need some help in filling the empty voyages - please use all your contacts and think whether you know anyone, groups or individuals, who might like to sail.If we get no bookings from young people (aged 12-25) for any particular voyage, we may offer it adult groups; but please note that our published voyage prices are subsidised for young people. Adult voyage prices can be negotiated with the office but are likely to be higher.
Anyone interested in any voyage, please contact the office.
Available to download from the website and print out: two posters / flyers which you could hand out to people or put on a school, college or club notice board, to encourage young people to come sailing with us.
One is mainly pictures and is primarily designed to get people looking at our website; the other poster has a bit more text. Both can be printed on ordinary A4 paper so I hope you will find it easy to spread them around!
For qualified sea staff, we now have most places allocated up to the end of August, but there are lots of spaces from September onwards, so please get in touch with details of your availability if you are looking for a voyage in that period.
Please note that you should have paid your annual membership (£30) and annual sailing donation (£70) before you can book.
And those over 65 or with known health problems must also now have an ENG1 medical before you can sail - let me know if you need advice or information about arranging this. It does need to be an ENG1 and not any other kind of medical - please don't rush off and spend money on an ML5 or anything else. ENG1s need to be done by an MCA-approved doctor, not by your own GP.
3-7 Sept (£275)
7-9 Sept (£150)
The April and May training voyages were extremely successful and popular so don't miss your chance to join one of the September trips!
Prices INCLUDE your £30 annual membership and £70 mates sailing donation - which means that any other voyages you do in 2007 would be free! Email me to book.
Please note that as these voyages are for adults only, you cannot do your watch leader assessment on them - to be assessed, we have to see how you deal with leading and teaching young people. The adult training voyages are designed to give you a chance to get used to things before you take on the responsibility of trying to teach others.
New sea staff and those doing assessments this year MUST have completed an application form and a Criminal Records Bureau background check before you can sail with young people (adult voyages are fine) - details here. But please note that filling in your application form and getting your CRB check done just puts you on the list of people eligible for voyages - you MUST contact me about dates if you want to sail this year.
Does anyone know members of Masonic Lodges?
John Boldero, who does excellent work on our fundraising, has approached the regional HQ of the Masons for support but was advised that their preferred policy was that requests were made through individual Lodges, whereupon funds of the order of £500-£1500 might be available.
We need, therefore, to find individuals in one or more local Lodges who could support our applications; locations of local Lodges are as follows:
Hampshire & IOW: Aldershot, Farnborough, Farnham, Alton, Basingstoke, Bordon, Botley, Woolston, Bournemouth, Chandler's Ford, Eastleigh, Cosham, Havant, Horndean, Petersfield, Fareham, Gosport, West Cowes, East Cowes, Freshwater, Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Seaview, Ventnor, Brockenhurst, Christchurch, Fordingbridge, Lymington, New Milton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Totton, Andover, Hursley, and Winchester. In all there are 256 Lodges in the Masonic Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight with a total membership of around 12,400 individual brethren.
West Sussex: Chichester, Bognor, Littlehampton,Midhurst, Petworth, Arundel, Horsham,Wisborough Green, Hove, East Grinstead, Brighton,Eastbourne, Bexhill,Worthing.
If anyone knows members of any of these Lodges, would they please email JMBoldero@aol.com. Obviously preferable if the nominated person has some interest in sailing / the sea / young people and could be an ongoing champion for OYT South in a Lodge or among the Masons as a whole; but any leads welcomed.
Passwords to members-only website section
Most sea staff who are sailing this year should now have working passwords to the members-only section of this website. Anyone who hasn't received a password and would still like one should email me and I can add you quite easily.
Website - links needed
With so much work having been done on OYT South's website over recent months, it would be really great if we could increase the numbers of people visiting it. If you have any access to another website - anything from a marine site to a MySpace page - could you include a link to www.oytsouth.org? And let me know so that we can link back to you!
Oysterband Big Session Festival - and new album!
Last year, an OYT South group had a great time at this music festival, and several people are planning to go again this year - it's held in Leicester on June 15-17. Details here. Otherwise, anyone who has enjoyed hearing Oysterband music on board might like to know that the new album "Meet You There" came out on April 23rd and is great.
Please keep sending photos from John Laing voyages, and I'll use the best on the website.
Survey - tell us what you think
Still looking for more responses to the web-based survey - please have a look!
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 long-standing 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.
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.
The winter refit 2006-7 is now over, but we need still need help at maintenance days spread throughout the year, and there will be another refit starting in November - see here.
And if you have any questions, please do email me - or contact the office.