First aid and GMDSS courses


OYT South bulletin 2nd March 2007

In this Bulletin

Second mate needed urgently (but other mates please read this too)

Despite repeated appeals in the bulletin, I've had no offers from second mates to sail on the voyage 23 - 27 April. Can anyone help? The crew come from a special school working with boys with Asperger's syndrome or emotional and behavioural difficulties, and while they sound like a good group with a strong group leader, we do need an experienced mate for what could be an extremely rewarding voyage. Please email me urgently if you might be able to sail on this trip.

A lot of regular second mates have already said they are not available, so any first mate who wants to sail alongside Graeme Cole as the official first mate on this trip would obviously be an alternative for filling this slot. Please email now if you can help!

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Help needed with cleaning (more important than it sounds...)
As ever, the team need to move out of the refit house at exactly the same time as the final stages of the refit are at their most urgent and time-consuming. We would be enormously grateful if we could have a few people to help clean the refit house so that the core team can keep going with urgent jobs on the boat. Leaving the house in really good condition is absolutely vital as it means that we get our deposit back and keep a good reputation with the letting agents to help ensure we get a house next year. So a few hours' housework on 15th and 16th March will make a real difference - please call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can help on either day.

We are also looking for someone prepared to wash all the refit overalls. They probably need handwashing as they are covered in dust and paint which your washing machine won't like. Please help!

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Refit 2006-7: volunteers needed
Two weeks to go until the shakedown voyage - and only 5 days until John Laing has to be back in the water! The launch is on March 7th, with the coding inspection (vital to allow us to sail with young people this year) booked for March 15th.

We do still need more refit helpers, especially those who don’t need accommodation - phone Wolf if you can come along (07771 771864). It all depends whether you can help on a day when there is space to work on the boat - some days already have as many people as we can manage; but please ask as there may yet be a day when you would be really useful. This applies up to March 16th. Then we are sailing on the shakedown weekend for two days; but there may be a need for more helpers on a few of the days (Mon 19th - Fri 23rd) between the shakedown voyage and the first proper voyage - again, call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you might be around if needed.
Working with Wolf and Laura this week have been Scooby Doo and Shaggy (Matt Bland and Rob Harwood), Andrew Viney, Chris from Contact Marine, Dawn Marshall, Rosie "Habit" Allen, Caz, Ray Dittrich, Liz Key, Phoebe, Geoff Eddy, Dan Godfrey, Harold Blogg and a team from Zurich Insurance (Beverley Elder, Justine Lightly, Julie Brownlie, Graham Primett, Robert New, Mark Outing and Simon Brant - thanks very much for a really effective day's work!).

Jobs this week included: installing Trevor's spangly new radiators (a job done by Chris and by Andrew Viney who was apparently given this specialist task on the grounds that he has radiators in his house and was therefore the best expert we could find - he did very well!)

The inside surfaces of the cockpit have been painted. Habit did all the preparation for painting in the navigation area, and it was painted by the Zurich team, who also painted the galley and did the first coat of antifoul in record time. The second coat of antifouling was done by Geoff and Rob. The galley floor has had a first coat of paint - and the second one should see us virtually at the end of the painting.

A new saloon hatch has been fitted, and the repaired and re-welded hatch over the skipper's cabin is back on. The primary winch has been serviced and is back on the boat. The kedge anchor is back on and secure. The guardrails have been fixed. Laura is working on the rig. Lots of kit is being loaded back on the boat, including gas bottles, flares, lifejackets and fire extinguishers. The medical kit has been ordered. Andy Royse is working hard on the chart corrections. Harold Blogg fixed the grab rail on the coachroof.

The tent came down yesterday - thankfully a very professional tent removal job from IMS Shrinkwrap, in enormous contrast to last year's efforts by the refit team, when we didn't really know what we were doing, grossly underestimated the time it would take, and finished the job amidst darkness and a snowstorm. This year all the refit team had to do was hurriedly move all the kit off the scaffolding.

Matt Bland leaves this Sunday after a month at refit while on leave from the merchant navy - a huge contribution which has been enormously appreciated - thanks, Mattie!

For more information on how the refit works, who can come and what volunteers can do, see here

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Financial appeal
The refit is drawing to a close and the bills are coming in fast, so if you haven't already made a contribution to the refit appeal, 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.

To see how refit donations are spent, you can find a pdf of the Appeal leaflet on this website.

See here for how to make a donation.

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Can you help track down this person?
For the last couple of weeks we've been asking for help in tracking someone down - we'e now got much better details about the person we are looking for, so please help if you can! Some time within the last year or two, second mate Trevor Hewson spoke to someone on board John Laing - possibly the father of another member of sea staff? - who worked for some time for an air products manufacturing company from Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire. Trevor is very keen to track this person down again - please email me if you know who he is!

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Voyage posters
Now available to download from the website and print out: two posters 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!

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Voyages still available
We really need people to fill some of the following voyages:

Small Ships races
"Baltic and back" voyages
Tall Ships races

Among standard UK-based voyages the most urgent spaces to fill are:

24 - 29 March: Southampton, £310. Just one space left but this voyage is only 4 weeks away so we need to fill it urgently!
21 - 25 May: Southampton to Torquay, £250
2 - 7 June: Guernsey to Poole, £290
12 - 18 June: Southampton to Ipswich, £350

After that there are several vacancies from the end of August onwards.

For Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects, see here

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.

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Want to sail but can't afford it?
Two ideas for people hoping to raise money in order to sail in John Laing this year:

I understand that the applications deadline has passed for the Lewis Winstock Trust, which I have been recommending as a possible source of grants towards sailing fees; but another option might be the Malcolm Chick Charity. You will see that anyone applying will need a supporting letter from OYT South - just email me a copy of the rest of your application, or send me a brief explanation of why you want to sail, why you are applying for a grant, and which voyage you hope to do, and I'll do the supporting letter if appropriate. Don't leave it to the last minute, in case I'm away sailing just when you need your letter!

Another option might be the Battisborough Charitable Trust. Applications can be made by individuals (not groups) from Devon and Cornwall only, to: Sonia Donovan, 57 Green Park Road, Plymstock, PL9 9HU. You will need to write a letter explaining a bit about yourself, why you want to sail and why you need help with funding. The Trust looks most favourably on people who have succeeded in raising some of the funds themselves, so you should write about what else you are doing towards paying the voyage fee - they will not normally cover 100% of your costs. And you should enclose a stamped, addressed envelope so they can reply to you.

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Sea staff bookings
I still need qualified sea staff to fill the following places - can anyone help?

JL07-09, 23-27 April. Second mate needed urgently (see above).
JL07-10b, 30 April - 3 May. First mate needed, and possibly a third mate too (tbc)! Voyage booked by the Wheatsheaf Trust but may be divided into two day sails and one overnighter, so several different groups of people can have a "taster". Skipper is Wolf.
JL07-11a, 4-7 May. Third mate possibly needed to sail with TS Swiftsure (Nautical Training Corps). This will be a third voyage for the same group and they are all very enthusiastic, and beginning to be quite competent on board John Laing. The reason I'm saying we possibly need a third mate is that one of their group leaders is a qualified OYT watch leader and I'm waiting to hear if he's coming; but if not, there'll be a space.

There are still some spaces later in the season, but I want to get the early ones filled as soon as I can. Email me if you can help!

Please note that you should have paid your annual membership (£30) and annual sailing fee (£70) before you can book.

And those over 65 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.

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Training voyages for sea staff and new prospective sea staff
The mates training weekend, 30 March to 1 April, is full, but there a reserve list in case anyone drops out.

There are one or two spaces on the adult training voyage 17-22 April (£275) - email me to book. This is the ideal trip for people new to OYT South who want to see how we run our voyages and get used to the boat before committing to training as a watch leader.

After that, there are two adult training voyages in September:

3-7 Sept (£275) - 12 places
7-9 Sept (£150) - 10 places

Prices include your £30 annual membership and £70 mates sailing fee - 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.

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Anyone need small boat sailing experience?
Does anyone want a few days’ sailing in a Westerly 30 with someone preparing for her Coastal Skipper? 10th/11th March and 24th/25th March; cost about £30 plus food and drink; starts and finishes in Hamble. Email me for details.

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Website - links needed
With so much work having been done on this 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 And let me know so that we can link back to you!

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Website - members-only section
If you are a paid-up member of OYT South sea staff, you should have password access to the members-only section of the website, which includes sea staff assessment forms and the Voyage Handbook (baboon file). If you don't have your password, please email me.

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Oysterband Big Session Festival
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.

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Photos needed
Please keep sending photos from John Laing voyages or the refit, and I'll use the best on this website.

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Survey - tell us what you think
Still looking for more responses to the web-based survey - please have a look!

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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 around 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.

To help with the winter refit, see here.

And if you have any questions, please email me - or contact the office.

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“I had a very good time and I learned a lot – nice to meet you all!” Hollie, aged 15