Skipper Wolf chooses a great place to anchor


OYT South bulletin 25th May 2007

In this Bulletin

Small Ships Race NEXT WEEK
Three places still left for an exciting half-term voyage: this Sunday 27th May, starting in Torquay, and finishing in Guernsey on Friday 1st June. This is a race against other sail training vessels, crewed by young people - no sailing experience needed. See here for details. Bursaries may be available to help with costs. Contact the office urgently if you would like to sail: 0845 365 6781.

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John Laing on MySpace
John Laing now has a MySpace page - a brilliant way for young crew members to keep in touch, contact each other, or spread the word among their friends about OYT South voyages. Have a look here. If you are on MySpace, please come and be one of John Laing’s friends. Crew members not on MySpace - why not join, and meet other people who have sailed in John Laing?  

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Guernsey to Southampton, 2-7 June
Great news - we now have enough bookings from young people for this voyage. Thanks to all those adults who offered to help bring the boat back if necessary; but you will not be needed after all. We do appreciate the offers, though!

Special thanks to Drinda from Chichester Girls XL Club for filling the spaces, and to Ellen Godber for making the contact about this voyage.

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Special Offer voyages
Thanks to generous donors of bursary funding, we are now able to offer a limited number of places at very much reduced prices on a selection of voyages.

Current Special Offer voyages are:

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 here for details. We also have some special bursary funding for crew members from outside the UK.

See here for more information about some of these voyages.

For Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects, see here

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Overseas crew
Once again we have some funding designed to help develop friendships between young people from different countries, by getting non-UK crew members on the boat. Anyone of non-UK nationality aged 15-25 is eligible: they may be living overseas or in the UK. See here for details. Email me if you - or anyone you know - might be eligible and interested.

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Tall Ships
Just a handful of places left on official Tall Ships voyages in July. These voyages are among the highlights of the year, with vessels crewed by young people from all over the world, racing and cruising together and meeting up in port for festivals and parties. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These berths are available for people aged 16-25, plus a restricted number of 15 year olds; under-15s cannot sail on these voyages under Tall Ships rules.

7-20 July: Arhus to Kotka (Finland) £845 - Tall Ships race 1
20-29 July: Kotka to Stockholm (Sweden) £585 - Tall Ships cruise in company

Bursaries are available to help with voyage fees for people who genuinely cannot afford the voyage fees, so if you want to come, don’t be put off by the cost - just ask and you may qualify for funding.

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Spaces for adults (sea staff and others) on adventure voyages
A few voyages this year - generally the longer overseas trips - may not be completely filled with young people this year; so, rather than sail with empty berths, we are prepared to offer any unfilled crew berths on the following voyages to adults with current CRB checks - this is essential because they will be mixing with young people on these voyages.

JL07-21, 6 nights, 12-18 June, Southampton to Ipswich: Full price £350, special offer £240
JL07-23, 8 nights, 21-29 June, Ipswich to Kiel (Germany): Full price £480, special offer £280
JL07-24, 7 nights, 30 June to 7 July, Kiel to Arhus (Denmark): Full price £420, special offer £260
JL07-26, 9 nights, 20-29 July, Kotka (Finland) to Stockholm (Sweden): Tall Ships cruise in company, £585
JL07-29, 7 nights, 9-16 Aug, Szczecin (Poland) to Kiel: Full price £505, special offer £280

Sea staff, potential sea staff and other CRB-cleared adults are eligible. Bookings from young people will take priority on these trips but please contact the office if you might be interested in filling a spare berth.

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Already booked to sail this summer? Want to earn £££s off your voyage fee?
We really need to fill this summer’s empty berths. If you have already booked to sail on a voyage which is not full (see here for latest vacancies), then you might be able to help us fill the gaps by asking around among friends or at your school / college / youth club / workplace. In order to encourage you to do this, OYT South is prepared to offer £75 off your voyage fee to anyone already booked to sail, in exchange for every new, additional booking on your voyage from someone you introduce to us. This means that you can make BIG savings by introducing several friends! Contact the office if you can find someone else to sail, in order to claim your discount.

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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. See here for details of who is eligible and how to apply.

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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.

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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.

For more information on how you can assist us please contact David Salmon in the office; or contact Brian Eyres. First come first served for the popular days!

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Southampton Asian Mela festival
As a result of 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 cplease contact the office or email me.

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Voyage news
Last weekend was another voyage for the St Gabriel's girls, pupils from a Newbury school which has been involved with several previous voyages. A really mixed couple of days, with lots and lots of wind on the Saturday and hardly any on the Sunday!

They started with a passage from Southampton to Gosport in winds of force 6-7, doing nine knots under No 3 jib and reefed mizzen. This got them there in time for people to catch the ferry over to Portsmouth for some shopping time in Gunwharf! Sunday was a real contrast, as they sailed to an anchorage in Osborne Bay for lunch and sunbathing before returning to Southampton. Thanks to sea staff Brian Eyres, Laura, Martin Skipper, Mark Boggis and to David Hemsley, a teacher from St Gabriel’s who was sailing as trainee mate and made good progress towards completing his assessment. Thanks also to Anna, another teacher from the school who joined the voyage.

The weekend was followed by a five-day voyage from Southampton to Torquay with a mixed crew, including a group sponsored by Cardiff Rotary Club, and another small group from Toynbee Hall, a London charity which has already booked two full voyages for next year. They sailed initially from Southampton to Yarmouth (Isle of Wight), and then on to an anchorage in Swanage, followed by Wemouth and then Dartmouth, where they arrived in the small hours of the morning after some beautiful night sailing. Then they had a slow drift towards Brixham with the tide on an initially windless day; but things picked up and they were able to set the cruising chute.

Finally they arrived in Torquay, where the boat will remain for a few days - first for a maintenance day, and then for social events and celebrations before the start of the ASTO Small Ships race to Guernsey. The crew all got RYA Start Yachting certificates; and two people - Grace, who led the Toynbee Hall group, and Sarah, who was doing the voyage as her Duke of Edinburgh Gold residential - have been highly recommended to come back and train as volunteer sea staff.

Thanks to sea staff Nic Crawford, Graeme Cole, Matt Bland, Laura - and a special mention for Liz Key who passed her third mate's assessment on this voyage. Liz has spent four seasons as a cook on board Trinity Sailing's vessel Leader and is now working on developing watchleading skills and getting experience with different organisations.

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Financial appeal
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.

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Volunteer press officer news
Lizzie Fiddaman, our new volunteer press officer, is making a great start in this role. Please contact her if you think your voyage should be covered in the local press, or if you have any other good story to tell about OYT South: you can email Lizzie at 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.

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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.

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Voyages available for people aged 12-25
After the excitement of Tall Ships and Baltic Challenge voyages are over, we will be back into standard UK south coast voyages. Berths still available on the following trips:
10-14 Sept: Southampton £275 - full boat available (12 berths)
2-7 October: Southampton £325 - ASTO Small Ships Race: we have a possible group booking but not confirmed for all 12 berths so there may well be places still available - watch this space!
8-12 Oct: Southampton £240 - full boat available (12 berths)
15-19 Oct: Southampton £250 - full boat available (12 berths)
20-24 Oct: Southampton £250 - 7 berths left

See here for more information:
UK and south coast voyages
Small Ships race (October 2-7)
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.

Anyone interested in any voyage, please contact the office.

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Voyage posters
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!

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Sea staff bookings
I am trying to allocate the last few assessment voyages for new sea staff - just waiting to hear from a few more people about availability.

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.

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Training voyages for sea staff and new prospective sea staff
There are two adult training voyages in September for current and prospective sea staff:

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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 And let me know so that we can link back to you!

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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.

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

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“I have made a bunch of mates that I hope to keep in touch with - would love to come again" Joe, 13