Slightly oversized for stern-to mooring in Kokar


OYT South bulletin 28th July 2007

Hi ! My name is Mark Boggis and I am going to be writing a couple of bulletins while Caroline White is away sailing on John Laing.    

News in this Bulletin

This week John Laing has had a fascinating voyage from Kotha on the South Coast of Finland across the Gulf of Finland to Sweden.  The voyage started last Saturday with an overnight sail to Ekenas, further west on the Finnish south coast.  This was a beautiful river estuary where the local Mayor personally met the boat and was very helpful.  The crew had a sauna – for some a new experience. 

On Monday John Laing had a testing sail in strong winds round the SW corner of Finland before entering the Finnish Archipelago. The scenery was fantastic and was likened to sailing through the middle of a forest. After hours of close quarters navigation, down narrow rocky channels,  the boat arrived in Nagu. This was a pretty town where they were joined by 4-5 other vessels participating in this “cruise in company.“

Tuesday saw John Laing arriving in Kokar, a remote island roughly in the middle of the Gulf of Finland. The small harbour was already quite full when John Laing arrived.  Four smaller yachts were shuffled along a pontoon and their occupants were impressed as John Laing dropped anchor and then slid gracefully backwards to come to rest with her stern at the pontoon.  Getting this right  involved every single crew member working together.

The next port of call on Wednesday was Mariehamn, one of the Aland Islands.  Mariehamn  was the home of Gustaf Erikson, one of the last operators of fast, cargo-carrying sailing vessels. John Laing’s crew were able to visit the museum ship Pommern.

John Laing left Mariehamn on Thursday evening for an overnight passage to Sweden. On Friday morning John Laing threaded her way through the Stockholm archipelago,  to arrive in the heart of the Swedish capital in the late afternoon.

Many thanks to all the sea staff on this voyage – Skipper Mark Todd, 1st Mate Caroline White, 2nd Mates Cathy and Steve Lacey, and bosun Di Roberts.  Thanks also to Melina Giannelia (a.k.a. Pingu)  who came all the way from Canada for this voyage and has been helping lead tasks.

A new crew joins on Sunday ready for the Tall Ships Race to Poland.  If you want to follow John Laing’s progress then see the web links in the Quick Reminder Section below. 

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Voyage vacancies and bursaries
There are details below of just a few berths left in the autumn.  Bursary funding may well be available for these voyages, so no-one should be deterred from applying by the cost - talk to the office on 0845 365 6781 if you would like to apply for a grant.

4-6 Sept: Southampton £140 (age 12-25 OR adults) - 12 places available - ideal 2-night taster voyage.
10-14 Sept: Southampton £275 (age 12-25) - 12 places left
27 Sept - 1 Oct: Southampton £220 - 5 places left.

2-7 October: Southampton £325 (age 12-25) - ASTO Small Ships Race (we need to defend the trophy we won in June!) - 10 places left
8-12 Oct: Southampton £240 (age 12-25) - 5 places left
15-19 Oct: Southampton £250 (age 12-25) – Only 6 places left, 6 places now reserved.

HURRY - if you want to book a berth, contact the office as soon as possible: 0845 365 6781,

For more info see: our web site: 

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Southampton Boat Show – Calling all young people.
We would really like some young people (under 24) to help staff our stand at the boat show, to chat about your time on John Laing and encourage others to sail.  The show runs from Friday 13 September to Sunday 23 September, and we would welcome help for just a day or a few days.

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.  This year’s exhibits include the replica of HMS Bounty,  fresh from a leading role in the latest film from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, “The Worlds End.“

If you are under 24 and would like to help please contact David Salmon on the office telephone 0845 365 6781 or email  David will be able to help with questions like How would I get there ? and Where would I stay ?

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Quick Reminders

 We have discontinued OYT South’s FREEPOST address due to lack of use.  Please send all mail to the usual office address:-   PO Box 203 Gosport, Hampshire,  PO12 9AZ - with a stamp.

2. Dorset Support Group
Martin Skipper is planning to revive the Dorset Support Group - anyone in the area who might like to get involved can email him at

3.  Maintenance days
The maintenance day on September 15th has been CANCELLED. There will now be a maintenance day on September 7th instead. Help needed - call Wolf on 07771 771864 a few days in advance if you can come along.

4.  Where’s John Laing ?
If you aren't already a regular user, you might like to look at John Laing's vessel tracking page on the website:  It normally shows our sailing area in the English Channel, but for the next couple of months has been changed over to the Baltic map. You can zoom in to see more detail of where the boat is; or you can click on the image of the boat and see data on speed, heading etc.

During the Tall Ships races, you can also use Sail Training International's website to see where John Laing is in relation to the rest of the fleet:   The fleet tracking page seems to work only intermittently but the position list is updated twice daily.  

5. Next Bulletin
If there is anything you would like included in the next bulletin please email me at   And if there's anything important which needs to be updated on the website, Andy Viney will look after that - email him at If you reply to anything in the bulletin, you can send it to Caroline White  as normal and she will deal with it on her return or; if it's more urgent than that, contact the office (0845 365 6781 or  

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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