JL in Worbarrow Bay - Sunset at sea

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 29th April 2007


In this Bulletin


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.

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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:

JL07-19, 5 nights, 2-7 June, Guernsey to Poole: 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 here for details. We also have some special international bursary funding for crew members from outside the UK.  

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Second mate needed urgently
There is a vacancy for a qualified second mate, 21-25 May, Southampton to Torquay voyage. Email me a.s.a.p. if you can help!

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Voyage news
One last piece of news from the Girl Guides group voyage which was still underway at the time of the last newsletter: congratulations to Julian Jansen van Rensburg for passing his third mate's assessment. He will shortly be added to the sea staff profiles web page - as long as I can get his name to fit in the space....

This voyage was followed by a maintenance day - many thanks to Wolf, Tom Kemp, Dave "Tigger" Heffer, Stuart Raynsford, Julian Jansen van Rensburg and Martin Clough for their efforts.

After that we had a truly excellent familiarisation voyage for new potential sea staff - one of those trips where the whole crew bonds and quickly establishes a shared sense of humour. Initially we were disappointed that light winds from the wrong direction put paid to any ideas of going cross-Channel; but in the event it all worked out for the best as we spent the time doing extremely useful training exercises rather than long passages. The voyage took us from Southampton to Cowes to Weymouth, with a day sail out of Weymouth, then Poole and back to Southampton. But on the way we did any number of sail hoists and drops; we tacked and gybed; we had reefs going in and out of the sails; and everyone got opportunities to run all sorts of manoeuvres, becoming really familiar with the boat and developing the skills they would need as watch leaders in charge of a group of young people. One particular highlight was dividing the crew into pairs and giving each of them a section of the Competent Crew syllabus to teach, with the emphasis on finding really original ways of making the sessions entertaining and informative. All the teams rose to the challenge and came up with some superb ideas, which the rest of us will use (and doubtless claim as our own!) in future.

In Weymouth we had visits from the local coastguards (including Bruce Lack, ex-OYC skipper); and in Poole, Brian Eyres came to visit.

We had some excellent sailing in between all the training, and everyone seemed to have a good time and to learn a great deal. Half a dozen people earned recommendations to do mates' assessments, and others were encouraged to come back and develop their experience, as they have potential to be mates in future. Anyone who missed the spring adult training voyages - please note that we have spaces on similar voyages in September (see below) - they really are worth doing.

Thanks to sea staff Wolf, Caz, Graeme Cole, Dave "Tigger" Heffer, Stuart Raynsford (on his first voyage as relief bosun, a role which he embraced as if he had been born for it) and Di Roberts, our surveyor, who had booked on as a crew member but ended up running a watch when Chris, our engineer, got stuck on a job overseas and couldn't get back in time for the voyage.

This was followed by a voyage with new clients, Swalcliffe Park School. This is a small school for boys with emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders or other special educational needs. The group came with eight boys and four youth workers, and the staff had clearly gone to some trouble to choose pupils who would get the most out of a voyage and contribute the most to it. It turned out to be a really good group, one which we very much hope will be able to sail regularly in future.

On the first day they sailed out of Southampton and picked up a buoy outside Yarmouth, in order to wait for one of the youth workers, who had been delayed. The next passage was to Weymouth - a combination of motoring and sailing - where they spent the evening and the following morning. Then they had to leave because Weymouth had a Royal Visitor coming in!

Next they had an excellent sail to Poole, dodging dinghies in the harbour, and spent the night in the marina - where Chris the engineer paid them a visit. Then they motored across the bay until the wind picked up, taking them through the North Channel into the Solent at more than 10 knots, and then allowing a wonderful tacking session up the Solent before a night in East Cowes and a chance to take the chain ferry across and enjoy the town. The following morning they cleaned the boat while heading back to Ocean Village.

Two of the youth workers were given recommendations as potential future sea staff, and we look forward to future voyages with this school. Many thanks to relief skipper Steve Furniss and sea staff Graeme Cole, Cathy Lacey, bosun Stuart and special congratulations to Geoff Eddy on passing his third mate's assessment!

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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 - I have emailed details to a long list of people. If you were on this list, please test your username and password and let me know if you have any problems. 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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Financial appeal and thanks
Many thanks to the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust for a grant of £5,000 towards bursaries - please see below ("Want to sail but can't afford it?") to find out whether you might be eligible for a bursary this year to help towards the cost of a 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; and to build this year's bursary fund, in order to open more of our voyages to disadvantaged and deserving young people. See here for how to make a donation.

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Volunteer press officers wanted
Hardly any responses yet to this request - please help if you can!

We are keen to get more coverage in local papers for this sailing season, to encourage more crew bookings and donations, and I am looking for someone, or perhaps a team of people, to help with some basic media work.

The idea is that for each voyage, we identify the local paper for the crew's home area, for a group voyage, or pick one or two crew members if it was an individual voyage. I can provide an outline press release with spaces to fill in specific details each week. The volunteers' job will be to get permission from parents/group leaders as needed; fill in the gaps in the outline press release with details of the voyage and quotes from the participants; get a copy of a photo which should have been taken during the voyage; email the text and photo to the relevant newsdesk; and collect a copy of any resulting article for our records. Ideally any press release should go out within a few days of the end of the voyage.

A small team of volunteers would be ideal so that someone takes responsibility for each separate voyage. Good written English essential. Email me if you are interested.

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Voyages available for people aged 12-25 (*15 to 25 on some restricted voyages)
We really need people to fill a number of voyages this year. See above for details of Special Offer places.

21-25 May: Southampton to Torquay £250
27 May - 1 June: Torquay to Guernsey £350 - ASTO Small Ships race
2-7 June: Guernsey to Poole £290 (£180 Special Offer price)
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*
29 July - 7 Aug: Stockholm to Szczecin (Poland) £585 - Tall Ships race*
9-16 Aug: Szczecin to Kiel £505 (£280 Special Offer price) - Baltic Challenge
10-14 Sept: Southampton £275
2-7 Oct: Southampton £325 - ASTO Small Ships race
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, 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

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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.

Applications for bursary funding can be emailed to me and should include the following information:

  • Name, age and full contact details for applicant(s)
  • Details of availability for any of the vacant voyages listed above (there may be more chance of getting a bursary if you are available for a choice of voyages, rather than applying for just one)
  • How much money you are applying for, and how you plan to raise the rest of the funds, including travel costs to and from the boat (the majority of bursaries awarded are likely to be for 50% or less of the voyage fee; a smaller number may be for more than that, but only in very exceptional circumstances will OYT South award a full bursary).
  • A short statement about why you want to sail, what you want to achieve by doing a voyage, and why you would like to be considered for bursary funding.
  • Contact details for an adult (not a family member) who will support your application (e.g. a teacher, youth worker etc.)

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 watchleaders) who need to sail again 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 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!

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Voyage posters
Now 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 hope to make good progress confirming sea staff bookings as soon as I finish my current work project. We now have a strong batch of people with recommendations for assessments and I need to sort out dates for as many of these people as possible and then start filling all the remaining gaps - please bear with me!

Any new sea staff hoping for assessments this year, please note that you MUST have your Criminal Records Bureau background check before any booking can be confirmed on a voyage with young people. It can take several weeks or even a couple of months for the CRB to complete these checks so please start the process NOW or you may not be eligible for your chosen assessment voyage. Email Brian Eyres to start the CRB process or for any queries regarding mates application forms or CRBs.

In the meantime, however, there is one vacancy which urgently needs filling: JL07-16, 21-25 May. Qualified second mate urgently needed for Southampton to Torquay voyage. Email me a.s.a.p. if you can help!

Please note that you should have paid your annual membership (£30) and annual sailing donation (£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

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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Small boat sailing
OYT South mate Dave Blogg has emailed to ask if anyone can help save a sailing trip in the Channel Islands which has been put in jeopardy by two people pulling out after a yacht had been booked, deposits paid and transport booked by the remaining crew members. Two berths available on a 44 ft yacht from Friday 29th June to Friday 6th July inclusive, joining the yacht in St Peter Port and cruising the Channel Islands before returning to St Peter Port. Cost £300 (excluding food, marina fees, diesel and travel to Guernsey). If you are interested please contact David Blogg before April 30th on 01453 544862 or email david.blogg@atkinsglobal.com. N. B. At least one person must have an RYA Coastal Skipper practical qualification. Small boat sailing experience is always important for OYT South sea staff who want to make progress and build qualifications so I hope someone will be able to help Dave!

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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 www.oytsouth.org? 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 had a very good time and I learned a lot – nice to meet you all!” Hollie, aged 15

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