Very sadly I have to tell you all of the death last week of Trevor Hewson, one of OYT South’s Trustees and a volunteer watch leader with us for seventeen years. Trevor had been ill for the last few months but it never dimmed his enthusiasm for OYT South: even during his stay in Yeovil hospice in the last few days he was trying to persuade the hospice to take up bursary-funded voyages for some of their young staff.
Hundreds of young people will remember Trevor as a kind and patient watch leader. He was very good with young crew members, from the smallest and shyest through to the keen and competent sailors. He would also go out of his way to help train our bosuns.
Trevor was notorious for his wind-ups and his deadpan sense of humour. He once drove Wolf into a near-panic by convincing him that the delivery of food bought for Tall Ships (a couple of months’ worth of food for 18 people) was only half-way through, when in fact it was nearly complete. Wolf believed for an hour or so that there had been some terrible mix-up over quantities, and had visions of trying to complete the races with John Laing three feet lower in the water than usual and food bulging out of every locker – to say nothing of the cost.
When Wolf joined the boat in 2001 as a newly-qualified skipper, Trevor was one of the most vital experienced and skilled supporters, part of the core team who kept the boat going, prepared to drive miles to fix things when needed and often around to back a skipper who was very much still learning. Wolf says he will be forever in Trevor’s debt.
When Trevor became ill, he transferred some of his attention to shorebased work for OYT South, including joining the Board of Trustees, in the expectation that he might help us in different ways that were not so dependent on being fit and active. He became genuinely enthusiastic about fundraising and marketing; but sadly there turned out not to be time for him to do all that he hoped. He was still talking to me about new marketing ideas on the day before he died.
Trevor was brave and stubborn and utterly committed to OYT South. He will be sadly missed by the charity and by all the people who ever sailed with him. Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife, Maggie – who was responsible for getting him involved with the Ocean Youth Club in the first place. Trevor had been a keen sailor long before they got together (having started with the Sea Scouts in Kingston), so Maggie did a Day Skipper course in order to be able to sail safely with him. On the course she was approached by someone looking for people to get involved with the OYC – and went home and told Trevor about it.
Trevor’s funeral will be held in Taunton on Monday 18th June. Anyone wishing to attend should email me or call Wolf on 07771 771864 as soon as possible as Maggie would like some idea of numbers. No flowers but donations to St Margaret’s Hospice, Yeovil.
Voyage vacancies, bursaries and special offers – for young people and adults
There are places still available on the following very special voyages this summer. Minimum ages are as given; normal upper age limit is 25 but adults with current CRB clearance may also be welcome if there are spare places on some voyages – contact the office (0845 365 6781) for details.
Bursary funding may well be available for these voyages, so no-one should be deterred from applying by the cost – again, talk to the office if you would like to apply for a grant.
* 12-18 June, Southampton to Ipswich: special offer: DOWN from £350 to £240 (minimum age 12)
* 21-29 June, Ipswich to Kiel (Germany): special offer: DOWN from £480 to £280 (minimum age 12)
* 30 June to 7 July, Kiel to Arhus (Denmark): special offer: DOWN from £420 to £260 (minimum age 15)
* 7-20 July: Arhus to Kotka (Finland) £845 - Tall Ships race 1 (minimum age 15)
* 20-29 July: Kotka to Stockholm (Sweden) £585 - Tall Ships cruise in company (minimum age 15)
* 9-16 Aug, Szczecin (Poland) to Kiel (Germany): special offer: DOWN from £505 to £280 (minimum age 12)
* 10-14 Sept: Southampton £275 (age 12-25)
* 2-7 October: Southampton £325 (age 12-25)
* 8-12 Oct: Southampton £240 (age 12-25)
* 15-19 Oct: Southampton £250 (age 12-25)
* 20-24 Oct: Southampton £250 (age 12-25)
HURRY - if you want to book a berth, especially at a Special Offer price, contact the office as soon as possible.
For more information about Tall Ships voyages, see here.
For other Baltic voyages here.
For UK-based voyages here.
Small Ships race (October 2-7) here.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects, see here.
Bursary funding here.
And special funding for crew members from outside the UK here.
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 own 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! Call the office 0845 365 6781 if you can find someone else to sail, in order to claim your discount.
John Laing on MySpace and Facebook
John Laing is on both MySpace and Facebook, both brilliant ways for crew members, sea staff and other friends and supporters to keep in touch, contact each other, or spread the word among other people about OYT South voyages. Have a look, and come and be one of John Laing’s friends!
2008 draft voyage programme - NEW
An early draft version of the 2008 voyage programme is now available on this website 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. We’ve only got two people so far so we really, really need you!
Other vacancies (all Southampton-Southampton unless otherwise stated) are:
23-29 Aug, Ipswich to Southampton – possibly need a second mate through I am waiting for confirmation.
30 Aug – 2 Sept: first, second and third mates needed.
10-14 Sept: second and third mates needed (one of whom must be female)
27 Sept-1 Oct: second mate needed
2-7 Oct: first mate needed
8-12 Oct: first and third mates needed
12-14 Oct: second and third mates needed
15-19 Oct: second mate needed, plus 18th berth may be available for another qualified mate / potential mate / other CRB-checked adult
20-24 Oct: second mate needed, plus 18th berth may be available for another qualified mate / potential mate / other CRB-checked adult
25-30 Oct: first, second and third mates needed, plus 18th berth may be available for another qualified mate / potential mate / other CRB-checked adult
There may be a few other spaces too, as I am waiting for places to be confirmed.
Please note that you should have paid your annual membership (£30) and annual sailing donation (£70) before you can book, and you MUST have a CRB check.
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) - weekend voyage starting 8pm Friday
The April and May training voyages were extremely successful and popular so don't miss your chance to join one of the September trips! If you are new to OYT South and hoping to get into the next round of assessment voyages, it’s well worth doing one of these trips to get your recommendation (see here for an explanation of recommendations and assessments). This web page will also tell you about the process of getting a Criminal Records Bureau background check (essential before you can sail with young people - not required for adult voyages).
Prices INCLUDE your £30 annual membership and £70 mates sailing donation - which means that any other voyages you do in 2007 as a member of sea staff 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.
Two voyages to report on this time, but starting with a few days in Torquay. This included a maintenance day on 26th May - thanks to Wolf, Laura, Graeme Cole, Matt Bland and Andy Viney for their help. There was a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed 5th birthday party on board for Wolf’s godson Louis. Trainee mate Tony Drydale happened to be on holiday in the area with his daughters and friends, so they also visited the boat in Torquay.
Eventually ten vessels and all their crew members gathered for the ASTO Small Ships Race, and there were a few social events, a treasure trail etc. The race start on Tuesday was exciting as it was blowing a Force 6 and Wolf found himself heading for a gybe mark just off the harbour entrance at exactly the same time as all the other vessels, doing 11 knots with a crew who had never gybed before. They rounded the mark in the third place and were in the lead by the time they reached Berry Head, before spending much of the crossing in a tight race with one other vessel. In the middle of the shipping lanes the wind most unhelpfully died away to nothing, but a front came through and it all filled in again. John Laing crossed the finish line off Guernsey an hour ahead of her nearest rival. Once handicaps were taken into account, we finished first in class and third overall - an amazing effort for a young and inexperienced crew, who raced hard for 13 hours with almost no practice, and demonstrated some outstanding helming.
Another noteworthy achievement came from our ex-staff bosun, Julian "Dinghy Boy" Watkins, who completed the race as skipper of a smaller chartered boat.
St Peter Port proved very welcoming, with a BBQ at the Yacht Club and other events such as Optimist racing and a free trip to Herm.
Thanks to sea staff, Wolf, Graeme Cole, Matt Bland (doing first mate training), Andy Viney and Esther Keen.
The crew for the return leg of the race were the self-christened "Chi Chavs" - another group from Chichester Girls XL Club, with their teacher, Drinda Macauley-Moore. They proved a really lively group for a tough and tiring voyage. After a night in St Peter Port, they motored down to St Helier, doing lots of man overboard recovery practice on the way. The next morning they were up early and sailed 90 miles to Brixham, arriving at 3am. From then on the favourable tides all came in the evenings, so there were a whole series of late arrivals, beginning with 2am the next day in Weymouth (with Wolf pretending to be out of action and Matt in charge of the boat). Next day there was no wind so they went to anchor in Lulworth Cove. The crew all went ashore and swam off the beach, and they also had a visit from Brian Eyres. They left at 6pm and arrived in Ocean Village - yet again at 3am! The crew were great and did all their jobs however tired they were. There was a real party atmosphere on board for much of the voyage, with more dancing than Wolf has ever seen on deck. But they all got their RYA Start Yachting certificates and some even started learning how to use a sextant, as one of the sea staff, Dave Comer, teaches RYA Ocean Theory.
Overall Wolf says it was a wonderful if exhausting voyage, and he is really looking forward to seeing most of the same group back again for another voyage in September.
Many thanks to the sea staff: Wolf and Graeme plus five others who each had an eventful week. Matt completed almost all of his first mate’s assessment. As a professional merchant navy officer, his navigation is outstanding, and he only needs a bit more time and more wind than he had this week to work on manoeuvring under sail. Third mate Pete French made good progress towards becoming a second mate. Esther Keen had booked on as a bosun but ended up running a watch and being signed off as a second mate - she works full-time in sail training and had an excellent week. Dave Comer is new to John Laing but has years of experience in sail training, including time spent skippering for the Sea Cadets, and we very much hope he will come back to us as a relief skipper. And Dave's daughter Nat had booked to sail as a crew member but ended up doing the trip as bosun, something she had never tried before. She turned out to be a natural, earned her RYA Competent Crew certificate and hopefully will return as a future relief bosun.
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
Don’t forget to contact Lizzie Fiddaman, our volunteer press officer, 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. 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! Local press coverage will help more people to hear about OYT South – which can mean more crew members and even more donations – so it’s well worth helping Lizzie to get us mentioned.
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 organisations 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. So far it’s me, Rob Dickinson, Jill Moffatt and Dave “Tigger” Heffer – anyone else interested?
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!
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 – one ticket available
Anyone want one spare ticket to this music festival run by one of OYT South’s favourite bands? It's held in Leicester on June 15-17. Details here. Price by negotiation – reply to this email if you’re interested.
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.