First aid and GMDSS courses


OYT South bulletin 9th March 2007

In this Bulletin

Website - temporary problem

We are still not quite over the problems with this website which we experienced last week, so a few pages are currently slightly out of date. We hope to get everything back to normal within the next week or so. Apologies for any inconvenience.

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Sea staff needed urgently
Thanks to those who responded to last week's appeal for a second mate for 23-27 April - the place is now filled!

However, since then we have lost the third mate who was booked on the first full voyage of the season, 24-29 March. I've had one offer of a replacement from someone who is an experienced watch leader but has never sailed in John Laing. As it's the first voyage of the year, if there is anyone out there able to do the voyage who has sailed regularly in John Laing and knows the boat and our routines well, that would be a better option - please email me a.s.a.p. if you can help!

I also need an experienced third mate for 30 April to 3 May.

See below for other sea staff vacancies which are not quite so soon or so urgent!

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Join the Clean Dream Team - help needed urgently!
No responses yet to last week's appeal to help us clean the refit house but we really do need a few people. It's not very exciting but it really is important! 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 also 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
John Laing is back in the water! She was launched on Wednesday; the mizzen went in that afternoon; the main mast was back on Thursday and the team just narrowly caught the tide to leave Hamble and head back round to Ocean Village that afternoon, tensioning the rigging as they went.

A lot of work went in to the few days before the launch, thanks to Wolf, Laura, Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine, Matt Bland, Rob Harwood, Dan Godfrey, Eddie Harper, Liz Key, Caz, Phoebe, Gerald, Amanda Smith, Stuart Raynsford, Trevor Hewson, John Snowden and Graeme Cole.

The last few bits of painting were completed. The scaffolding came down just in time to avoid being taken to sea for the season. Chris worked on the heating system and got hot water to the heads - a new development for 2007! Chris and Rob got the exhaust system installed. The engine and generator were serviced, with Chris training Laura. Lots of kit was brought back on board, including both anchors, lots of safety kit, the serviced liferafts, the brand new dinghy (many thanks to the Lloyds TSB Foundation), the sail covers and fleeces (thanks to Mrs Francis, Gizmo's mum, for laundering them). The sails came back from Ratsey & Lapthorne. We have started servicing winches. The cockpit locker is being rebuilt. The navigation lights are back on. The cookers have been serviced and fitted back on board by Trevor. And Laura managed to fit her birthday in amongst all this - many happy returns!

Many thanks also to Hamble Yacht Services for all their support over the winter. And now it's good to be back in Ocean Village again, thanks to MDL and all the friendly staff there.

We are now in the final run-up to the coding inspection on Thursday, so the pressure is really on to get all the remaining jobs done. We still need people to help on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week - call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can help. If you can come on Thursday or Friday, we need help in the refit house (see above). No volunteers needed over next weekend (17-18 March) as we shall be sailing on the shakedown weekend; 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.

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Financial appeal
A lot of refit bills are due in the next few weeks, so if you haven't already made a contribution to the refit appeal, it's not too late - we really need your support now! See here for how to make a donation.

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Can you help track down this person?
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:

Early season and Easter holidays:
24-29 March: Southampton £310
6-10 April: Southampton £250 - NEW - 4 places now available to join a group of boys aged 15/16.

It is possible that there may be bursaries available to part-fund places on either of these two voyages, so if you would like to come but can't afford the full price, contact the office.

Other standard UK voyages:
21-25 May: Southampton to Torquay £250
2-7 June: Guernsey to Poole £290
12 - 18 June: Southampton to Ipswich £350
10-14 Sept: Southampton £275
8-12 Oct: Southampton £240
15-19 Oct: Southampton £250
20-24 Oct: Southampton £250

See here for more information about UK and south coast voyages.

And for information on special event voyages:
Small Ships races (summer half term, or October).
"Baltic and back" voyages (July/July, or August).
Tall Ships races (July / August). 

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?
Three ideas for people hoping to raise money in order to sail in John Laing this year:

We have been offered a donation of £250 towards a voyage for someone from the Suffolk area who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to sail. If this could be you, or someone you know, please email me as soon as possible - I need to know a bit about the applicant's background and why they might be a deserving case for this funding, plus contact details for a teacher, youth worker or other responsible adult who would be prepared to support the application.

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
As described above, we urgently need experienced, qualified mates for 24-29 March and 30 April to 3 May.

After that, vacancies for qualified sea staff include:

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.
JL07-15, 18-20 May. First mate needed to sail with St Gabriel’s School group.
JL07-16, 21-25 May. Second mate needed.
JL07-18, 27 May - 1 June. Third mate possibly needed for ASTO Small Ships Race, Torquay to Guernsey
JL07-20, 8-11 June. Second or third mate needed to sail with Teenage Cancer Trust.
JL07-21, 12-18 June. Second mate needed for Southampton to Ipswich voyage.
JL07-23, 21-29 June. Third mate needed for Ipswich to Kiel voyage.

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
We now have one spare place on the mates training weekend, 30 March to 1 April (£150) - email me a.s.a.p. if you want it!

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) - 9 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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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