A perfect sailing day


OYT South bulletin 12th June 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Vessel tracking
There is a temporary problem with John Laing's vessel tracking system which normally shows up on the website here. Apologies to anyone who has been trying to follow the vessel’s progress this week. We will try to get the problem resolved as quickly as possible.

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* June adult sailing weekend - places still available
20-22 June (8pm Friday till 5pm Sunday): Southampton, £150 (over-18s only). Anyone want to come? This should be a relaxed, fun weekend in John Laing. Ideal for anyone who just wants to go for a sail, it would also be a good option for anyone who is thinking of joining our volunteer sea staff and wants to find out more about us (though this is NOT a formal mates' training weekend). It's also open to parents of past crew members who want to sample the John Laing experience for yourselves, or any other adult who just wants to enjoy a weekend away and find out a bit more about us. Contact the office for bookings. Three places left.

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* 2009 voyages filling fast
See here for details and prices for 2009 voyages.

Voyages are selling very fast, and if you want to sail in school holidays (outside the Baltic Tall Ships period in the summer) or at weekends, you really need to look at the programme NOW: There are still hundreds of term time places and plenty of Baltic places available - do talk to us about your requirements. Contact the office.

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* 2008 berths still available
28 June - 2 July: Southampton, £275 per person, age 12 -25. This voyage was booked by a group from London, but they have so far only filled eight of the spaces - so there could be four left, and they are keen to find some friendly and enthusiastic people to join them.

There is just one last place left during the Tall Ships race series: race one and the cruise in company are now fully-booked, but we do have a single space available on Race two: 11-22 August: Bergen to Den Helder, £660 plus travel. Age 15-25. This will be a fabulous voyage, with superb festivals in Norway and the Netherlands, and an exciting race in between. Don't miss your chance to join the crew!

Other 2008 vacancies:
8-13 Sept: Southampton, £315, 12 places left (whole boat booking possible).
15-19 September: Southampton, £275, up to 6 places left (tbc).

If you might be interested in a booking this year, contact the office as soon as possible.

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects
Bursary funding
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK.

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Maintenance days 6 & 7July
The next maintenance days are 6-7 July in Gosport, when we have a huge amount to do to get ready for two months away and the Tall Ships series. We need all the help we can get - please call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can help for either day.

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* Voyage news
One final bit of news from last week’s voyage that was confirmed after I wrote the bulletin – huge congratulations to Dave “Tigger” Heffer for completing his second mate’s assessment!

That voyage was followed by a busy and successful maintenance day – many thanks to Wolf, Matt Bland, Dougie Walker, Ben Gillett, Anna Chesterman, Caz, Ray Dittrich, Annie Holt, Rosie “Habit” Allen and Jon Gillain for all their hard work. We had a productive time and got through a lot of jobs.

Since then, John Laing has been sailing with a group from Toynbee Hall, East London - the second of their four voyages this year. They went from Southampton to East Cowes, then on to Weymouth and then Dartmouth. As I write they are just leaving, with the prospect of some proper wind, which is more than they have had all week, aiming for an anchorage in Studland Bay tonight. Skipper Dougie Walker says that the young people and group leaders are all working hard, having a good time, and making excellent progress with their RYA Start Yachting certificates. Thanks to sea staff Dougie, Graeme Cole, Stuart Raynsford, Lisa Davis and Ben Gillett, who is well under way with his mate’s assessment.

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* Volunteer watch leader vacancies – please help!
Sea staff vacancies (qualified sea staff only) are as follows:

8-13 September, Southampton - second mate.
15-19 September, Southampton - first mate.
22-26 September, Southampton - first mate.
27 Sept - 1 Oct, Southampton - first mate.
12-16 Oct - first and second mates needed, and experienced third mate as reserve (provisional 3M booking won't be sure of her availability till after the start of the autumn university term).
17-19 Oct - second and third mates.
20-24 Oct - second mate.
25-29 Oct - second mate.
30 Oct-2 Nov - second mate tbc

Places marked tbc are where provisional bookings have yet to be confirmed, and also where we need to keep options open, to get the right balance of sea staff for different voyages or crews with special needs, and to make sure there is a balance of male and female sea staff for mixed crews, so I can't always confirm bookings straight away; but I would like to know a.s.a.p. who might be available. Let me know if you want to sail and could help fill any of the listed vacancies if needed.

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* Mates training 2009
As recently announced, we are changing the way we use mates' training weekends in 2009, in order to offer more training to current sea staff. Voyages in 2009 will be as follows:

24-26 April 2009 (£150): third mates, less experienced second mates, and bosuns’ weekend – 7 places left.
18-20 September 2009 (£150): first mates and more experienced second mates’ weekend – 10 places left.

Email me to reserve a place on the appropriate weekend.

The September 2008 mates training weekend (19-21 September) will not be affected by these changes and will go ahead exactly as planned. It is potentially fully-booked but I am still taking names for a reserve list in case anyone drops out.

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* 2009 familiarisation voyage for new volunteers
19-24 April 2009 (£300): five day voyage for new prospective volunteers.

With only 12 places now available for new people, we will offer berths to those who seem to have the most potential to contribute to OYT South’s work - good youth work skills or other relevant experience, as well as sailing skills, and / or a willingness to be involved in vessel maintenance or other activities, and enough free time to be effective volunteers. We would still like to encourage anyone interested to apply for this voyage, but we won't make firm bookings until early next year - which gives interested volunteers a chance to meet us, come to refit etc., before we allocate places.

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2009 Tall Ships

There is a new page on this website with details of what looks like a very exciting Tall Ships series in 2009, when we shall be visiting Poland, Russia, Finland and Lithuania. Have a look at some of the voyages that are available, both for the Tall Ships events themselves, and fantastic Baltic Adventure voyages before and after the festivals.

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Adult adventure voyage 2009
Normally we only have the chance to offer occasional local voyages to adults, but in 2009 we plan to offer one very special adventure voyage to adults:

28 June to 4 July: Kiel to Gdynia (Poland) - a beautiful Baltic cruise, ending at the fantastic Gdynia Tall Ships festival.

Open to anyone aged over 18, this will be a truly special voyage and a rare chance for adults to take John Laing further afield and experience the excitement of a Tall Ships festival port, before handing over to a young race crew.

Please contact the office a.s.a.p. if you might be interested.

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Financial appeal
Once the refit bills are paid, three fundraising priorities remain: bursary funding to help young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; the New Boat Project; and we'll need to start fundraising for refit 2008-9! See here  for how to make a donation.

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Local support groups
If you live in any of the following areas and would like to help find local young people to come sailing, and raise a bit of money to help them do so, please get involved with one of our local support groups:

London: Rob Dickinson.
Dorset: Dave “Tigger” Heffer – just moving to Dorset and swiftly “volunteered” to take over the group!
West Sussex: Chris Lane.
Isle of Wight: Marion Heming.

Andy Brown and David Shannon are making progress with plans for a Plymouth / SW support group: between them they have significant experience, but both work away from home quite a bit and are now looking for someone else, who may be around a bit more, to help them pull things together. If others in the area would like to get involved, email Andy
If you live in any other area and would be interested in helping to set up a local support group, please email me and I’ll try to put you in touch with other people in your area.

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Core refit team - long-term volunteers needed
One of the key factors in the 2007-8 refit was the presence of volunteers who were able to give us several weeks or months - in one case, almost the whole refit - providing vital continuity and developing experience on board. We shall be recruiting at least two full-time volunteers for the next refit, November 2008 to March 2009, so if you are considering a gap year or career break, why not think about joining the team next year?

See here for details. Email me to express an interest and for more information.

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Keep in touch with other John Laing people - or make new friends
See here for online opportunities to meet other John Laing enthusiasts.

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OYT South leaflet

There is a pdf copy of the very popular Southampton Boat Show leaflet on the website, so that you can download and print it, to give out to people or stick on noticeboards, etc. You can get the front and back covers here and the inside spread here.  

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Website updates
There is an Updates page on this website, so you can see at a glance everything that has recently changed on the site.

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Passwords to members-only website section

Anyone who hasn't received a password to the members-only section of this website and would like one should email me and I can give access to anyone eligible.

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Website - links needed
It’s always good to increase the numbers of people visiting our website – do you have any web page where you could add a link to http://www.oytsouth.org/? And let me know so that we can link back to you!

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Survey - tell us what you think
Always looking for more responses to the web-based survey - please have a look!

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New readers’ welcome and introduction
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. The newsletter is sent out virtually every week and contains all you need to know about voyages for young people or adults, becoming a volunteer, OYT South events, etc. 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.

To help with the annual refit, or with maintenance days spread throughout the year, 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