Friends and fellow competitors in the Tall Ships series

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 21st August 2008


In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *


* General manager - good news!
Last month I was very sorry to report that Chris Robinson, our General Manager-designate, had decided not to stay with us beyond the end of his probationary period. This week brings the excellent news that Chris has been able to reconsider, and he has now committed to stay with us and take over as General Manager when David Salmon retires. We are all delighted and wish Chris all the best in the job.

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* Southampton Boat Show - volunteers needed in September
Getting close now and we really need more help! The Southampton Boat Show runs from 12-21 September, and OYT South will once again have a stand – which means we need lots of volunteers to staff it! We want a good team of people every day to help enthuse potential clients, crew, parents, volunteers and sponsors. Young people are welcome as well as adult volunteers. You’ll get time to look round the rest of the show and dream about the yacht you’ll buy when you win the lottery….

Please contact the office and let them know the date(s) you might be available to help.

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* Voyage news
John Laing is now in Den Helder having come 5th in class and 18th overall in Tall Ships Race 2 from Bergen. This is an excellent result and all credit to everyone involved.

At the end of the race, with a little time in hand, the team decided to explore a little of the Netherlands before joining the festival; but unfortunately they got a rope wrapped round the propeller which required some time for checks and repairs while the boat was in Enkhuizen. However, the crew made the most of the time with a day trip to Amsterdam, and both boat and crew made it into Den Helder last night in time to take part in all the activities.

Skipper Nic Crawford said that this was a great crew, with everyone who didn’t already have their qualifications earning RYA Start Yachting or Competent Crew certificates; and there were also a few people who have been recommended as potential future sea staff.

Many thanks to sea staff Nic, Liz, Martin Skipper, Phoebe and Pete French, and also to crew member Will Ramsay who for the second voyage in a row found himself as acting bosun while Liz took a watch.

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* Two spaces on late August voyage – plus other 2008 berths
Owing to late cancellations we now have two berths available on a voyage coming up very soon: 28 August to 3 September, Ipswich to Southampton. This should be a great voyage with lots of interesting places the boat might be able to visit along the way. It was originally priced at £420 but do talk to us about bursary funding if you are available but genuinely can’t afford it. Call the office a.s.a.p. on 0845 365 6781.

There is still a possibility of spaces on another voyage, 15-19 September, £275 – call the office if you are interested.

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* Mates training weekend 19-21 September - spaces available
Owing to cancellations, I now have two places left on this weekend voyage. This is open to current OYT South mates, or to people who might be interested in joining our volunteer sea staff. It starts at 8pm on Friday 19 September in Southampton, and ends at 5pm on Sunday in the same place. Cost £150. Email me to book. Minimum age 16.

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* Day sail Sunday 14 September - places available
OYT South runs occasional FREE adult day sails to enable people to come along and find out more about what we do. The next one will be on Sunday 14 September, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 5pm in Ocean Village, Southampton. Email me to apply. Priority is given to those working with young people who might be interested in booking future group voyages; to existing or potential sponsors or donors or other supporters; and to anyone who might be interested in working with or helping OYT South in any way. Please spread the word among any friends, contacts, colleagues etc. who might be interested in our work!

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* 25 m by 12 m floorspace needed for two days
Skipper Wolf wants a large space in which to map out with masking tape the layout of the latest design for OYT South’s new boat, in order to get a full-scale idea of how it might all work. This requires a space at least 25 metres by 12 metres – a hall, gym or similar – where he can stick masking tape to the floor. The job will take two days, and he would ideally like to do it on 1st and 2nd September, but would consider other dates if necessary in order to get a suitable venue. Email me if you have any suggestions!

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* Sea staff needed this season
Thanks to those who have offered to help fill sea staff gaps this season. As things stand, we only have one or two spaces left, but since other people have some flexibility, there may be choices on offer. We may need a third mate for 12-16 October, OR a second OR third mate OR bosun for 17-19 October, OR a bosun for 20-24 October. Email me a.s.a.p. if you might be interested in any of these voyages. Please note that you must be a qualified member of OYT South sea staff to apply for any of these berths.

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* Ben Martin’s Canadian exchange
Ben Martin first sailed in John Laing as a young crew member in 2005, and then went on to complete third mate and later second mate qualifications. In 2008, as one of OYT South's outstanding young watch leaders, we nominated him for an international sail training exchange programme. Read Ben's story here (pdf).  

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Having a gap year? Not working over the winter?
OYT South is looking for two or more volunteers to work on our vessel refit for periods lasting from a month to four months between November 2008 and March 2009. Food and accommodation will be provided, and volunteers will gain skills and experience in boat maintenance. Many of our previous volunteers have gone on to careers in sail training or related industries.

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

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Maintenance day
There is a maintenance day on board John Laing on Thursday 4th September, in Ocean Village, Southampton - lots of help needed, both skilled and unskilled. If you can come and lend a hand, please leave a message for skipper Wolf on 07771 771864 (he's on leave at the moment so you may not get an instant reply, but he does need to know who is coming, so he can plan jobs and buy enough lunch for you). The next maintenance day is 11th October.

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Essential information for sea staff - fog navigation and MOB recovery
Skipper Wolf has asked that all sea staff take a look at a recent document produced by the MCA about fog navigation - a really good summary and reminder. You can download a PDF here, or read the same document on the MCA website here.

Also, if you haven't already seen this, John Laing now has a Dacon recovery system as one of the options available for the skipper to use to recover a man overboard. A document describing how to rig and use the Dacon, with photographs showing an exercise on board John Laing, is in the members-only section of this website. This is essential reading for all sea staff as you need to know how this system works before the next time you sail. If you have forgotten your password to the members-only section, please email me now!

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2009 bookings - crew aged 12-25
See here for details and prices for 2009 voyages.

Voyages are selling very fast, with up to half of places gone already, 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.

See here for details of Tall Ships 2009 (Poland, Russia, Finland and Lithuania in July and August), or one of the fantastic Baltic Adventure voyages before and after the festivals.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects
Bursary funding
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK.

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Adult adventure voyages 2009
As you may have seen, we have been advertising some possibilities for very special adventure voyages for adults in 2009. We have now had a firm reservation for one of these voyages from a full group booking: 28 June to 4 July: Kiel to Gdynia (Poland), so unless any of this group drops out, this voyage is no longer available. However, we had received a number of enquiries from individuals interested in an adult voyage, who were waiting to hear if this group was going to confirm or not. Now that this voyage is full, we are looking at offering the previous voyage to adults as an alternative.

If there is sufficient interest, then 21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel, will be offered to over-18s - please let us know if you would like to join this voyage. Weather permitting, this could be an excellent trip, with the Dutch inland waterways, or the Dutch and German islands - "Riddle of the Sands" country - all possible destinations along the way, plus a gentle cruise through the Kiel Canal.

While our priority is always to offer sailing to young people aged 12-25, this voyage falls during school term time and would generally be hard to sell to school-age crews; but a confirmed booking from a young group, if available, would take priority. Crew members of college or university age would of course be eligible to sail whether these become youth or adult voyages (and would be eligible for the Standard Crew price which applies to anyone aged 25 or under. The subsidy involved in this is not available to over-25s, who will be asked to pay rather more - please contact the office for details).

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Mates' training 2009
Training voyages for existing sea staff in 2009 will be as follows:

24-26 April 2009 (£150): third mates, less experienced second mates, and bosuns' weekend - 5 places left.
18-20 September 2009 (£150): first mates and more experienced second mates' weekend - 9 places left.

Email me to reserve a place on the appropriate weekend.

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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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Financial appeal
OYT South is entering a very expensive period, with a new gearbox and prop shaft required this winter after the problems we faced in Liverpool (£3,200); a new mainsail needed as one of ours - an old and worn sail - has torn beyond repair; a new mainsheet needed (£550) as well as new headsail sheets and reefing lines; a new Navtex set (£708.50) and probably at least one headsail - on top of all our normal winter costs and refit expenses. So please help if you can!

See here for how to make a donation.

Do you live near a branch of Waitrose? (NB there are branches in Gosport, Havant, Chichester, Southsea and Southampton). Waitrose has just announced that each branch will be given £1,000 a month to distribute among three local community projects. A one-third share - £330 - would pay for a child who couldn't otherwise afford to sail, or for some essential equipment such as new lifejackets. Customers can put forward the names of organisations they would like their local branch to support by filling out a leaflet in store, so please go and nominate OYT South in your local branch!

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* Local support groups – new officers needed for Southampton group
The Southampton Support Group has been dormant for a number of years, though it does still have a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer with a bank account. The individuals involved still support OYT South in their own ways and will continue to do so; but it has been decided that new officers should take over the group and any OYT South member interested (and they do not need to live in Southampton) should contact Peter Hughes (chairman) on 023 80842165 or hughes@langwaite.freeserve.co.uk. If there is interest in people taking over the group by mid-September, it is proposed an AGM is called in October to formalise the transfers. If there is no interest the group will be formally closed, with the remaining funds transferred to OYT South.
 
Other OYT South support groups – always looking for new members – are:

London: Rob Dickinson.
Dorset: Dave “Tigger” Heffer
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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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

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