Solent Coastguard's helicopter uses John Laing for an exercise


OYT South bulletin 5th April 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* VERY urgent: volunteer watchleader needed next week!
I have just heard that the third mate for the next voyage has to drop out. We MUST fill this place - we don't currently have enough staff on board for the voyage to go ahead, but cancelling the trip for the young people is unthinkable. The voyage runs from Friday 11th April (sea staff join Thursday evening if possible) and ends on Tuesday 15th April. Start and finish both in Southampton. Email me now or call 07986 354697 if you can help. You must be a qualified John Laing watch leader with a CRB check.

I am also looking for a qualified second mate or experienced third mate for 21-24 April (sea staff join on the evening of the 20th) - again, this voyage is getting very close now.

Other sea staff vacancies are as follows:

12-17 May, Southampton to Poole - third mate needed
18-22 May, Poole to Poole - third mate needed
9-14 June - second mate needed.

Let me know a.s.a.p. if you can help.

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* Urgent berth vacancies
We are still looking for crew members to fill the voyage 21-24 April, starting in Ocean Village, Southampton at 2pm on Monday 21st, ending in the same place at 12 noon on Thursday 24th. Bursary funding is definitely available to make this voyage affordable, if needed. We could also make it an adult voyage, or we could split it into day sails - almost any option is worth considering, except having an empty boat! Email me or call the office on 0845 365 6781 if you can help. {Since this newsletter was first issued, we have had a number of provisional bookings for 21-24 April on behalf of young people who are being home-educated. There are still berths available, but the voyage is now going ahead as planned, and will not be converted to an adult voyage or a series of day sails}.

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* Voyage news
Two very happy and successful voyages in the last week, and lots of volunteer sea staff getting off the boat really enthused by the young people they have been sailing with!

It started with a weekend voyage for St Gabriels school, who have sent a number of groups of girls to sail with us in the past. This time they arrived absolutely brimful of energy, all very bouncy and bubbly - and not at all put off by truly dreadful weather on the Saturday. They tacked down Southampton Water under mizzen and staysail in the teeth of needle-sharp horizontal rain, and made it into Cowes, which turns out to be the place to go if you really enjoy shopping for incredibly expensive trendy knickers....enough said. Back on the boat, they spent an evening enjoying lots of games, and then woke next day to fine weather. Virtually every sail training vessel in the Solent was out on Sunday, but most seemed to be doing staff training, with John Laing one of the few to have young crew members on board, enjoying lots of sail training exercises, man overboard recovery practice etc. Many thanks to all the sea staff who made this weekend such a success: Helen Acton, Special K, Kat "Gizmo" Francis, Jo Brooks, bosun Liz, and teacher Anna Tidy from St Gabriels - our first all-female voyage in a long time!

They were succeeded by another school group, this time a new client to OYT South: Dumpton School, Wimborne. This is a prep school, and this group of mainly 13-year olds were taking part in adventure activities as part of their last year together before splitting up and going to different schools. Again, the sea staff thought they were a really lovely bunch of young people who created a fantastic atmosphere on board. They enjoyed lots of wind and the chance to do some challenging sailing. They started with some time at anchor in Osborne Bay, before going on to Yarmouth for the next night. The next day they had an outstanding sail right round the Isle of Wight, ending up in Gosport, and then another perfect sail on the last day back up to Southampton in sunshine and blue sky with the music playing. The teacher who came with the group, John, was a real asset to the voyage, and highly recommended as a potential future watch leader with OYT South - not least because the voyage was such a success that Dumpton school is keen to come again next year. Many thanks to John and to the sea staff, Dave Carnson, Special K, Andy Royse, Sarah "Tee Hee" Tredinnick, and Liz.

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Vessel tracking

John Laing's vessel tracking system is active for the season: just look here for a map showing where John Laing is sailing right now, and click on the vessel icon for extra information such as latitude, longitude and current speed.

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* 2008 bookings - including short notice vacancies
Complete vacancies list:

21-24 April: Southampton, £185, 12 places left. {Now up to 6 left}
20-22 June (weekend): Southampton, £150, 6 places left (over-18s only).
13-20 July: Falmouth to Liverpool, £420. Up to 4 places left, depending on whether provisional bookings are confirmed.
11-22 August: Bergen to Den Helder, £660, 1 place left for Tall Ships Race 2.
8-13 Sept: Southampton, £315, 12 places left.
15-19 September: Southampton, £275, 12 places available.

If you can't find what you want on this availability list, do please keep checking the voyage programme as new vacancies keep coming up as provisional reservations aren't confirmed.

If you want to book a berth, contact the office as soon as possible.

For additional information about voyages:

UK-based voyages
Tall Ships 2008: Liverpool - Måløy (Norway) - Bergen (Norway) - Den Helder (Netherlands)
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects
Bursary funding
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK.

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OYT South AGM 2008 and Annual Report

Yesterday's Annual General Meeting of OYT South heard the Chairman, Martin Skipper, describe 2007 as the Trust's "best year ever" as he thanked all those who contributed to our efforts in an enormous variety of ways. The Treasurer, Brian Eyres, also reported on a successful year. Details are in the new 2007 Annual Report - please have a look at it! Hard copies are also available on request from the office.

Under our rules, a proportion of our Trustees have to stand down in rotation each year, although they are eligible to stand for re-election. This year, Andy Royse and Caroline White were both re-elected. Martin Skipper, who was co-opted to the Board during the year, was also formally elected, as were three new Trustees, Fiona Pankhurst, Jeremy Burnett Rae and Fred Cole. These six join our other four Trustees: Brian Eyres, Yvonne Taylor, Steve Lacey and Phoebe Swatton.

Thanks were also recorded to two further Trustees who served during the last year: Cathy Lacey, who was chair for part of the year, and Trevor Hewson, who very sadly died after only a few months as a Trustee.

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2009 sailing programme

We are just in the process of preparing our 2009 sailing programme. If you have any very specific requirements for a voyage in 2009 - for example, a school might want a voyage to fit into a scheduled Activities Week - do let us know as soon as possible, and we'll try to write something suitable into the programme.

Just to get you excited in advance for summer 2009: we are hoping to take part in another Tall Ships race series in the Baltic. This will involve a number of voyages in June designed to get us to the start in Poland in early July (crew changeover ports still to be decided). We will then race from Gdynia to St Petersburg, in Russia, followed by a cruise to Turku, Finland, and then another race to Klaipeda, Lithuania, arriving in early August. We will then have a series of voyages in August to bring John Laing back to the UK (again, crew changeover ports still to be decided, though we are tempted by Copenhagen at some point…).

If you might be interested in taking part in any of this - and especially if you might want to make a full group booking - do talk to us now about options. We are also considering making one of the voyages in June, on the way to Poland, an adult voyage - worth considering for over-25s who don't normally get this sort of chance to sail to more exciting places with us!

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Tall Ships Youth Trust International Fund, for a donation of £3,000 towards bursary funding.

Although the refit is over, the bills will keep coming in for some time yet, so the fundraising task goes on. See here  for how to make a donation. To see the sorts of things that a small donation (anything from £1 upwards) would buy, see here. For larger donations (up to £50,000!) see here (pdf) - which has recently been updated.

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!

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* Volunteer sea staff training (on board John Laing)
We are still trying to clarify final bookings for the mates' training weekend, 25-27 April, £150 (joining Southampton at 8pm on Friday, ending at 5pm on the Sunday) - it's possible there may still be a spare place, so please email me NOW if you might be interested. Suitable for current mates as well as new prospective sea staff aged 16+.

The longer adult training voyage, 29 April to 4 May, is FULL.

We do have 4 spaces left for the September staff training voyage: 19-21 Sept (£150). Email me for bookings.

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Storage urgently needed

It is becoming increasingly urgent for OYT South to find some new storage space for equipment used during the refit, and spares for the sailing season. We really need a 20-foot container, or similar, and somewhere to put it, preferably in the Hamble or Southampton area if at all possible - can anyone help?

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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: Martin Skipper.
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 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