TS Swiftsure play the After Eights game...


OYT South bulletin 6th June 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

Storage URGENTLY needed
We’ve had this appeal in the bulletin for a few weeks, but the best offer so far will cost us £1,500 a year – a big burden for a small charity! Before we have to commit to this, PLEASE think hard about whether you have any space where we could store a 20-foot container, or if you know of an empty garage or similar space that we could have for less than £1,500 (preferably free) in the Hamble or Southampton area, to store equipment used during the refit, and spares for the sailing season. Contact the office a.s.a.p. with any offers or ideas!

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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 on 0845 365 6781 for bookings. Five places left.

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* 2009 prices announced - voyages filling fast
As you may be aware, we delayed announcing prices for the 2009 sailing programme while we took stock of a number of increases in our costs. However, we are now delighted to announce that we have settled on some very moderate price increases for 2009: see the voyage programme for details.

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.

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* Exciting voyage opportunity for second mate or experienced third mate
One of our watch leaders has had to drop out of a voyage this summer: 22-27 August, Den Helder to Ipswich. If you can replace him, you will have the opportunity to see the end of the Den Helder Tall Ships festival, followed by a chance to cruise on the Dutch coast, a beautiful sailing area which John Laing rarely gets the chance to visit. This should be a really exciting voyage – please contact me NOW if you could fill this vacancy!

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

And, owing to a cancellation, we now have one berth available on a voyage from Penzance to Liverpool, 13-20 July. This is a very exciting opportunity because crew members will be able to participate in the fabulous Liverpool Tall Ships festival. Age range 16-25. Full price was £420 but the crew member who dropped out had been awarded substantial bursary funding which might still be available if a new applicant for the place comes from a deserving or disadvantaged background.

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

If you might be interested in booking either voyage, 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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Tall Ships 2008 – just ONE last place left
Race one and the cruise in company are now fully-booked, but we do have just one 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! See here for more information.

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* Maintenance days 6 & 7July
Thanks to all those who have volunteered to help with the maintenance day this Sunday – we now have enough people for the jobs we need to do. 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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* Mates training 2009
As announced in the last newsletter , 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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* Familiarisation voyage for new volunteers’ 2009
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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* Voyage news
A short voyage last weekend with a school from Midhurst, distinguished chiefly by a stop in West Bay, Bridport – if John Laing has ever been there before, I haven’t heard about it! Thanks to the sea staff for this voyage: Nic Crawford, Liz, Matt Bland, Rob Dickinson and Mark Boggis.

Next came a voyage for the Nautical Training Corps TS Swiftsure. Some of these young people were on their fifth voyage with us, but as older ones had moved on and younger ones have joined the group, it was fantastic to see some of those who used to be junior members of the group moving up, taking on more responsibility, and looking after the novices. This was the longest voyage they had ever done, and we were desperate to get them across the Channel for the first time. Unfortunately, the voyage coincided with the French port blockade, a huge regatta which filled the Guernsey harbour, and the wrong wind direction for Alderney. So we went west instead: Weymouth, Dartmouth and Brixham.

After a bit of seasickness on the first overnight passage, this was, as always with the Swiftsure group, a fantastic fun voyage for everyone, with a lot of learning, a lot of hilarious games (After Eight game the best), and a lot of music and singing along (thanks to the Oysterband). We also met a lot of old friends: ex-bosun Laura in Dartmouth, as well as Allen Clarke who is helping to design our new boat, and then a night in Brixham on the Trinity Sailing pontoon, sandwiched between boats skippered by Dave Carnson and Special K, with visits from Liz and Phoebe as well.

Many of this crew already had their RYA certificates, but the five new ones, including one group leader, Sara, got their RYA Start Yachting certificates, and the other group leaders, Sam and Adele, who haven’t sailed on every voyage so far, were upgraded to Competent Crew.

It was also a good week for the sea staff. Stuart Raynsford, who had signed on as bosun for the week, ended up running a watch and passing his second mate’s assessment, and Bob Trimble, who is new to John Laing, passed his 3M assessment with flying colours and got half his 2M assessment signed off into the bargain – many congratulations to both of them! Thanks also to the other sea staff, Nic Crawford, Geoff Eddy and Caz. Swiftsure have already booked two voyages for 2009 and we look forward to seeing them again!

The current voyage involves siblings from Acorns Children’s Hospice, Birmingham – a new hospice client this year, to join our regulars from CHASE and Naomi House. These hospice voyages are an important part of the OYT South year: it means so much to these young people to have the chance to make friends with others whose families are facing similar situations, and to bond with others who have a real understanding of how they feel.

They joined in Poole and then John Laing had to leave in rather a hurry as Town Quay was being evacuated owing to the discovery of an old WW2 bomb! The change to the timings meant that, on passage round to Weymouth, dinner now unfortunately coincided with the roughest bit of water round the headland! They got into Weymouth at 1am, and later had a morning in the town, leaving just in time to have lunch as they went through the roughest patch of water round Portland Bill….After beating all afternoon into a north westerly force 4 to 5, they finally reached Torquay around midnight and had a productive morning there – including rigging and testing our new Dacon man overboard recovery equipment, which involved third mate Dave “Tigger” Heffer going into the water in a drysuit..

In the afternoon they went out into the bay and did a lot of tacking and gybing practice before finishing in Brixham, where they saw Phoebe and Tracey Tyerman, and Wolf was persuaded to climb the local “mountain” (his word) - Berry Head.

The next day they were up at 0530 (Wolf says the previous week’s crew used up all the friendly tides and he was left with the ones going the wrong way except at uncivilised times of day). They headed for Weymouth but, as the berth wasn’t quite ready when they got there, they did lots of man overboard recovery practice using the Dacon, with various sea staff getting the chance to drive.

Once in Weymouth, they went to the beach for games (Tigger got wet again) and continued the games on board in the evening. They then had another 0530 start, and are presently anchored in Swanage Bay, before returning to the Solent later tonight.

Thanks to sea staff Wolf, Matt Bland, Cathy Lacey, Tigger, Di Roberts – and our new General Manager, Chris Robinson, sailing on his first voyage! Wolf says that Chris is working very hard towards his RYA Start Yachting certificate.

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* Fred Dovaston
Andy Brown contacted us this week with the sad news that Fred Dovaston has passed away after a long illness. Fred was the OYC North West skipper of Duet, Taikoo and then Francis Drake. He left OYC to sail around the world with Clare Francis in the Whitbread Round the World Race and latterly ran a crewing agency in the Mediterranean. Fred was instrumental in getting a lot of young people afloat. Condolences go to Fred's wife, Karen and their children.

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* Yachtmaster / Coastal Skipper practical course with Wolf in October
One place left, 19-26 Oct, £300 plus exam fee (£65 Coastal Skipper, £80 Yachtmaster). Probably best to email me if you are interested, as Wolf is sailing and hard to reach by phone over the next week.

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Vessel tracking
John Laing's vessel tracking system is the most popular page on our website: 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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* Volunteer watch leader vacancies
Sea staff vacancies are as follows:

22-27 Aug, Den Helder to Ipswich – second mate or experienced third mate needed (see above)
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 needed, and second mate (tbc)
2-5 Oct - second mate or experienced third mate needed
6-10 Oct – second mate possibly needed
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 and third 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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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.

Price to be announced shortly; but 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