Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* OYT South Open Day, Lunch and AGM 11th October - LAST CHANCE TO BOOK!
The final deadline for numbers and payment for this event is next Tuesday 6th October, if you want to attend the lunch. It looks as though we shall have at least 50 people; a speech from John Goode; news of changes within OYT South next year; a chance to look at plans for the New Boat Project; a chance to see the boat and meet the staff and Trustees. See here for details - all invited! Call the office on 0845 365 6781 if you want to come.
Job advertisement - Staff Bosun
OYT South is seeking applications for the role of Staff Bosun. Full details on our website here. This is a paid role starting in December this year. Closing date for applications Wednesday 21st October 2009.
* Voyage news
Last Saturday was a day sail for the Royal Southampton Yacht Club - both adult members and cadets. This was a lovely group and we hope to see lots of them again, either as crew members or as volunteers. Unfortunately there was no wind whatsoever for most of the day, so although we got them involved in hoisting the sails, it was largely a day of motoring, with an anchorage off Lee Point at lunch time. Many thanks to sea staff Wolf, Ben “Sparky” W (who was first mate for the day), Caz, Bob, Andrew and Miranda.
This was followed by the annual voyage for Hamish Lochhead’s Parkside school group of ten 12-year old boys, joined by a couple of individual bookings. They were incredibly lucky with both the weather and the tides, and managed to pack more into three days than many groups manage in a full week! After initial briefings on Sunday afternoon, they set off across the Channel straight away, passing the Needles as it got dark and making the crossing on an incredibly clear night - most of the boys said they had never seen such a sky. They reached the Alderney Race at daybreak and continued to Sark, where they caught some fish and explored the island. At 4pm they set off again, with some tacking drills and sail training on the way to Alderney. They had planned a beach BBQ but it was getting late so they had it on board instead. By this time several of the crew were more than ready for their beds, so all was quiet by 10.30pm.
They sailed back across the Channel on Tuesday with a little more wind than on the first crossing, doing RYA training on the way. As they came past the Needles they had lots of sails up and Ben W went in the dinghy to take photos. Then the winds died still further and they managed to get the spinnaker up and take more pictures. On Tuesday night they ended up in the Beaulieu River, on Buckler’s Hard, before an early start yesterday morning, motoring back to Ocean Village and cleaning the boat, with well-earned RYA Start Yachting certificates all round.
Many thanks to skipper Andy, plus Ben M, Ben W, Hamish, Kerrin - and congratulations to Andrew Wilkes who easily passed his third mate’s assessment and will quickly go further.
Builder needed - can anyone help?
We have very kindly been offered free storage by MDL at Ocean Village, Southampton. The place we can use is under the car ramp in the multi storey car park. The builders of the car park used this area to store their tools. The only slight technical problem is that we can’t get in as it’s been bricked up. We need a builder to remove some breeze blocks, put a lintel in and fit secure doors. Does anyone have any good contacts or the ability to do this work? Email me if you have any ideas.
* Refit 2009-10
Lots of volunteers needed! We will probably only have a couple of people in the full-time core team (see below), and we hope that all sea staff who plan to sail next season will come and help for at least a few days or a weekend. The refit starts on Wednesday 4th November and we will have a busy few days getting lots of kit off the boat in Southampton. James is in charge, and can start taking bookings for volunteers now, including for the first weekend 7-8 November (when he plans something sociable for Saturday night...) - contact him on the boat phone 07990 518915. See here for more detailed refit plans and estimated costs.
Refit core team
As in previous years, we are looking to recruit a small number of full-time volunteers to work on our winter refit between November and March. We hope all sea staff will turn up for a weekend or a few days, as normal; but it really helps our professional staff to have a small number of long-term helpers who are there for periods ranging from a month to four months, developing real experience and skills (which can often lead to careers in the marine industry, for those who want). See here for more information. Volunteers receive food and accommodation as well as valuable experience. Our professional staff will hope to meet prospective volunteers over the next few weeks, and will explain more about what is involved before offering places to suitable candidates. If you would be interested, please email me.
Maintenance day Monday 5th October
John Laing is having a maintenance day in Southampton on Monday 5th October – help needed, both skilled and unskilled. Call 07990 518915 if you can come along. This would be an ideal day for people interested in joining the core refit team to come and get an idea of what might be involved.
OYC / OYT 50th anniversary
I have started to collect photographs and tales of the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust since we were founded in 1960, and in due course I will make a special section of the website where we can post all the historical material. Do please email anything to me if you think others might be interested.
Please put 16-17 October 2010 in your diary NOW for OYT South's 50th anniversary celebration weekend - more details to follow in due course.
David Salmon retirement present
Despite various changes of plan last time we announced David's retirement as OYT South's General Manager, he really is retiring at the end of this season. We still have some funds in the collection previously set up for his retirement present, but if you would still like to make a contribution, we hope to have it organised for the October 11th event. Cheques to the office, please, or call 0845 365 6781 with a credit card - but please write "DS retirement" on the OUTSIDE of the envelope, so David doesn't open it; and if contributing by credit card, ask to speak to Sally!
Chris Ellis award - win ££s towards sailing next year!
If you have enjoyed a voyage this year, are aged under 25 and would like to sail again in 2010, don't forget the Chris Ellis award. Chris was one of the founders of the OYC in 1960 and he left a fund to be used to encourage crew members to produce a piece of work based on any OYT voyage. This can be a logbook, a diary, a picture, a story, computer art or whatever. OYT South can award up to £200 a year (to one entrant, or split between two or three individuals) in the form of a discount for a future voyage. Entries need to be in by the end of November - either emailed to me, or by post to the office, marked "Chris Ellis award entry".
Last year's winners, Cami and Seonaid, both had excellent voyages using their winnings - it could be you in 2010!
Voyages for young people
We are now fully-booked to the end of the 2009 season, though you can always contact our office to go on the short-notice reserve list in case anyone drops out at the last minute.
But the 2010 sailing programme is filling fast - some times of year are proving very popular, so please don’t leave it too long before making your provisional reservation!
Mates' training and new volunteer mates
Existing mates and new potential volunteers who would like to come and see what we are all about might like to start thinking about next year's adult training voyages:
26-28 March, £160
21-26 April, £360
10-12 Sept, £160.
All three start and finish in Southampton. If you are new to John Laing and unless you have other experience of sail training or of vessels this size, it is definitely a good idea to book on the longer April voyage if you possibly can. On the weekend voyages, there isn't really time for everyone on board to practise all the things you have to be familiar with to sail as a watch leader. But if you can't manage the April dates, we'll give you as much training as possible on one of the weekends. Email me to book.
Trinity House Bursary Fund
This scheme encourages ASTO members to recommend suitable applicants who are working or volunteering in Sail Training and wish to gain RYA and/or MCA qualifications. Successful candidates will be awarded grants from the Trinity House bursary fund to cover the cost of relevant training and examinations.
This is an excellent opportunity for employees and volunteers committed to Sail Training to apply for funding, enabling them to achieve structured progression towards a higher level of qualification.
The next round of interviews will be held at Trinity House in London on 11 November 2009.
Applicants should be under 40 years of age; unable to fund or obtain the required training without a Trinity House Career Development Bursary; able to demonstrate a previous and continued commitment to Sail Training; be a British citizen; be able to complete the requested training within two years of the award.
The training requested should develop the overall skill set and ability of the applicant, and represent a genuine improvement in their competence. For example, training to move from RYA Coastal Skipper to RYA Yachtmaster, or to make the transition from RYA Yachtmaster to STCW '95 OOW (Yachts limited to 3000T), would meet this requirement.
Applications for short courses alone, updates, or instructional qualifications will not be accepted.
The major appeal at the moment is for the 2009-10 winter refit - please donate something if you possibly can.
We also need bursary funds for next season.If you would like to help some specific young people to pay for their voyages - perhaps children with physical and learning difficulties, or homeless teenagers, or young people growing up amidst poverty and even violence, or brothers and sisters of children being cared for by a children's hospice, please email me to discuss it.
See here for how to make a donation - you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can. Don't forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form we can claim back tax on your donation.
Keep in touch with other John Laing people
We use a number of social networking websites to allow crew members to keep in touch with the boat and with each other. People can swap stories, post photos and more. For some overseas voyages, we will even set up online groups well in advance, restricted only to people who will actually be sailing on that particular voyage, so that people can compare travel plans and arrange to travel together. See here for how to join.
Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18. Young crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual adults.
Survey - tell us what you think
If you have recently completed a voyage, please help us by filling in our web-based survey. It really helps - we use the data to keep improving our voyages, and to help us raise funds!
New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our e-newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday. It includes a wide range of news from the boat and from the charity, including details of voyages available for young people; adult voyages; opportunities for adult volunteers both ashore and afloat, and much more. We find that while some people read the bulletin almost every week, many others dip in and out, and read it when it's convenient - which is why some items are repeated. The new items are marked with an asterisk * so that if you did read it last week, you can see which sections you can safely skip.
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 need an introduction to the work of OYT South, you should find a lot of useful information on our website. But essentially, we are a registered charity (no. 1079959) which exists to offer adventure under sail as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 12-25, from the widest possible range of backgrounds. A high proportion of our young crew members are disadvantaged or deserving in some way: many of these sail in groups organised by other charities, youth clubs, special schools and so on, and will fill the bulk of our term-time voyages. But those from more fortunate backgrounds are also welcome to sail, either in groups or by coming as individuals on a mixed voyage. Every year we run a variety of shorter local voyages plus longer adventure trips – including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here - and this section is also useful for adults who are thinking of organising a voyage for a young person. Adults planning to organise a full group voyage should also see here. Adults who want to sail themselves should see here.
We have a professional staff skipper and bosun, but our watch leaders are normally all volunteers, who combine sailing skills with an interest in working with young people. You can find more information here - how the system works, how to join, and profiles of existing staff and volunteers.
To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please see here. To help with the vessel's annual refit, or with maintenance days spread throughout the year, see here.
It is a very expensive business maintaining a boat, running an office and employing staff. If you want to help us, please become a member of OYT South. Or see here for information on making a donation.