She floats!


OYT South bulletin 13th March 2009

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Refit news
Week 17 of 18. John Laing is back in the water and there are only ten days till the first voyage with young people!

It’s been a busy week, with the tent and scaffolding coming down, the launch on Wednesday and the masts going back in on Thursday. Huge thanks to everyone in the yard at Hamble Yacht Services for everything they have done for us over the winter – with a special mention to the riggers who got the masts in under extreme pressure yesterday as the tide was falling fast and John Laing risked going aground on the rig berth if she couldn’t get away in time!

Many thanks to our own refit team who all did a great job to get everything ready in time for the launch, and are still working hard to get everything else finished: Liz, Ben, Zoe, Tom, James (who this week ceased to be a volunteer and joined the payroll as our new staff skipper), Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine; George Swithinbank, Yvonne Shaw, Eliis (but not Reggie who has been off sick – get well soon!), David “Tigger” Heffer and his mate Clive, and Caz.

Chris and George have finished the headlining in the crew quarters, which looks amazing and will make a real difference to the condensation and the banged heads in the top berths. Tigger and Clive fixed the capping rail. The chart table is nearly finished. Lots of gear has been moved back on board. John Laing moved back round to our usual berth in Ocean Village this afternoon (Ben’s dad was on board for the voyage), and now it’s a busy week of getting yet more kit back on board, moving out of the refit house, completing the coding inspection, and the shakedown voyage next weekend. Dumpton School is providing the crew for the first proper voyage of 2009, starting the following Monday: their teacher John Gilmour emailed “We are all very excited about our forthcoming trip and really can't wait to join”.

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* Voyages for young people 2009
This is a complete list of all the places left on voyages this year:

28-30 April, Southampton, £190 per person, crew aged 12-25 - 7 places available.
25-29 May, Southampton, £280 per person, crew aged 12-25 - 1 last place left.
21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel, £450 plus travel, crew aged 12-25 - 4 places left.
4-13 July, Gdynia to St Petersburg, £650 plus travel. Tall Ships Race 1. Crew aged 15-25. Only 2 places left! See here for details.
13-25 July, St Petersburg to Turku, £720 plus travel. Tall Ships cruise in company. Crew aged 15-25. 7 places left. See here for details.
25 July-2 Aug, Turku to Klaipeda, £575 plus travel. Tall Ships Race 2. Crew aged 15-25. 8 places left. See here for details.
2-9 Aug, Klaipeda to Kiel, £490 plus travel. Crew aged 15-25. - 4 places left.
1-4 Oct, Southampton, £210 per person, crew aged 12-25 - 9 places left. ASTO Small Ships race. See here for details.

See here for a full list of available voyages.
Want to sail but can’t afford it? 
For Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects, see here
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK.
Full 2009 voyage programme.

Do talk to us about your requirements even if you can't find a voyage to suit you. People do drop out, so we can keep you on a reserve list; or give you priority booking for 2010; or even help to recommend an alternative way of getting you afloat this year.

Contact the office for enquiries or bookings.

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* Can you help us find crew?
Please help us to spread the opportunity to sail with us this year way beyond the readership of this newsletter! We have produced two flyers, one about the Baltic voyage series this summer, the other purely for the adults-only voyage in late June/early July. Can you email these links to your friends (even if they aren’t interested themselves, you could ask them to pass the links on to others)? Can you print a flyer and stick it on a notice board? Can you leave a pile of copies anywhere where people pick up leaflets?

Anything you do will be much appreciated – and someone somewhere could have the voyage of a lifetime, which they would never have known about if it hadn’t been for you!

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* New volunteer watch leaders
Just one place left on our training voyage for potential new volunteers, 19-24 April, starting and finishing in Southampton, £300 – email me now if you would like to come!

If you want to join our volunteer watch leader team for 2009, this is definitely the best way to get involved. The training week will get you thoroughly familiar with sailing in John Laing, and help you practise techniques for teaching, leading and motivating young people. At the end of the voyage, the skipper will be able to tell you whether you have been approved to go forward to sail on a voyage with young people and complete a formal mates' qualification.

If it is absolutely impossible for you to come on this voyage but you are still really keen to join our volunteer team this season, one other option might be the mates' training weekend, 24-26 April, which may have one last place left. It's not ideal for new volunteers because the weekend assumes a basic familiarity with John Laing and her routines, and a weekend isn't always long enough to earn your skipper's recommendation; but it's definitely better than nothing. Again, email me to apply.

If you haven't already done so, you'll need a Criminal Records Bureau check before you can sail on a voyage with young people. It's worth starting the process now as it can take a while - then you will be clear to sail as soon as the skipper recommends you. Just complete this form and return it to the address shown, to get things under way.

For more information on qualifying as a watch leader, see here.

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* Qualified first, second and third mates - possible voyage vacancies
Here are the current gaps where we don’t have sea staff booked:

28-30 April, Southampton – 1M and either a 2M or 3M. We won’t know till the middle of next week if this voyage has enough crew to run, but if it does, we’ll be booking sea staff in a hurry!

8-10 May, Poole – weekend voyage for Cheltenham Ladies’ College. 2M needed.

17-22 May, Southampton – Alfreton Park Special School. Crew with multiple physical and learning difficulties, plus adult carers. Very gentle sailing and lots of games in harbour. Additional 2M or 3M needed.

29-31 May, Southampton – weekend voyage for TS Swiftsure. 3M or extra 2M needed.

2-6 June, Southampton – crew from Cardiff, 3M or extra 2M needed.

7-11 June, Southampton – Toynbee Hall Aspire programme – 1M and 3M needed.

12-18 June, Southampton to Ipswich – Toynbee Hall again – 2M needed.

21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel - Plymouth Foyer plus others – 1M needed.

28 June – 4 July, Kiel to Gdynia – adult voyage – 2M or 3M needed.

25 July to 2 Aug, Turku to Klaipeda – Tall Ships race 2 – 1M needed.

2-9 Aug, Klaipeda to Kiel – Dorset group – 1M needed.

9-16 Aug, Kiel to Ipswich – Doncaster school group – 3M or additional 2M needed.

26 Sept, Southampton – day sail for RSYC cadets – 2M needed.

27-30 Sept, Southampton – Parkside school – 1M needed, and possibly 2M as well.

12-16 Oct, Southampton – Naomi House children’s hospice siblings’ voyage – 3M needed.

16-18 Oct, Southampton – Diabetic teenagers – 1M needed.

19-23 Oct, Southampton – Bourne College - 2M and 3M needed.

28 Oct to 1 Nov – Isle of Wight group – 2M and 3M needed.

I won’t fill every one of these places now as I need to leave some space for assessments and for new people who join the sea staff after the training voyages in April, but it would be good to know who would be interested and available if needed.

In addition, we are hoping to charter another boat for 11-17 May and 19-23 Oct to accommodate regular clients who can’t find berths on board John Laing. If this goes ahead, it will be with one of the ex-Clipper boats, and we’ll be looking for mates.

Email me now to let me know what you might like!

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* Safety notice - sea staff please read
We have NEW safety rules for people climbing the masts or working aloft. All sea staff should read this - even if you don't go up the masts yourself you may be required to tail a halyard or otherwise assist someone else. It’s in the members-only section of the website. Let me know if you don’t have a password!

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Charities Committee of N M Rothschild & Sons Limited for a donation towards bursaries – and thanks to Annant Shah for arranging it. We’ve also discovered that James Turner was responsible for getting us the Upham Church donation reported last week – thanks James! And two more donations which should have been reported earlier – apologies for the delay, and many thanks to Caroline Cahill, and to Rosemary & Mike Martin.

We are currently running appeals for refit and bursaries - please donate something if you possibly can.

You can find details of the refit appeal here - all the essential work which allows John Laing to keep sailing. We are drawing to the end of the current refit but the bills still keep coming in – and once the 2008-9 refit is fully-funded, we all need to take a deep breath and start raising money for next winter!

Bursaries: we have several groups and individuals needing additional funding in order to be able to take part in a voyage in 2009. 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. We also want to open up the most exciting voyages of 2009 - the Tall Ships series - to young people from a wide range of backgrounds, including some of those who cannot afford the full price.

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.

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Amazing special adult voyage - Tall Ships festival!
Over-25s normally don’t have a chance to sail to a Tall Ships festival, but this year we are offering a very rare voyage for crew aged 18+, with no upper age limit: 28 June - 4 July, Kiel to Gdynia, to see start of the Tall Ships series and enjoy the Gdynia festival, at the end of some beautiful Baltic sailing. £490 plus travel (adult price). Contact the office to book.

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Annual Report
OYT South’s 2008 Annual Report has just been published – packed full of examples of all the great things we did last year. You can read it on this website as a pdf file here, or email to request a printed copy. The Annual Report also contains our accounts for the last financial year.

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* OYT South AGM 11th October
A date for your diary – the OYT South Annual General Meeting for 2009 will be held on Sunday 11th October. Please make a note of the date now, and we’ll let you know about time and place in due course.

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* Out of date flares
We’ve been asked to circulate some new advice from the Coastguard about the disposal of out-of-date distress flares. Obviously John Laing’s flares are dealt with professionally, but if you use other boats or sail with anyone else, do take a look here.

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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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 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.

If you have any questions, please do email - or contact the office.

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“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte