How many skippers does it take to change a lightbulb?


OYT South bulletin 14th May 2009

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *


* Sea staff needed urgently!!
These voyages are getting very close! Please do think carefully about whether you might be able to help with one or more of these:

2-6 June, Southampton - crew from Cardiff, 3M or extra 2M needed, or trainee mate.
21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel - Plymouth Foyer plus others - addititional 2M, 3M or trainee mate needed. Preference on this last voyage given to anyone who can also do maintenance days, 19 and 20 June.

Email me now if you can help with either of these!

I’ve got lots of new potential mates wanting to do voyages and assessments on voyages later in the season, so I just need to do a bit of juggling with them and try and fit everyone in. I’ll re-advertise any remaining vacancies once all that is sorted out.

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* Day Skipper course / small boat refresher
Someone has just dropped out of Wolf’s small boat course from 24-29 May, so he’s looking for one more person. Ideal for anyone who wants to do RYA Day Skipper, or take a chance to practise things which are not easily learned in the 72-foot, 55-tonne John Laing. Cost £325, call Wolf on 07771 771864 to discuss it.

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* Voyage news
Two boats at sea this week, doing OYT South voyages (world domination here we come….though rather slowly)!

John Laing’s week began with a weekend voyage for Cheltenham Ladies’ College – a lovely group of young people with a fantastic teacher. They sailed from Poole to Yarmouth on Saturday, and had to motor back in no wind on the Sunday. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and there was lots of talk about wanting to come back next year. Thanks to sea staff James, Brian, Sparky Ben, JP, Liz, and Fergus who is joining us as a new occasional first mate and was doing the weekend as familiarisation.

The next crew joined in Poole on Monday: young people from Hampshire, Dorset and the Royal Navy, plus Thomas who sailed a couple of weeks ago and came back to fill a short-notice space. This is making for an interesting mixed group, organised by Steve Lacey (Dorset), Cathy Lacey (RN) and a client who is new to us, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Youth Options, whom we met on a day sail a few weeks ago. They sailed to Weymouth in a Force 7, but have had very little wind since then and motored to Yarmouth last night. They were just about to lift the anchor when I spoke to them, aiming for Gosport tonight. This voyage will finish at lunchtime on Saturday in Southampton. Skipper James is confident that lots of Start Yachting and Competent crew certificates will be earned. I asked if Fergus was enjoying his first voyage as an OYT South first mate, and the answer came “well, he has lots of clothes pegs in his beard at the moment”, which I think may be a good sign! JP is making good progress with his third mate’s assessment. Thanks also to Steve the second mate, and Sparky Ben who is enjoying a week as bosun after passing his Cruising Instructor’s exam last week - well done to him!

The second boat in this week’s OYT South fleet is Thermopylae Clipper, owned and operated by the Discovery Sailing Project, but this week at sea with a largely OYT South sea staff and one of our regular clients whom we couldn’t fit on board John Laing this year due to pressure of demand. The group are from Park House school and sports college, Newbury – twelve and thirteen year olds with two very good teachers. Their voyage is a day longer than the equivalent John Laing trip, so they have been able to venture a bit further. They started from Universal Marina, Hamble, on Monday and went to East Cowes. Then they had a long “downhill” trip – all the way to Brixham with the wind behind them and only using headsails (skipper Nic was hankering after a spinnaker!). A morning ashore in Brixham for showers, shopping and – in some cases – chips was followed by a drift to Dartmouth in minimal winds. Today they are just arriving in Weymouth, hoping for Poole tomorrow and back in the Solent for the weekend. The crew are described as “all very jolly” and Nic is hoping to be able to award a good number of Start Yachting certificates. Many thanks to OYT South sea staff Nic, Liz and Ben M, who passed his Yachtmaster practical exam last week (in what proved to be an excellent exam week for all OYT South second mates called Ben….), and also to Peter from the Discovery Sailing Project, who has been sailing as first mate.

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* Voyages for young people 2009 – last few spaces!
Quite a rush on bookings and enquiries this week, so there really isn’t very much left. Pre-Tall Ships there is just this:

21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel, £450 plus travel, crew aged 12-25 - 1 place left.

For Tall Ships voyages, Race 1 (Gdynia to St Petersburg) is now full. There are eight places left across the Cruise in Company and Race 2; but we have had seven or eight serious enquiries for these places. Some people are waiting for decisions on bursary funding, others for news of time off work; and we also need to clarify details for a few people who might be available for one voyage but not the other, as well as checking to see whether provisional bookings turn into firm ones with deposits paid. So it is still worth contacting us if you want to sail on either of these voyages, though you will be on a reserve list for the moment:

13-25 July, St Petersburg to Turku, £720 plus travel. Tall Ships cruise in company. Crew aged 15-25. See here for details.
25 July-2 Aug, Turku to Klaipeda, £575 plus travel. Tall Ships Race 2. Crew aged 15-25. See here for details.

After that, the only possible spaces are here:
2-9 Aug, Klaipeda to Kiel, £490 plus travel. Crew aged 15-25 - 4 places may be left though we have had some interest in all four.

Everything else this year seems to be full, for the moment, but I can only stress that people DO have to drop out of voyages from time to time, so it is well worth getting your name on our reserve list and giving us an idea of your availability, and we can contact you straight away if spaces come up.

Please note that if you are aged 18+, you can also look at the adult voyage, Kiel to Gdynia, 28 June to 4 July, as an option – see below. We could also look at whether it is possible to add 16 and 17 year olds to this crew if the demand is there.

Full 2009 voyage programme.

We appreciate that it can be very disappointing for people who are keen to sail this year, finding that we are already fully-booked – though we are obviously thrilled to be so popular! In order to help those who may be disappointed in 2009, we are bringing forward publication of our 2010 sailing programme, and will very shortly be able to accept advance bookings for next year.

Contact the office for enquiries or bookings.

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* Voyages for adults 2009
28 June - 4 July, Kiel to Gdynia, £490 plus travel, an amazing chance to see the Gdynia Tall Ships festival. See here for details. We really need to fill this voyage - if you would like to come but can't afford the full price, please email me to discuss it.
18-20 September, Southampton, £150. Advanced mate’s training, ideal for first mates and experienced second mates, or anyone who hopes to move in that direction and wants to see what’s involved.

Email me for more information about any of these.

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Keep in touch with other John Laing people - NEW social networking guidelines
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.

Please note that OYT South has introduced a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with young people aged under 16. Young crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual adults.

See here for how to join.

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* Maintenance days – 1 June, 19 & 20 June
John Laing has maintenance days on 1 June in Southampton, and 19 & 20 June in Ipswich. We need lots of help for these, especially the Ipswich dates, when a major task will be getting two months’ food stores on board for our Baltic trips, and stowing it all in an organised fashion. Call Wolf on 07771 771864 to book yourself in to help.

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* Trinity House bursaries
The Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) has asked for our help in publicising the Trinity House Bursary Awards, as they are very much hoping to get more applications. The scheme encourages ASTO members to recommend suitable applicants who are working/volunteering in sail training who would 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.

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 application.
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.

Application forms can be downloaded from the ASTO website. The timescale for submissions is tight - ASTO needs to receive notice of intent to apply by 18 May 2009 followed by receipt of the application form and reference by 22 May 2009. Interviews will be held in Southampton on 04 June 2009.

Any sea staff who want a reference from OYT South to support their application should email to discuss it with us first.  .

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* Adult west country cruise
One of our volunteers, Stephanie Thornton, is looking for one or two people to join her for a West Country cruise in her own boat, a lovely Rustler 31. The voyage runs from 23 May to 5 June, but there is an opportunity for a crew change on the middle Saturday if you only want to do half the trip. Steph is looking for one or two people aged 18+, RYA Competent Crew or above, to sail in exchange for a contribution to food, fuel and mooring fees. Email me if interested and I’ll pass messages on.

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Financial appeal

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. The last refit has been funded but now 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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Volunteer press officer

With the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Youth Club coming up next year, we would really like to develop the capacity to generate much more publicity for OYT South - both for big projects and events, but also simple regular stories for local papers when a group or individual from their area comes on the boat. We've got one volunteer who is keen to be involved with this and has lots of ideas for stories, but he freely admits that writing and spelling are not his strongest points. So we're looking for one or more additional volunteers with strong writing skills, to set up a small Press Team - which has the additional benefit of ensuring that if any team member goes on holiday or is extra busy at work, we might have someone else in the team to send out stories - meaning there wouldn't be too much pressure on any one individual. Anyone interested? Email me for more information.

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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 a flyer for the adults-only voyage in late June/early July. Can you email this link to your friends (even if they aren’t interested themselves, you could ask them to pass the link 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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OYT South Open Day, Lunch and AGM 11th October
A date for your diary - OYT South will be holding an Open Day and lunch, followed by our AGM, on Sunday 11th October. It will be held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble. John Laing will be berthed on the pontoon immediately outside. There will be an excellent three course Sunday lunch in the Yacht Club for a reasonable price, and we invite all our supporters, volunteers, clients, sponsors, suppliers, parents, past and present crew to come along and see the boat, chat to the team, and hear about some big plans we have for the future of OYT South. Tickets will be on sale shortly but you can email me now if you would like to come, and we’ll send you full details as soon as we have them.

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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!

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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