View from above


OYT South bulletin 18th June 2009

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Sea staff bookings - urgent vacancy
Still a space for a qualified mate or trainee mate with CRB clearance on the next voyage, if anyone wants it: Ipswich to Kiel - you can join any time tomorrow or Saturday (19-20 June), and leave from Kiel on the afternoon of 28 June. If this appeals, DON’T email me, I won’t get it in time: phone the boat on 07990 518915.

Other sea staff vacancies this year (all Southampton):

31 Aug - 4 Sept: third mate or above
13 Sept day sail: two experienced John Laing mates
14-18 Sept: third mate or trainee mate
26-30 Sept: second mate
19-23 Oct: two experienced OYT South watch leaders for Thermopylae Clipper, and a second mate for John Laing.
24-27 Oct: bosun needed.
Email me now if you can help with any of these!

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Boat phone
John Laing will shortly be leaving the UK for two months, to take part in the Baltic Tall Ships series.

While she is overseas, from 22 June to 16 August, please bear in mind that it costs us a great deal of money to use the boat phone. So please don’t call unless it is really necessary; and if you must call the boat, please keep it short. You can always contact our office on 0845 365 6781 instead of calling the boat.

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* Voyage news
Ingredients for the ideal voyage: enthusiastic crew, good group leaders, fantastic weather, and getting to go to places outside John Laing’s routine sailing area. This week’s voyage had it all.

John Laing has now left Southampton for the big summer trip and she won’t be back in her home port until 23rd August. This week’s crew is the third and final group of the year from Toynbee Hall in Tower Hamlets - a lovely group of young people, very well-organised by teachers Charlie and Sian. They called first at Cowes to collect our brand-new mainsail (in time for the Tall Ships races) and then had gorgeous sunshine but sadly no wind at all as they motored to Eastbourne. The next day was perfect sailing, and John Laing went to Ramsgate with every sail set, including mizzen staysail and cruising chute. They spent a day in Ramsgate, with visits to the swimming pool and the beach - very windy and big troubles with the Frisbee!

Next stop was Walton Backwaters (anyone read “Secret Water”, in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series?) for a peaceful night, followed by a trip up to Ipswich and finally ending up in Woolverstone, where the boat will be for a few days while we get ready for the Baltic.

The crew should all get their RYA Start Yachting certificates, so well done to them; and thank you to the sea staff: James, Liz, Graeme, Monica, Jon and Gerry.

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* Voyages for young people 2009 – new vacancies

21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel, £450 plus travel, crew aged 12-25 - 1 place left - STARTS THIS SUNDAY!.
13-25 July, St Petersburg to Turku, Tall Ships cruise in company, £720 plus travel and Russian visa, crew aged 15-25 - up to 3 places left.
25 July - 2 August, Turku to Klaipeda, Tall Ships race 2, £575 plus travel, crew aged 15-25 - 2 places left.
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.
27-30 Sept, Southampton, £210 - 2 places left. The rest of this voyage has been booked for a group of boys aged 12-13, so they are looking for two others who would fit in and would like to join them.
24-27 Oct, Southampton, £195 - 1 place left. This is a half-term trip, with other crew members aged 12-13, both boys and girls.
NEW: 28 Oct - 1 Nov, Southampton, £260 - 2 places left. Another half-term voyage, with a mixed crew.

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.

Full 2009 voyage programme.

Contact the office for enquiries or bookings.

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Voyages for adults 2009

28 June - 4 July, Kiel to Gdynia, £490 ONO plus travel, an amazing chance to see the Gdynia Tall Ships festival. 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. Berths have started filling up a little over the last few days, but we really MUST fill some more places - please send this flyer around to anyone you can think of, with a note to say that if we can’t sell full-price berths we will accept the best offers! Up to 6 places left.
18-20 September, Southampton, £150. This voyage is primarily focussed on advanced mate's training, ideal for first mates and experienced second mates; but we can’t have eighteen people all wanting to take charge of everything, so we are opening spare places to anyone who wants to come along and see what it’s all about - especially if you would like to pretend to be a teenage novice sailor and give the mates someone to practise on!

Email me for more information about either of these.

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* 2010 voyage programme
Thanks to all those who have made bids for voyages on the draft 2010 programme. We’re having to make a few changes to voyage dates and durations to suit various clients, but we should be able to confirm quite a few group bookings and publish a revised programme – probably next week.

If you are hoping to sail next year and haven’t yet looked at the programme, you’ve got until Monday to email me your voyage preferences in order to be part of this round of priority voyage allocation. After that, all the remaining places will go on general sale in the normal way. See here for the current version of the draft 2010 programme.

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* Financial appeal
Many thanks this week to the Man Group plc Charitable Trust for an extremely generous donation.

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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Sea staff emails
Please note that our professional sea staff are now all using OYT South email addresses, as follows:

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Ocean Youth Trust 50th anniversary
A date for your diaries: we have pencilled in the weekend of 16-17 October 2010 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Youth Trust - hopefully with a dinner on the Saturday and a more casual event on the Sunday. Do keep the date free and we will let you have more details as soon as we can.

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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.

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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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