Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* Refit help needed
Having said for some weeks that we had no space for more volunteers to come and help at the refit, things have now changed. Matt Almond, who has been part of the core refit team and worked with us for more than two months this winter, has been offered a job in New Zealand and so will be leaving us at the end of next week. We’d like to thank Matt for some great work, and wish him all the best for the future; but now we need to fill the gap in the refit team for the last month. This could either be one additional person joining the team full-time, or a series of people coming for a few days each. The longer you can come for, the better, as regular volunteers become more productive; but whatever you can offer, we’d love to hear from you. Food and accommodation available in Hamble. Email Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org telling her when you would be available and leaving a phone number so she can contact you.
For background information on OYT South refits, see here.
For specific plans for the 2008-9 refit, including the budget, see here.
After months of taking things apart and making loads of mess, the refit is at last seeing more things going back together and bits of the boat starting to look pretty again!
The antifouling is done; the varnishing is finished in the skipper’s cabin and the chart room; the deck and cockpit have been sanded; the coachroof is having its last coat of paint today; the hull above the waterline has had its last pre-kote and will be painted with topcoat over tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday. The headlining is an ongoing job. Ben is connecting up the instruments in the rebuilt nav area. Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine have fitted the binnacle and the steering box. And the weather is better (fingers crossed touch wood)!
Many thanks to Liz, James, Wolf, Tom, Zoe, Ben, Matt, Ellis and Reggie from BVT, Martin Skipper, Jon Seddon, Annant Shah, Brendan Stewart, Chris, Tristan - and Andy Royse who is coming tomorrow to take the charts away for correcting!
* New volunteer watch leaders
We’re still keen to find a few more people to join our training voyage for potential new volunteers, 19-24 April, starting and finishing in Southampton, £300. Several people have made provisional bookings which they haven’t yet confirmed, so it’s a bit hard to be sure how many places we have available, but there are definitely some left – let me know 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. We have reserved some watch leader berths and assessment berths later in the season for new people who impress on this training voyage, so if we get a lot of good new people then, there really won’t be many places for other new volunteers this season.
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 has one or two places left. If current mates don’t fill them, we might accept new volunteers. It’s not ideal 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.
* Second mate needed for April weekend
Any qualified second mates interested in a weekend voyage at the start of the season - 3-5 April, starts Friday afternoon and ends Sunday evening in Southampton, crew from the Senior Section Girl Guides? Email me now if you want to come.
* First mates – more voyages available
I still have quite a number of first mate vacancies – any qualified volunteer first mates who could do an extra trip or two would be very much appreciated – email me if you can help.
* Other sea staff bookings
I'm not particularly looking to fill many more sea staff berths just yet as I need to make sure there are still spaces available for new volunteers who get recommended to come back after the adult training voyages. But any qualified sea staff who want to sail this year and haven’t yet booked anything at all should email me a.s.a.p.
Tall Ships cruise and races
Race 1: 4-13 July, Gdynia (Poland) to St Petersburg (Russia), £650 + travel - last TWO places left!
Cruise in company: 13-25 July, St Petersburg (Russia) to Turku (Finland), £720 + travel - 8 places left.
Race 2: 25 July - 2 August, Turku (Finland) to Klaipeda (Lithuania), £575 + travel - 8 places left.
Homeward bound: 2-9 Aug, Klaipeda (Lithuania) to Kiel (Germany), £490 + travel - 4 places left.
All these voyages are open to crew members aged 15-25 (max four 15-year olds, the others must be 16+). Anyone aged over 25 who wants to see a Tall Ships festival should see here.
Any of these voyages could be the experience of a lifetime – amazing maritime festivals, beautiful sailing areas, hundreds of sailing vessels from all over the world, parties and activities ashore. For more information, see here, and contact the office to reserve a place.
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.
* Tall Ships & Baltic overseas travel and visas (crew AND sea staff)
I know some people are already starting to book their flights for voyages this summer. If you want to compare travel plans or arrange to fly with other people, I’ve set up Facebook groups for the two Tall Ships races and the Cruise in Company so that you can meet each other and discuss plans online. These groups are ONLY open to people who have booked on that specific voyage. Let me know if you use Facebook but haven’t yet been invited to join your group.
If you don’t use Facebook, or are on a different Baltic voyage, but would still like to travel with others, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with others on your voyage.
Everyone on Race 1 or the Cruise in Company will need a Russian visa to visit St Petersburg. The race organisers are hoping to develop a simplified system for visa applications - we'll let you know as soon as we have definite answers.
Sea staff booked on overseas voyages: your joining and departure dates are NOT the same as the dates published for crew members - we generally need you there for at least an extra day. You should have had an email with the details, but it’s probably best to talk to us first when booking your flights.
Other voyages for young people 2009
Short mid-week voyage at the end of April? Long weekend including a fun race and a party in October? Last few places in May, June, July and August? John Laing is fully-booked for much of the year, but there are still some places left! 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.
You can find details of the refit appeal here - all the essential work which allows John Laing to keep sailing.
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.
* Will Ramsay update
Will Ramsay, our relief bosun who has suffered a broken back, has been moved to the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville hospital. He and his family are really appreciating all the messages from his friends – you can contact him via Facebook, or else email me and I’ll pass messages on.
Hard though it is to believe, I know there are some people out there who don’t want to read this bulletin in full every week. You may not be one of them - since you are reading this now! - but you may have friends, family or colleagues who would like to know a bit about OYT South without getting the full details every week. We have therefore introduced a new Supporters’ Newsletter as a summary of our news, activities and plans, designed to come out just three or four times a year. You can find a pdf version here - please email the link or print it out and give it to anyone you think might be interested!
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.
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.