Yvonne and Zoe hard at work


OYT South bulletin 23rd January 2009

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Tall Ships Cruise - funding help available
We have a restricted fund available to reduce the cost of one of the best voyages of the year for a small number of people - book now because when the money is gone, it’s gone! Cruise from St Petersburg, Russia, to Turku, Finland, from 13-25 July, for just £720, DOWN from £865 – effectively 12 nights for the price of 10. First-come, first-served: the only restriction is that you must be aged 15-25. Sail in company with other vessels from all over the world, with amazing festivals at the start and finish, and plenty of chances to stop and explore along the way!

Contact the office for bookings.

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* Amazing special adult voyage - Tall Ships festival!
Places still available for adults (18+) on a very special adventure voyage, 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. £750 plus travel (adult price). Contact the office to book.

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* Sea staff bookings 2009 - BOOK NOW
There has been a real rush on sea staff bookings since the New Year - we are filling up fast! If you haven't booked, do email me NOW with details of your availability, or you may find that other people have taken all the dates you particularly wanted.

It really helps me if you look at the programme http://www.oytsouth.org/booking-form/booking-voyage-2009.asp and email me with the voyage numbers you can do (bearing in mind that we want you to turn up the night before) rather than just giving me the dates.

If you particularly enjoy sailing with one or more specific groups, please note that most of our regulars have already booked again, so let me know which groups you are interested in and I should be able to tell you which voyage they are doing.

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Want to become a new volunteer watch leader in 2009?
We now have vacancies on the adult familiarisation voyage, 19-24 April, starting and finishing in Southampton, £300 - email me NOW to apply! This is a voyage for adults only, which aims to get you thoroughly familiar with sailing in John Laing, and to 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 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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Annual membership - DUE NOW!
2009 annual membership donations are due now for all sea staff, shorebased members and other adult supporters who wish to be members of OYT South.

Non-sailing membership is just £36 for the year (£18 for under-25s).

Sailing members pay the £36/£18 membership PLUS an annual sailing donation, after which you can sail as often as you like. The recommended rate for the sailing donation this year is £100, the minimum is £70 - it is entirely up to you to decide what you can afford. Sailing members who cannot afford even the £70 rate should apply to us for bursary funding - we don’t want to exclude anyone on grounds of cost, least of all if you are a valued watch leader!

To encourage sailing members to undertake training, anyone paying for a mates’ training or adult familiarisation voyage in 2009 will be regarded as having paid their annual sailing donation.

Much the best way to pay is to set up a regular annual donation - just print out and return this form. Otherwise you can pay by credit card over the phone (call the office on 0845 365 6781 during working hours); by cheque to Ocean Youth Trust South, 8 North Meadow, Weevil Lane, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 1BP; or online using the secure PayPal system (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). This link also gives more details about eligibility, concessions etc

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* Shorebased training weekend 2009 - please pay now - and last few vacancies!
If you have booked on a training course, you should now have received an email with joining instructions. Thanks to all those who have responded and paid. If you haven’t, you MUST pay in advance for all courses except GMDSS - call the office on 0845 365 6781 with a credit card, or pay online using the secure PayPal service. You also need to order and pay if you are coming to the supper on the Saturday of the training weekend - see here for details.

If you haven't booked a course, there are still a few places left - all at the Gosport Sea Cadet Unit. The Saturday courses are all full, but here's what's left on the Sunday:

Radar (£60): At least 2 places left - people have been dropping out; but we really need to fill at least one more space to make this one cost-effective - please tell all your friends!

Food hygiene (£45): Up to four places left.

First aid (£45): 1 place left. Compulsory updates every 3 years - check when your certificate goes out of date.

Diesel engines (£70): 1 place left.

For more details on course content, see here.

Email me to book any of these courses.

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Mates' training voyage 2009
We still have a few spaces on the training weekend for mates and bosuns, 24-26 April 2009 (£150) - please email me to apply.

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* Refit news
Week 10 of 18.

A good volunteers’ weekend followed by a busy week has seen lots of people on board John Laing: Wolf, Liz, James, Zoe, Tom, Ben, Andrew Viney, David Blogg, JP Haddon, George Swithinbank, Ellis & Reggie from BVT Surface Fleet, and Kerrin Koetsier. Liz has now gone away for a much-needed holiday - we all hope she has a great time!

The team has been busily filling and fairing hull and topsides, and are nearly there with the job except for the cold and damp which slows the process down. They have also serviced lots of winches; finished the forehatch and midhatch; finished the central bilge and the heads bilges; the welder has finished work on the water tanks and anchor; the joiners have been boxing in pipes in the skipper’s cabin; and the varnish has been sanded all over the boat.
Thanks to all those who have already volunteered to come and help over the rest of the refit, including the one remaining volunteer weekend.

If you haven't yet arranged to come to refit, I'm afraid both the boat and the house are pretty much full now - it's got to the point where any more people actually reduce efficiency because there is no room to work! This has been a phenomenal response and we are so grateful to everyone involved. If you would have liked to come and help, email Liz at lizkspace-refit@yahoo.co.uk telling her when you would be available, and she'll contact you only if we need you, if others drop out or anyone goes off sick.

We will obviously now have to waive the requirement that sea staff should all come to refit - we'll expect you at an in-season maintenance day instead!

Background information on OYT South refits

For specific plans for the 2008-9 refit, including the budget, see here.

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* Financial appeal
Many thanks to the John Coates Charitable Trust for a very generous donation this week. Thanks also to Felixstowe Master Mariners for their contribution.

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.

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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* Tall Ships 2009
Places are selling well for the most adventurous voyages on our 2009 programme - the Tall Ships race series in the Baltic. These voyages see John Laing cruising with or competing against other sail training vessels crewed by young people from all over the world - from the huge square riggers down to the smallest yachts, half the size of John Laing. Every port has fantastic maritime festivals, and the whole thing is truly the experience of a lifetime. John Laing is entitled to carry up to four 15-year olds on these voyages; all other crew members must be aged 16-25. If you are older, but still want to see a festival, you can join the Kiel to Gdynia voyage before the start - see Adult Voyages, above.

The 2009 voyages are:

Race 1: 4-13 July, Gdynia (Poland) to St Petersburg (Russia), 9 nights, £650 plus travel.
Cruise in company: 13-25 July, St Petersburg (Russia) to Turku (Finland), 12 nights, £720 plus travel
Race 2: 25 July - 2 August, Turku (Finland) to Klaipeda (Lithuania), 8 nights, £575 plus travel.

Although not strictly part of the Tall Ships series, we do have four berths available for the next voyage: 2-9 Aug, Klaipeda to Kiel, £490, crew aged 15-25 - a great chance to see the Klaipeda festival and take part in the parade of sail as the fleet leaves.

Superb festivals and a beautiful sailing area – don’t miss it!

For more information, see here. And contact the office to reserve a place.

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* Other voyages for young people 2009
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.

Large parts of the season are fully-booked, but 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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* Teambuilding or client day sails - or just a great day out for a group of adults!
New leaflet about adult day sails – print it out, pass it round, stick it on noticeboards.

Do you, or does anyone you know, work for a company which does team-building, client days, staff activity away days or anything similar? Do you do golf days, go paintballing, take clients to the races? In most cases, the money your company pays for these days simply helps the organisation running the event. But if you do your day out with OYT South, the money goes directly towards providing voyages for disadvantaged children.

These day sails are also available for any group of adults - a club, or just a bunch of friends. However, it is up to you to put a group together - we are not looking for individual bookings for these day sails.

The next day sails are Tuesday 28 April and/or Wednesday 29 April 2009, starting and finishing in Ocean Village, Southampton. Prices by negotiation depending on what sort of day you want! If someone wants to take both days and stay on board overnight, that can also be negotiated. Email me for more information.

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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