Sections which have changed since last time marked *
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.
NEW: 31 Aug-4 Sept, Southampton, £280. Crew aged 12-25. 6 places left.
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.
28 Oct - 1 Nov, Southampton, £260 - 2 places left. Another half-term voyage, with a mixed crew.
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.
STARTS THIS WEEKEND, 3 PLACES LEFT! 28 June - 4 July, Kiel to Gdynia, £490 ONO plus travel, an amazing chance to see the Gdynia Tall Ships festiva. We really need to fill this voyage - if you would like to come but can't afford the full price, please call the office today on 0845 365 6781.
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! 4 places left. Email me for more information about this weekend.
* Voyage news
Last weekend was spent in Ipswich getting everything ready to leave the UK. Many thanks to Wolf, James, Liz, Monica, Jon, Gerry, Kirsty, Phil and Habit for lots of hard work, and special thanks to Helen Devereaux for organising our shopping, and to Carol Holt and the staff of the Ipswich Makro for putting it all together and delivering it. 56 days away, 18 people at a time, 3 meals a day equals 3,024 meals, and apart from the fresh food, which will be bought locally, it all had to be stowed on board – a huge task!
The crew for the current voyage includes six young people from Plymouth Foyer, plus five individual bookings. They sailed to Amsterdam and had a night there, before coming out into the Ijsselmeer and then back out into the North Sea, where they have been tacking past the Dutch and German coastlines and the Frisian Islands as they make their way towards the Kiel Canal.
Many thanks to sea staff James, Nic, Liz, Monica and Kirsty.
* 2010 voyage programme
We have started writing to people to confirm provisional bookings for 2010, but we have had to make some amendments to the programme, and we still have a few issues where we need to hear back from one client before finalising things that affect other clients around the same time of year. But we are making progress and everyone who has so far bid for a 2010 voyage should hear from us fairly soon.
If you are hoping to sail next year, an updated version of the 2010 programme is now available . You can certainly apply for any empty voyages now; and we hope to clarify the status of all the ones marked “enquiry” over the next few weeks, so there may yet be additional voyages open for bookings.
31 Aug - 4 Sept: third mate or above
13 Sept day sail: one experienced John Laing mate
14-18 Sept: third mate or trainee mate
26-30 Sept: second mate
19-23 Oct: one experienced OYT South watch leader 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!
While John Laing 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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.