Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* NEW Baboon file (voyage handbook for sea staff)
We have been working on a completely new edition of the Voyage Handbook, aka the Baboon File – all the standard operating procedures and policies for staff and volunteers working on board, now in full colour with pictures! It’s on the sea staff only section of the website, which you can access with a password. Any sea staff who don’t have their password should email me.
Please do look through the new Voyage Handbook, and if you spot any mistakes or omissions, don't understand anything, or have any questions, please email me straight away - we'd like to make any necessary corrections as quickly as possible.
Last weekend we had a shakedown voyage for sea staff only, which allowed us to tune the rig and make sure everything was properly set up. We had fantastic weather and a great sail, which John Laing going beautifully – to Gosport on Saturday, and back to Ocean Village on Sunday. The core refit team were all on board, plus lots of others who had helped in various ways over the winter. Phoebe – just back from New Zealand – joined us on Saturday, as did Nic Crawford, meaning that, with Wolf and James, we had three skippers on board. Nic didn’t stay for the second day but we kept the skipper quotient up: on Sunday we shanghaied Andy Bristow for a day sail – Andy skippered John Laing when she was chartered by the Army for an Antarctic expedition in 2001, but happened to be in Gosport on board his own boat when we went in on Saturday.
Unfortunately the shakedown voyage seemed to have used up all the perfect sailing weather for the week, as our first young crew joined on Monday to be faced with winds so strong that we couldn’t get off the berth on the first night. The group was from Dumpton School, Wimborne – boys and girls aged 12 and 13. The school also sent a group last year, when the teacher, John Gilmour, impressed us so much that he was given a recommendation to do a third mate’s assessment on the school’s return this year, which he has now passed with flying colours, becoming our first new qualified watch leader of 2009!
On Tuesday, they sailed to Gosport, with lots of tacks and gybes on the way, and had an evening of games in harbour. On Wednesday, they beat all the way to Cowes, where they were given a tour of the place where inshore lifeboats are built, organised by John who is in the lifeboat crew in Swanage.
Back to Ocean Village last night, with some good sailing in the comparative shelter of Southampton Water. Throughout the voyage, winds of Force 7, with gusts of 35 knots, were challenging for such a young crew, but they really were a nice group and a great pleasure to sail with. All twelve earned their RYA Start Yachting certificates.
Many thanks to the sea staff: Wolf, James Boyce, Liz, James Turner, John and Ben Whinnett. As well as John’s third mate’s assessment, Ben had part of his second mate’s assessment signed off, and will hopefully finish it on his next voyage.
* Refit thanks
Huge thanks to everyone who worked so hard to get the refit completed – not just the last week when Liz, Wolf, James, Ben, Zoe, Tom and George got all the kit loaded back on board, and we had the coding inspection and the compass swing, as well as moving out of the refit house; but also to everyone involved ever since November.
Massive thanks to Liz, the staff bosun, who did most of the day-to-day refit management; to Wolf for most of the planning and big picture stuff; to Ben, Zoe and Tom, the core refit team volunteers who were there from the first day to the last; to James the new staff skipper, who joined as a volunteer weeks before his job officially started; to Matt, Kerrin, and Ellis and Reggie from BVT, who were all in the full-time team for at least a month and often much longer; to every other volunteer who came for periods ranging from one day up to several weeks; to Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine for all the engineering work; to Di the surveyor; and to everyone else who has helped in so many ways to get John Laing into great condition for the 2009 season - more than 50 people in total.
28-30 April, Southampton, £190 per person, crew aged 12-25 - 6 places available.
21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel, £450 plus travel, crew aged 12-25 - 4 places left.
4-13 July, Gdynia to St Petersburg, £650 plus travel. Tall Ships Race 1. Crew aged 15-25. Only 2 places left! See here for details.
13-25 July, St Petersburg to Turku, £720 plus travel. Tall Ships cruise in company. Crew aged 15-25. 6 places left. See here for details.
25 July-2 Aug, Turku to Klaipeda, £575 plus travel. Tall Ships Race 2. Crew aged 15-25. 4 places left. See here for details.
2-9 Aug, Klaipeda to Kiel, £490 plus travel. Crew aged 15-25 - 4 places left.
1-4 Oct, Southampton, £210 per person, crew aged 12-25 - 9 places left. ASTO Small Ships race. See here for details.
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.
* Voyages for adults 2009
19-24 April, Southampton, £300 per person, 1 place available, ideal for new potential volunteers and anyone else who wants to see how we work.
28 June – 4 July, Kiel to Gdynia, £490 plus travel, an amazing chance to see the Gdynia Tall Ships festival. See here for details.
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.
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 two flyers, one about the Baltic voyage series this summer, the other purely for the adults-only voyage in late June/early July. Can you email these links to your friends (even if they aren’t interested themselves, you could ask them to pass the links 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!
* Qualified first, second and third mates - possible voyage vacancies
Here are the current gaps where we don't have sea staff booked. Some have been filled since the last newsletter, but others have been added as people dropped out, so do look again.
28-30 April, Southampton - either a 2M or 3M. At least half the crew from a home education group in Winchester.
8-10 May, Poole - weekend voyage for Cheltenham Ladies' College. 2M needed.
17-22 May, Southampton - Alfreton Park Special School. Crew with multiple physical and learning difficulties, plus adult carers. Very gentle sailing and lots of games in harbour. Additional 2M or 3M needed.
2-6 June, Southampton - crew from Cardiff, 3M or extra 2M needed.
7-11 June, Southampton - Toynbee Hall Aspire programme - 1M and 3M needed.
12-18 June, Southampton to Ipswich - Toynbee Hall again - 2M needed.
21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel - Plymouth Foyer plus others - 1M needed.
28 June - 4 July, Kiel to Gdynia - adult voyage - 2M or 3M needed.
25-30 Aug, Southampton, youth club group from Buckinghamshire – 1M needed
26 Sept, Southampton - day sail for RSYC cadets - 2M needed.
27-30 Sept, Southampton - Parkside school - 1M and 2M needed.
12-16 Oct, Southampton - Naomi House children's hospice siblings' voyage - 3M needed.
16-18 Oct, Southampton - Diabetic teenagers - 1M needed.
19-23 Oct, Southampton - Bourne College – 1M, 2M and 3M needed.
28 Oct to 1 Nov - Isle of Wight group - 2M and 3M needed.
In addition, we are chartering another boat for 11-17 May and 19-23 Oct to accommodate regular clients who can't find berths on board John Laing. The first one is now fully-staffed but we need experienced mates for the second.
Email me now to let me know what you might like!
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 refit has just finished but the bills still keep coming in – and once the 2008-9 refit is fully-funded, 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.
* 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.
OYT South’s 2008 Annual Report has been published – packed full of examples of all the great things we did last year. You can read it on this website as a pdf file here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a printed copy. The Annual Report also contains our accounts for the last financial year.
Safety notice - sea staff please read
We have NEW safety rules for people climbing the masts or working aloft. All sea staff should read this - even if you don't go up the masts yourself you may be required to tail a halyard or otherwise assist someone else. It’s in the members-only section of the website. Let me know if you don’t have a password!
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.