Evening sail


OYT South bulletin 3rd April 2009

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Voyage news
A mixed voyage this week, with several places funded by Hampshire County Council, and others by the Peter Dixon Mohawk Voyage Programme. This is a new project in memory of Peter Dixon who died in 2007 at the age of 92. Peter Dixon served with distinction in HMS Mohawk during the second world war and the Peter Dixon Mohawk Voyage Programme is offered to young people with a view to changing the direction of their lives, and has been set up by the Peter Dixon Charitable Trust in recognition of those who were killed in the war, particularly those who served in or were lost in HMS Mohawk.

The young people funded by these two generous donors were nominated by a variety of charities from London, Hertfordshire and Hampshire. We also had a couple of other crew members on board who were not part of these funding programmes.

They all joined last Saturday, and had a late evening sail to East Cowes in the darkness, and a quiet night there before the long sail to Brighton the next day. The approach to Brighton had not been dredged yet, so there was a bit of a wait for the tide before they could get in, and then more delays while they tried to find a berth deep enough for John Laing, eventually deciding that they would have to accept settling into the soft mud.

With no wind the next day, they enjoyed a fun day in Brighton – beaches and icecreams, and games and activities on board.

Tuesday saw them heading for Eastbourne, doing some sail drills on the way. As they arrived, a dredger was just coming down the channel, chucking out loads of mud, so this time John Laing had a newly-deepened channel to follow in!

On Wednesday there was much more wind, but in the right direction: on a broad reach with lots of sail up, they made tremendous progress to end up in Gunwharf, Portsmouth.

Yesterday, they had a good sail in the eastern Solent, learning more about points of sail before anchoring in Stokes Bay for tea and cake, then sailing off the anchor and making their way back up to Southampton in a dying breeze.

The skipper says this was a lovely bunch of young people, some of whom have had very tough times, and it was great to watch them relaxing into the voyage, having fun and becoming kids again. One or two of them will get RYA certificates; the rest were simply more in need of a break. But well done to Matthew Rudman, who was completing his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award residential.

It was also a good week for the sea staff: John Snowden was having a practice at sailing as first mate, with official 1M John Parkin kindly taking more of a back seat. Mike Sturrock got through his third mate’s assessment with ease and the skipper is confident he could be upgraded to second mate quite soon if he sails with us a bit more – well done Mike! And Nic the skipper and Liz the bosun both sound as though they enjoyed the voyage.

Many thanks to all the sea staff and to the donors for making this week such a success.

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* NEW Baboon file (voyage handbook for sea staff)
Thanks to those who have sent me comments on the all-new Baboon file – do please let me know what you think of it, and any suggestions for changes, improvements or additions.

If you haven’t seen it, 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. It contains all the standard operating procedures and policies for staff and volunteers working on board, now in full colour with pictures!

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* Voyages for young people 2009
This is a complete list of all the places left on voyages this year:

28-30 April, Southampton, £190 per person, crew aged 12-25 - 5 places available.
21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel, £450 plus travel, crew aged 12-25 - 3 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. 5 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.

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* 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.

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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!

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* Qualified first, second and third mates - first vacancy getting urgent!
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.

8-10 May, Poole - weekend voyage for Cheltenham Ladies' College. 2M needed - getting urgent!
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!

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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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Financial appeal
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.

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* People News
Congratulations to Kathryn “Gizmo” Francis who has just announced her engagement! Gizmo was one of our core team refit volunteers in 2005, went on to become one of our youngest second mates, and then took part in the ASTO Skippership scheme.

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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