Southampton Water


OYT South bulletin 9th April 2009

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Crew places available in April
Can anyone help us to fill the last five places on a voyage that is less than three weeks away now: 28-30 April, Southampton, £190 per person, crew aged 12-25? The other seven places have been taken by a home education group in Winchester, particularly targeting young people who haven’t sailed before; so this won’t be planned as a particularly challenging voyage. Anyone else welcome who will happily fit in with this group’s aspirations for the voyage! Contact the office to book.

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* Voyage news
Two voyages to report on this time – a short one last weekend, plus the voyage presently under way.

Last weekend’s voyage was for a Senior Section Guides group, another of our regular clients. They spent the weekend in the Solent – initially hoping to get to Yarmouth on Saturday night, but foiled by the wind direction. So they spent Saturday in the western Solent and Sunday in the eastern Solent, doing lots of tacking and sail training, with a night in Cowes in between. Here they played a lot of games – several old standards, plus a few we don’t often have on the boat. First mate Matt Bland says he was particularly entertained by the game in which everyone had to say three things about themselves - one of them not true, with the others having to guess which it was.

It was a lovely group and a fun voyage – thanks to the sea staff Nic Crawford, Matt, Liz, Dawn Marshall, Amanda Smith and Phoebe.

The current voyage has been an exercise in trying to make sure they do as much sailing as possible while the weather is decent, while being able to tuck themselves away in a sheltered spot every time it gets really unpleasant. It’s a mixed crew: three from third mate Rob Butler’s school, plus nine individuals. Half the crew had sailed with us before, and in a few cases had met before, so we were always confident there would be a great atmosphere on board: lots of people who are always full of enthusiasm and energy, and some with real potential for the future.

They had a night in Cowes, and set off on a beat towards Weymouth the next day. It took longer than expected, and they ran out of fair tide, so stopped in Poole instead and were able to wait out a passing gale in shelter. They continued their passage to Weymouth in lovely sunshine yesterday, had this morning in town, and are currently on their way back towards the Solent.

Many thanks to sea staff Nic Crawford, Vince Brodie (a skipper with Fairbridge, doing a couple of voyages as first mate with us this year for the experience), Liz, Ben Whinnett (currently working to complete his second mate’s assessment) and Rob Butler.

Nic says there should be lots of RYA qualifications successfully earned – Start Yachting for the new people, and Competent Crews for some of those with more experience – indeed, one of our young regulars is even starting to think about her RYA watch leader certificate!

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* Day Skipper course / small boat refresher
Wolf is planning to run a small boat course from 24-29 May, ideal for anyone who wants to do RYA Day Skipper, or take a chance to practise things which are not easily learned in the 72-foot, 55-tonne John Laing. Cost £325, places limited, call Wolf on 07771 771864 to discuss it.

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* Qualified first, second and third mates needed
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.

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 Leighton Buzzard area - 1M needed
14-18 Sept, Southampton – 8 crew from Dorset, 4 from Southampton – 3M 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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* Voyages for young people 2009 – maybe as few as 22 places left in 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 - 2 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. We’ve had a possible enquiry for all these 9 places, but not confirmed yet.

If the 9 places on the ASTO race are confirmed, then we only have 22 places left all year – thank you to everyone for your support so far; please help us to fill these last few places – and if you want to book but haven’t done so yet, please don’t leave it too late!

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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* World Voyage
In 1995-7, John Laing and her sister ship, James Cook, sailed round the world in 13 legs with crews of young people. A number of them are currently trying to track each other down, swap news and maybe even organise a reunion. If you were on the World Voyage, or know anyone who was, please email me – or even better, if you use Facebook, send a request to join the group “Ocean Youth Club World Voyage 1995-7” – people are using the page to post their stories and photos.

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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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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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* Keep in touch with other John Laing people - or make new friends
See here for online opportunities to meet other John Laing enthusiasts. Swap stories, post photos, keep in touch with people you sailed with, track down old friends etc.

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* 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!

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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