Refit November 2010


OYT South bulletin 10th December 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Shorebased training February 2011 - which courses shall we run?
A few planned courses for our February training weekend don’t yet have enough people to make them worth running: if you want to do a course, please let me know now or you may find we have cancelled the instructor for your chosen course due to lack of interest! However, bookings for other courses are going fine so I am confident that the weekend can go ahead in some form.

Details for the training weekend (February 5th and 6th 2011, in Gosport) are on the website which will give you dates, prices and further information. Basically we hope to run first aid, diesel, lifejacket packing and possibly food hygiene as well on the Saturday (perhaps with an option for people to fit in both food and lifejackets as they are shorter courses - the others are all full-day options). On Sunday there should be radar, possibly GMDSS if we get some more people wanting it, and maybe a second diesel course if we get too many people asking for it on Saturday.

A final option, running on both days, is that we have some very good news on youth work courses: Fairbridge Training (part of the organisation which operates Spirit of Fairbridge as a sail training vessel) can offer properly accredited youthwork courses which are exactly what we need. There is some compulsory pre- and post-course work to get the qualification but they have had very good feedback from people who have done it so far. We will run two different courses on the Saturday and Sunday, so you may be able to do both if you wish, if there is space, or else just pick the date which doesn't clash with your other preferred course.

Have a look at the web page and email me to let me know what you want. As soon as we have enough people to guarantee that any course can run, we will send confirmation to the people who have places and ask for payment.

As last year, you will also be able to book lunch on both days, dinner on Saturday, and cheap overnight accommodation (mattresses on the floor) if needed.

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* Refit news
A chilly couple of weeks since the last bulletin. The boat is now fully scaffolded and tented (after a brief hiatus when the weight of snow took down the roof of the tent) so it is at least possible to get a bit of heat going inside.

The whole forepeak area back as far as the steps is pretty much done; and the cockpit locker and gas locker could both be finished by the end of today. The topsides have been ground, primed and filled. The team has been digging up bits of the deck and getting depressed when what seemed at first to be a small blister keeps lifting across a wider area. All the winches have been taken apart and cleaned, and all pumps have been serviced. Many thanks to the team, especially those who made it through bad weather to the volunteers’ weekend – on the boat since the last bulletin we have had James, Kirsten, Sparky, Fiona, Elizabeth, Audrey, Pete, Jon Seddon, Marcus, Angus, Dave Blogg and Mark Boggis.

The last day at work before Christmas will be next Friday 17th December. Once we come back after New Year, we shall need volunteers on weekdays generally, and also on the following volunteer weekends:

15/16th January
5/6th March

If you are over 18, you are welcome to book yourself in for a weekend, a few days or a week or more. If you are aged 16 or 17, particularly current or prospective relief bosuns, you need to discuss refit bookings with the skipper - we would like to have you along but we need to be able to arrange some supervision while you work. Sadly we cannot have under-16s at refit.

Volunteers all get free food, and accommodation in the refit house, two and a half miles by car from the refit site in Hamble, or a bit less across the common by bike.

Email or call the boat phone on 07990 518915 to book yourself in for a refit weekend or to discuss weekday volunteering. We really hope to see all volunteer sea staff over the winter! Our last major refit saw 55 volunteers give a total of 572 days to the refit - can we beat that this year?

We also need lots of small items for the refit, many costing just a pound or two, such as bin bags! See here for complete list - can you donate something?

See here for more refit details. And see here for a report that was written for one of our key refit donors outlining some of the major work being done, with a provisional budget.

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Chris Ellis Award - deadline extended!
If you are aged under 25, have sailed with us this year and would like to sail again, do please think about sending in an entry for the Chris Ellis award to win money off the price of another voyage. We have had some great entries in recent years and it would be a huge shame if we didn’t have enough entries to make an award in this, our 50th anniversary year. The deadline has been extended to the end of January to give us a chance of getting a few more entries. It is very much worth trying as you stand a good chance of winning! Chris Ellis was one of the founders of the OYC in 1960 and he left a fund to be used to encourage crew members to produce a piece of work based on any OYT voyage. This can be a logbook, a diary, a picture, a story, computer art or whatever. OYT South can award up to £200 a year (to one entrant, or split between two or three individuals) in the form of a discount for a future voyage. Entries need to be in by January 31st - either emailed to me, or by post to the office, marked "Chris Ellis award entry". More details and examples of past winning entries here.

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Voyages for young people in 2011
We’ve had a big rush on bookings recently - lots of voyages filling up very fast, especially in school holidays, so do think now if you want to sail next year and haven’t yet booked anything!

See here for the voyage programme, with prices, dates, details and latest availability. You can also look here for our big summer adventure - not only the Tall Ships race series but some exciting voyages either side. Contact the office with enquiries or to make a booking.

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Financial appeal
We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries - please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, large or small.

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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Volunteer sea staff bookings 2011
Qualified OYT South sea staff: do please start emailing me with requests for voyages next year - either particular dates or voyages you would like to do, or groups you would like to sail with. We may not be able to confirm all bids just yet as we do like to ensure that those who help at refit get a chance of their choice of voyages, so we can’t fill all the most popular trips before some people have even had a chance to get to refit. But especially if you have limited availability or particular requests, it is well worth starting to get your bids in now.

If you are hoping to do another assessment in 2011, please do tell me now as not all voyages are suitable for assessment so we will need to make sure we get you slotted in somewhere.

If you are not yet qualified as a member of OYT South sea staff but are doing one of the volunteers’ training voyages: for those who get selected as a result of those adult training voyages, the next stage will be to go on and do an assessment on a voyage with young people. Especially if you have limited availability, it is well worth giving me an idea now of possible dates for assessment voyages (which need to last 4 nights or longer): we can’t confirm these until you have a skipper’s recommendation, but at least we will try to ensure that all your available dates aren’t taken before you have a chance!

The voyage programme is here for you to check possible options.

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Volunteer training 2011
Volunteers' training voyages for 2011 are:

1-3 April 2011, Southampton, £170 - 4 places left
26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380 - 6 places left
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170 - 12 places left

Email me to book.

These voyages are suitable for qualified mates who want a bit more practice; for new volunteers who are hoping to join our sea staff; and for any other adults who just want to see how we work and what is involved in sailing with us.

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OYC/T 50th anniversary follow-up
A page has been created on our website following our hugely successful 50th anniversary event. See here to download a copy of the event brochure - including a wonderful to history of the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust; or a copy of the leaflet about OYT South’s proposed new sail training vessel, details of which were launched at the event; or to order a 50th anniversary t-shirt; or a copy of the 50th anniversary commemorative print by marine artist Colin Baxter; or copies of event leaflets on how to get involved with us.

We hope to add more information to this page in due course, including copies of speeches, photos (if you were at the event, do please send in any good pictures), and perhaps the chance to buy DVD copies of some of the archive films shown on the night.

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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. See here for how to join.

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18. Young crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual adults.

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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