Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* Voyage news
Last week’s bulletin was written as we were waiting for the final result of Tall Ships race 2: this turned out to be 8th in class and 26th overall, beating our sister ship James Cook by two places - an outstanding result in testing conditions, so huge congratulations to all involved. The mates reckoned 40 headsail changes were done in the four days of the race - quite incredible!
After that, the race crew of Senior Section Girl Guides had plenty of time to enjoy the Hartlepool festival, and especially skipper Mark “Wolf” Todd’s birthday on Sunday. You have never seen so much cake as was produced by the Guides plus family and friends dropping in. A huge party was held on board on Sunday night, much enjoyed by all.
The Guides left on Monday, and Tuesday was a maintenance day and a chance to say farewell to the rest of the Tall Ships fleet as everyone went their separate ways for another year - we will meet again in Waterford, Ireland, in July 2011.
John Laing’s next crew - a mixed group of individuals - joined on Wednesday but has since been dogged by bad weather. They went out yesterday but as conditions worsened, it was plainly the sensible option to return to Hartlepool rather than pressing on in deteriorating conditions. Now just watching the forecast carefully, while the sea staff run workshops and entertainments for the crew - many thanks to Wolf, Liz, Andy, Brigid, Di and David.
However, from experience we know that people do drop out from time to time, so we are putting together a reserve list in case any spaces crop up. Just send me an email if you would like to be alerted to any short-notice vacancies or discounted places.
Apart from that, we are now taking bookings for 2011 - do have a look at our plans, dates and details - including Tall Ships 2011 (Waterford - Greenock - Lerwick - Stavanger - Halmstad). Lots of great voyages available but parts of the programme are already selling fast. Contact the office to discuss sailing next year.
* Lifejacket packing course - Monday 27th September, Southampton
It is now compulsory to have trained people to repack our lifejackets after their regular inflation tests or if a lifejacket goes off by mistake. It is therefore absolutely essential for safety reasons that we get a good number of sea staff through this course. The next one will be held during our maintenance day on Monday 27th September in Southampton. It only takes a couple of hours. Price £25. Email me to book.
OYT/OYC 50th anniversary celebrations
Although we are still over-subscribed for our celebration event on 16th October , we have had some tickets back and have been allocating them to people on the waiting list. If you still want to come and don’t have a ticket, do please email me as the waiting list is now short enough that it could be worth adding more names - you just might get a ticket.
13-17 Sept: bosun
24-26 Sept: bosun
28 Sept - 3 Oct: experienced 2M for Small Ships race
4-8 Oct: 3M or trainee mate
18-22 Oct: qualified female watchleader for OYT South voyage using Thermopylae Clipper
Email me if you are interested.
For those of you who are new to OYT South and not yet qualified mates with us, please feel free to apply for anything listed as suitable for a trainee mate.
Please note that you cannot sail until you have completed a mates' application and done a CRB check (see here for details) - and EITHER paid for a mates' training / familiarisation voyage, OR paid your annual membership and sailing donation.
NB mates are allowed to apply for bosun berths - it's good for all mates to have a grasp of some of the technical and maintenance stuff!
Free next winter? Taking a gap year, or not working for other reasons?
As in previous years, we are looking to recruit a small number of full-time volunteers to work on our winter refit between November and March. We hope all sea staff will turn up for a weekend or a few days, as normal; but it really helps our professional staff to have a small number of long-term helpers who are there for periods ranging from a month to four months, developing real experience and skills (which can often lead to careers in the marine industry, for those who want). See here for more information. Volunteers receive food and accommodation as well as valuable experience. If you would be interested, please email me.
Mon 27 Sept - Southampton
Call the boat on 07990 518915 if you can help.
Mates' training voyages
New potential volunteers, or existing mates who want more practice: apply now for the September training weekend 10-12 Sept, £160 - we have had a lot of enquiries but not all have confirmed so there may be one or two places left. If that doesn’t work out, volunteer training voyages for next year are:
1-3 April 2011, Southampton, £170
26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170
Email me to book.
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.
OYT South AGM date 2010
The 2010 OYT South AGM will be held on Saturday 16th October at 1.30pm in Portsmouth. It is open to all members and shouldn’t take very long, so people can attend before joining in our 50th anniversary celebrations that afternoon and evening.
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.
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.