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* OYC / OYT 50th anniversary - 16th October 2010 - details announced!
We are delighted to be able to announce details of OYT South’s 50th anniversary celebration event on 16th October, and we are now able to start taking bookings via the the 50th anniversary web page. Anyone connected with the Ocean Youth Trust or Ocean Youth Club in any way since 1960 is welcome to join us; but the venue is limited to 350 people for the evening event, so book early to avoid disappointment!
Our 50th anniversary will take place in the fabulous surroundings of Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, in the shadow of HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. We will have John Laing berthed nearby and open to visitors, alongside one of the OYC’s original vessels from 1960, Duet, with thanks to her owner, Revd Chris Courtauld, one of the OYC’s founders, who has kindly arranged for Duet to join the event.
During the afternoon of 16th October, there will be displays on OYC and OYT history and a chance for people to catch up with friends. We can also arrange discounted tickets to the Dockyard’s many attractions.
In the evening there will be a drinks reception and informal dinner in Boathouse No. 7, with speeches and hopefully some live music.
Tickets for the evening event are £37.50 each. The web page gives full details, including suggestions for car parking, accommodation and more.
The booking form asks for a little background detail on the OYC / OYT background of all those attending. With permission, we will post these details on the website so that everyone can see which old friends will be coming.
More details will be added to the website as we get them.
John Laing was successfully coded this week - that’s the formal inspection which allows us to operate for the season. Many thanks to all those who have helped this week: James, Kirsten, Sparky, Dan, Wolf, Terry Bufton, Chris, Pete & Tristan from Contact Marine, John Parkin, Mark Boggis, and special thanks to Di Roberts, who did the coding inspection. Huge thanks also to everyone else who has been involved over the winter to help make this refit a success - including those who worked on the boat, as well as the office team doing the admin and ordering and paying the bills, and those who donated money or goods, as well as all the people who helped with fundraising.
The rest of the week has involved lots of little jobs - fixing things, touching up bits of the boat, playing with the new Raymarine kit, putting the sails on, moving out of the house and cleaning it - while the Contact Marine team fitted a new alternator.
Final figures on the numbers of people involved over the winter will be available shortly.
If you haven't had a chance to get to refit - or you love refit and will miss it! - the scheduled maintenance days this year, which will all need volunteers, are as follows - please put the dates in your diary:
Mon 19 April - Southampton
Mon 7 June - Southampton
Sat 4 July + Sun 5 July - Ipswich
Tues 10 August - Hartlepool
Mon 27 Sept - Southampton
* Vessel tracking
John Laing’s vessel tracking system has been reactivated for the season: look here and you can see where we are, as well as information on course and speed.
19-20 April: at least one more person needed - not a proper voyage but we need to deliver the boat to Cowes, run an Open Day on the Isle of Wight on 20th April, show people round, and then bring the boat back to Southampton.
27 April-3 May: bosun
9-14 May, Gosport-Gosport: bosun
14-16 May, Gosport-Gosport: bosun
17-22 May, Gosport-Southampton - 2M, and trainee mate
23 May, marketing day sail: experienced 2Mm, 3M and bosun
28 May - 1 June: 2M
8-12 June: 2M and 3M / trainee mate
13 June day sail: 3M
20-25 June: 1M and 3M / trainee mate
26 June-5 July, Southampton-Ipswich: 3M / trainee mate
4-12 July, Ipswich-Antwerp: 1M
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton: 2M and 3M / trainee mate
25-31 Aug, Southampton-Poole: 3M / trainee mate
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole: 3M / trainee mate
6-10 Sept, Poole-Southampton: 3M
13-17 Sept: 1M, 3M and bosun (one must be female)
18 Sept, marketing day sail: experienced 2M, 3M and bosun
20-24 Sept: 2M
24-26 Sept: 1M, 3M and bosun
28 Sept - 3 Oct: experienced 2M and 3M for Small Ships race
4-8 Oct: 1M, 2M 3M, trainee mate and bosun
8-10 Oct: 1M, 3M, trainee mate and bosun
11-16 Oct, Southampton-Portsmouth: 2M, 3M and bosun
18-22 Oct, Portsmouth-Southampton: 2M
22-24 Oct: 3M
25-31 Oct: 3M and bosun
Email me if you are interested.
For those of you who are new to OYT South and not yet qualified mates with us, please apply for anything listed as suitable for a trainee mate; but we won't confirm a booking until after your mates' training or familiarisation voyage, when we'll know whether you are keen to continue and are ready for an assessment.
I won't fill all 3M / trainee mate berths at this stage as I want to leave a few options for new people during the season!
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!
* New radar / chart plotter - manuals for sea staff
There is a manual and quick reference guide for the new radar / chart plotter on the members’ only section of our website, so that sea staff can have a look before you sail if you want to get up to speed!
* Mates' training and familiarisation voyages
We are provisionally fully-booked for the first two mates' training and familiarisation voyages of the year - I am just confirming the last couple of places from the reserve list. Anyone still interested (26-28 March, £160, or 21-26 April, £360), let me know, just in case anyone drops out. Otherwise, new potential volunteers or existing mates who want more practice can still book for the September training weekend:
10-12 Sept, £160 (10 places left)
Email me to book.
27 April - 3 May, Southampton-Southampton, 6 nights, £360pp - up to 6 places available
4-8 May, Southampton-Gosport, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
28 May-1 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 1 place left
8-12 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - up to 6 places left
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - 7 places left
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton, 7 nights, £510pp - 1 place left
25-31 Aug, Southampton-Poole, 6 nights, £465pp - 1 place left
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
13-17 Sept, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left
18-22 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
If you want to sail this year, do look at the programme as soon as possible, and hurry up and reserve your berth.
* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to Hampshire County Council for another very generous grant towards bursaries for local young people, and to the Fishmongers’ Company which has paid for lots of new waterproof clothing.
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.
Marketing day sails
We have two day sails set aside this year for current or potential supporters, sponsors and donors to come along and see what we do: Sunday 23rd May and Sunday 19th September. There are only 24 places available in total, and at least a dozen have already been taken. Please let me know if you would like to be considered for one of the remaining places, or if you would like to nominate someone else for an invitation.
Sea staff medical certificates
Any sea staff who have ML5 or ENG1 medical certificates (skippers, first mates, others with commercial endorsements, mates over the age of 65) will be required to carry them on board when you sail with us, from the start of the 2010 season.
Are any OYT South supporters involved with their local 41 Club? The Ocean Youth Trust is working with the President-elect, Malcom Lockey, and we would love to get involved with local branches in our area as well. Email me if you have any 41 Club connections.
Ocean Village storage - pallets and shelving units needed
Our new enormous storage space in Ocean Village really needs some wooden pallets and shelving units - can anyone help? Call James on 07990 518915.
As if that were not enough, on top of her 70.3 mile swim-bike-run in July, Kirsty is also running the Brighton marathon in April. She’s only just started fundraising towards her target of £1,000 - please go to Kirsty's web page and support her.
Jez, meanwhile, is doing a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56 mile (90km) bike ride and a 13.1 mile (21.1km) run, all in memory of his mum. Jez already has over £1,400 pledged towards a target of £3,000 for OYT South. His website is here.
You too can use Justgiving to raise money for a sponsored activity or an event; to make regular donations, or set up a page in memory of someone and invite donations to the charity. Have a look here.
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.