Training weekend 2010


OYT South bulletin 19th February 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Penny Buckley
Very sadly I have to announce the death this week of Penny Buckley, who was a trustee and volunteer watch leader in the early days of OYT South, and one of the small band of people who helped to keep the charity going after the reorganisation of the old Ocean Youth Club into separate regional charities. Penny was one of the few civilian volunteers who took part when the Army chartered John Laing for an Antarctic expedition in 2001-2, joining the leg from the Falklands to Rio. Before Sally joined our office staff, Penny would occasionally come in as a volunteer when David Salmon had a few days off, or to help out with a big mailing. She also looked after the refit team, often supplying a freezer-full of food, or turning up with a large ginger cake. Penny had been unwell for some time but was fortunately able to enjoy a holiday in the Caribbean around Chrismas time. She will be much missed by many at OYT South. David Salmon will be representing us at her funeral next week.

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* Refit news
Busy times at refit as we move more out of the dismantling and making a big mess phase into the rebuilding and making things look pretty phase.

In the last couple of weeks, the team has replumbed the heads sink pumps, painted the cockpit and surrounds, done one coat of paint on the deck, sanded and varnished the bosun’s cabin, greased the bottlescrews, put new taps in the galley, painted the galley cupboard doors, dismantled, cleaned and serviced the heads, and taken out the companionway steps for varnishing so that it is now necessary to levitate in and out of the boat. Chris the engineer has been down and taken the steering apart. And the heater is finally working but is making some slightly strange noises!

Many thanks to James, Kirsten, Sparky, Dan, Rob Butler, Andrew Pascoots, Mike Bowles, Andy Shuttleworth, Nic Crawford for tea-making, and Chris and Pete from Contact Marine.

We still need lots of volunteers on weekdays, and the next planned volunteer weekend is 6-7 March - James definitely needs loads of people to help then so please come if you can - he’s looking for a really big push to get masses of work done over that weekend.

Please call him on 07990 518915 if you can help with the refit for a day or more between now and late March - see here for more about what is involved. Please do ring James rather than emailing me - he can tell you when there is space and what he needs!

We hope that all sea staff who plan to sail next season will come and help for at least a few days or a weekend. See here for more detailed refit plans and estimated costs.

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* Training weekend report
The shorebased training weekend a couple of weeks ago was a big success, with 53 qualifications successfully gained, in GMDSS radio, radar, first aid, food hygiene, diesel engines and lifejacket packing, and over 40 people turning up for dinner on Saturday night. Many thanks to instructors Mark, Yvonne, Jason, Madge, Chris and especially Tony and TS Hornet Sea Cadets, who provided the venue, meals and accommodation; and to Andy and Jon who helped with organisation and supervision. By all accounts it was a great event and we have had some excellent feedback from many of the people who took part.

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* Brendan Stewart

Excellent news this week that OYT South’s nominee, Brendan Stewart, has won one of the International Exchanges organised by the Association of Sail Training Organisations, and will be off to join a Canadian sail training vessel in the summer. Brendan first sailed with us as a crew member on Tall Ships in 2006, where he impressed with his immense cheerfulness in the face of some truly horrible weather. He was invited back to train as a relief bosun, and has been a regular bosun and refit volunteer ever since. Last summer, aged 19, he was recommended for a watch leader's assessment.

This is the second time that OYT South has successfully nominated someone for this award, as Ben Martin won it two years ago (you can read Ben’s story here.) These exchanges recognise the enthusiasm and commitment of some of the most outstanding and deserving young people in sail training, so we are incredibly proud that Brendan will be representing OYT South this year.

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* Liz Key
Great news also that Liz Key, our staff bosun over the last two years, has just passed her Yachtmaster exam. Liz has moved on to a position as mate in the Island Trust’s Pegasus.

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* Sea staff bookings 2010
I have had huge numbers of requests for voyages from qualified sea staff and new potential volunteers, and I am now in the process of sorting it all out and allocating berths. It’s not a straightforward process - some voyages have proved incredibly popular, and there are complications such as needing to ensure I have female sea staff on every voyage. But it is all gradually coming together. My plan is to make sure everyone who has asked gets something, and then to go back and allocate the remaining voyages among those who wanted more.

If you haven’t yet put in any requests for voyages, please do so as soon as possible - many voyages will be full already, but I will try to fit you in if I can. Email me a.s.a.p.

Please note that this also applies to new people doing training and familiarisation voyages at the start of the season. Any subsequent voyage bookings are provisional until you have got a skipper’s recommendation, but if I don’t know when you might be available and keen to sail, you may find that the dates you wanted have all been filled by other people.

New potential watch leaders must also complete a mates' application form so we can start the process of getting CRB (Criminal Records Bureau clearance) for you - see here for the form.

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* Mates’ training and familiarisation voyages
New potential volunteers or existing mates who want more practice, please note the following training and familiarisation voyages this season:

26-28 March, £160 (1 or 2 places left)
21-26 April, £360 (3 places left)
10-12 Sept, £160 (11 places left)

Email me to book. The longer voyage is strongly recommended for new volunteers - the weekends don’t give much opportunity for everyone to practice an exercise or manoeuvre when there are 18 people on board!

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* Office equipment - thanks to Andrew Wilkes
Huge thanks to Andrew Wilkes for letting us have a fantastic selection of office equipment - an excellent photocopier, several filing cabinets (one of which Wolf particularly likes because it looks like a drinks cabinet), and lots of swivelly chairs on which Wolf is enjoying practising his spinning.

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* 2010 voyages for young people
Large parts of the 2010 season are already fully-booked, but we are still looking for crew members for the following voyages:

6-11 April, Southampton-Southampton, 5 nights, £365pp - possibly one space available
27 April - 3 May, Southampton-Southampton, 6 nights, £360pp - full group booking (12 people) available
4-8 May, Southampton-Gosport, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
28 May-1 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left.
8-12 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 9 places left
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - full group booking (12 people) available
11-16 Aug, Hartlepool-Ipswich, 5 nights, £365pp - 2 places left
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton, 7 nights, £510pp - 3 places left
25-31 Aug, Southampton-Poole, 6 nights, £465pp - 1 place left
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole, 4 nights, £290pp - 6 places left
13-17 Sept, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left
18-22 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left

If you want to sail next year, do look at the programme as soon as possible, and hurry up and reserve your berth.

Voyages on the list which are still available for full group bookings of 12 people can be used in different ways if people have any suggestions - they don't necessarily need to be standard youth voyages. Is there any demand for an adult cruise, or splitting the trip into a series of day sails (NOT for the Southampton-Ipswich voyage, though!), or additional staff training, or an OYC 50th anniversary reunion voyage? Email me with ideas or requests!

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Dulverton Trust for an extremely generous grant towards vessel refit and maintenance.

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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* Laptop needed
The office is on the lookout for a secondhand or reconditioned laptop that they could take with them to events and exhibitions - can anyone help?

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* Birthdays
Happy birthday for last week to John Snowden and for the coming few days to Craig Dickerson and to Phoebe. Mark says we should start using this bulletin like a radio DJ would, and offer birthday dedications in future, in exchange for a small donation to the charity!

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Sea staff medical certificates
Advance notice: 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.

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41 Club
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.

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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.

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Support Jez’s half-ironman!
One of our watch leaders, Jez Snead, is doing a half-ironman in memory of his mum, to raise funds for OYT South.

A half-ironman involves a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56 mile (90km) bike ride and a 13.1 mile (21.1km) run. Jez already has over £800 pledged towards a target of £3,000. Please look at his website and support him if you possibly can!

Also on Justgiving you can find David Arnold hoping to raise funds for us with moustache antics.

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.

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Bursary scheme for individuals and new referring organisations - nominations required!
We have a few generous donors who will consider applications from disadvantaged young people who cannot afford the full voyage fee.

For individuals, we would need a supporting statement from an unrelated adult, such as a teacher or youth worker, confirming genuine need, as well as details about the young person’s age or background and why they would benefit from a reduced-price place. Bursaries will not normally pay 100% of a voyage fee unless the circumstances are truly exceptional - we will normally expect some contribution as evidence of commitment from a young person or their family, if they can possibly afford it. Email to apply. Please note that this scheme is not normally open to people who have already booked a voyage unless you can demonstrate that your circumstances have changed significantly since making the booking.

The bursary fund earmarked for new organisations (schools, youth clubs, other charities and more) is designed to give one, two or three cut-price or free places as a taster to a group which has not previously sailed with OYT South, with the aim of impressing them and encouraging them to bring a larger group the following year. All OYT South members are invited to email to nominate organisations representing disadvantaged young people who should be considered for this scheme. This could be your local school or youth club, or a youth charity representing a cause which you personally care about. Please check that the organisation might be interested in sending young people before submitting your nominations!

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* Glee
Every year there seems to be a TV programme which catches our skippers’ imagination and provides them with a stock of cheesy catchphrases and in-jokes. These programmes may be selected for reasons other than quality. Last year it was Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend (“TTYN”). This year, it will be “Glee”. If you want to understand what James and Wolf are on about this season, you might like to watch….

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OYC / OYT 50th anniversary - 16th October 2010 - very special event!
Plans are really taking shape for OYT South’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ocean Youth Club in 1960. Our celebration day is Saturday 16th October and we shall be announcing details and starting to sell tickets very soon.

I have started to collect photographs and tales of the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust since we were founded in 1960, and in due course I will make a special section of the website where we can post all the historical material. Do please email anything to me if you think others might be interested.

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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