March / April sailing


OYT South bulletin 2nd April 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Apologies for delay with last week’s bulletin
Last week’s bulletin was written on Friday morning, but owing to a problem with the website that organises distribution, there was a long delay before it was actually sent out. Normally this wouldn’t matter too much, but in this instance we were advertising a last-minute vacancy on a voyage starting that Friday night, and I know a lot of people didn’t actually receive their bulletin until Saturday. Apologies for this! I’m not sure if it’s fixed now or whether there will be another delay when I press send today….

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* OYC / OYT 50th anniversary - 16th October 2010 - BOOK NOW!
Almost a third of tickets for this event have been sold in just two weeks. At this rate, we could be sold out quite quickly, and things may go even faster as the word spreads - so please don’t leave it too long if you want to book!

Full details of the event, plus the bookings form, are here. Anyone connected with the Ocean Youth Trust or Ocean Youth Club in any way since 1960 is welcome to join us.

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 webpage includes suggestions for car parking, accommodation and more. The booking form asks for a little detail on the OYC / OYT background of all those attending. With permission, we are posting some of these details here so that everyone can see which old friends are coming.

More details will be added to the website as we get them.

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* Bosun (or extra mate) needed for two voyages in May
We have so far had no-one volunteering to sail as bosun on two voyages which are just a few weeks away: 9-14 May and 14-16 May. Both run Gosport-Gosport and obviously one person could do both voyages. Anyone aged 16+ who has done at least one voyage in John Laing and thinks your watch leader or the skipper might be prepared to recommend you is eligible to apply to be a relief bosun. You get to sail for free, but you need to be prepared to work hard, learn fast and pay attention to detail. You will also need a CRB check but we will organise this for you..

Mates are also eligible to sail as bosun - anyone want to try it for these voyages?

Email me for more information.

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* Voyage news
Last weekend saw 16 people on board for a mates’ training voyage. Only four were completely new to sailing with us; others got a chance to have a go at the next level up from their normal role - a couple of second mates taking on first mate responsibilities, for example. Saturday morning was spent in exercises including parking practice; then they went out and practised sail hoists and reefing on the way to Cowes. After a night out, they spent Sunday doing more parking, anchoring, refuelling and man overboard recovery practice. Many thanks to sea staff Wolf, Ben Martin, Ben “Sparky” Whinnett, Kirsten, Chris and Rosie.

The crew joining on Monday were sent by Hampshire’s team for the education of children in care, age range 12-16. Nine of the eleven had sailed with us before, either in John Laing, or when we borrowed Thermopylae Clipper for a voyage last year. Sadly, they were faced by weather which the sea staff described as “officially gipping” - very cold, wet and windy. On Monday, they headed to East Cowes (Wolf and Sparky, who have both been on the boat for a while, currently have 2010 logbooks reading “Southampton-Cowes-Southampton-Cowes-Southampton-Cowes” and are worried about getting done for impersonating a Red Funnel ferry). Next day they went out for a sail and quickly discovered a pattern: every time Jon’s watch went on deck, they had a manageable 20 knots of wind. Every time Nick’s watch took over, it would increase to 30 knots. It was also cold enough to drive them back into harbour in the early afternoon. On Wednesday, the boat stayed in Cowes all day while a gale went through. They played games, did RYA training, and then went off in a bus to a swimming pool (the boat now has a copy of the Glee album, and there was apparently a lot of singing on the bus). After coming back and eating dinner, they played “Goblins Witches and Dragons” and “Stuck in the Mud” in the car park until bed-time.

On Thursday they sailed again, with Jon’s watch practising tacking and gybing until Nick’s team came on deck and the wind got too strong again. They anchored in Osborne Bay for lunch and then had a good trip back to Southampton under mizzen and staysail. They left the boat today with the two new crew members having earned RYA Start Yachting certificates and the rest making good progress towards the next stage, RYA Competent Crew, though the weather meant they didn’t quite complete the qualification. We hope to see them again so they can finish it off!

Many thanks to sea staff Wolf, Sparky, Jon, Kirsten - and big congratulations to Nick for completing his third mate’s assessment - the first new watch leader of the year.

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* Sea staff bookings 2010 - full availability
Voyages left still looking for sea staff are as follows (all Southampton to Southampton unless otherwise stated):

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: bosun, and possibly space for one more mate
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
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton: 2M and 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)
18-19 Sept, marketing day sails: 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, trainee mate and bosun
11-16 Oct, Southampton-Portsmouth: 2M, 3M and bosun
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!

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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! Email me if you don’t have a password.

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* Mates' training and familiarisation voyages
We still have one space, owing to a cancellation, on the longer training voyage 21-26 April, £360 - ideal for someone who is new to us, or aiming to make the step up from crew member to watch leader. After that, 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.

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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:

27 April - 3 May, Southampton-Southampton, 6 nights, £360pp - up to 3 places available
4-8 May, Southampton-Gosport, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 or 3 places left
8-12 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 4 places left
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - 6 places left
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton, 7 nights, £510pp - 2 places left
25-31 Aug, Southampton-Poole, 6 nights, £465pp - 1 place left
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole, 4 nights, £290pp - 1 place left
13-17 Sept, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left
18-22 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
29-31 Oct, start and finish tbc, 2 nights, £160pp -12 places (full boat booking) available. NEW weekend voyage. We've had a possible enquiry about a group booking, but if you are interested, do please ask, in case this group isn't confirmed.

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

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* David Baker
I am very sorry to announce the death of David Baker two weeks ago. David sailed with the Ocean Youth Club in the 1960s, and came back to us a couple of years ago after a 40-year break, writing a lovely article which compared modern sail training with the earliest days. He sailed with us on the voyage to Poland last summer, and his big smile every time he took the wheel will be an abiding memory for all who had the pleasure of sailing with him. Huge sympathy to his family and friends.

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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.

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John Laing maintenance days
Lots of volunteers needed on all these days - call James a week or so before on 07990 518915 to book yourself in.

Mon 19 April - Southampton
Mon 7 June - Southampton
Sat 4 July + Sun 5 July - Ipswich
Tues 10 August - Hartlepool
Mon 27 Sept - Southampton

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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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* Support Jez's half-ironman - and Kirsty’s!
Two of our watch leaders, Jez Snead and Kirsty Keith, are taking part in half-ironman events to raise funds for OYT South.

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 almost a quarter of the way 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 is over half-way towards a target of £3,000 for OYT South. His website is here.

And three other people with Justgiving pages set up in support of OYT South:
Cedric Moanda
Helene Doonan-Jones
David Arnold.

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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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