June 12th - Ocean Village


OYT South bulletin 25th June 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Tall Ships - one last crew vacancy
We still have just one crew berth available on Tall Ships Race 1, Antwerp to Aalborg, 12-23 July, £780 plus travel. The crew member who has had to drop out had been given some bursary funding so if you would like to come but genuinely cannot afford it and can make a good case for a partial bursary, do please ask. Minimum age 15. A voyage like this can be the experience of a lifetime - racing against other vessels crewed by young people, and amazing festivals in the start and finish ports. If that doesn't work for you, have a think about Tall Ships 2011!

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* Maintenance and Tall Ships preparation, Ipswich, 4-6 July
Loads to do before we set off for Tall Ships - we need as much help as possible. Call the boat on 07990 518915 if you can come and give us a hand. The boat will be in Woolverstone marina near Ipswich. 4th and 5th July are official maintenance days; but the crew aren’t arriving till later on Tuesday 6th so people are welcome to stay on and help then too.

Other maintenance days this year:

Tues 10 August - Hartlepool
Mon 27 Sept - Southampton

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* 2011 sailing programme
The 2011 sailing programme is now on the website and we can take bookings. You can also find details about the 2011 Tall Ships race series . You will see that a lot of our regulars had their chosen dates written in before we finalised the details, but there is still plenty left. As you may have realised, many voyages - especially school holidays - get booked up as much as a year in advance. Book early to get the voyage you want!

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* Southampton Boat Show - under 25s needed, 18 Sept
John Laing is going to spend a day at the Southampton Boat Show on Saturday 18th September, open to the public and trying to get people enthused about sail training for young people. One suggestion is that we have a team of young crew members aged 12-25, taking part in typical OYT activities (who wants to start the After Eight game and invite members of the public to join in?). We want to make it fun and lively. Free tickets to the show for anyone who volunteers, and we will give people time off during the day to see the other attractions. Ben Martin is in charge of fun and games and generally creating a lively atmosphere. Email me if you might be interested in taking part.

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* 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.

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* Sea staff bookings 2010 - full availability
The full list of voyage vacancies is as follows:

25-31 Aug, Southampton to Poole: 3M or trainee mate
13-17 Sept: bosun
18-19 Sept, marketing day sails: 3M or bosun
24-26 Sept: bosun
28 Sept - 3 Oct: experienced 2M for Small Ships race
4-8 Oct: 1M and 3M or trainee mate
18-22 Oct: two qualified watchleaders for OYT South voyage using Thermopylae Clipper
22-24 Oct: 3M or trainee mate
25-31 Oct: 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 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!

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* Voyage news
A couple of things to complete the report in the last bulletin on the voyage ending 12th June: nine of the crew earned RYA Start Yachting certificates, so well done to them; and congratulations to Rooby Woods and Dave Price who successfully completed third mate assessments.

Sunday 13th June became an extra maintenance day due to a late cancellation by a client for a day sail. Many thanks to James, Kirsten, Sparky, Michaela, Jon and Dave who sorted and tidied the store including all the spare sails.

The next voyage was for the Wheatsheaf Trust, a Southampton charity which, among many other things, works with young people not in education, training or employment. The success of their programme is such that several of those booked to sail actually got jobs shortly beforehand and had to drop out of the voyage! However, it was still an excellent week with a smaller group. They went to East Cowes on the first night, then Portland, Weymouth and Poole and back to Yarmouth on the last evening in time to go ashore for a BBQ and a chance to watch the England match on TV. This was followed by a night sail which took them back up to Ocean Village. All seven of the group earned RYA Start Yachting certificates, and altogether it seems to have been a good team and a successful voyage. Many thanks to sea staff James, Graeme, Terry, Kirsten and special congratulations to Lucinda who completed her third mate’s assessment and has great youthwork skills and experience which will be highly valuable for us in future!

This week’s voyage was for a group of nine young people nominated by Hampshire social workers or support workers, all aged 12-15. They all have a lot to cope with at home or at school but they were really lovely young people who made a great crew and all made tremendous progress as the week went on – as well as enjoying the best weather of the year so far!

There was no wind on their first evening but they did drills and training going down Southampton Water before ending up in Cowes. Next morning they had an early start and sailed to Weymouth. Not much wind and motorsailing to begin with, but a proper sail at the end. Yvonne the skipper promised that if no-one was seasick for the whole passage, she would buy icecreams for everyone when they arrived – a bit of a struggle for one or two but they managed it! So the whole team went to the beach in Weymouth for football, a BBQ and icecreams all round. They had time ashore next morning and then took the favourable tide to Poole, with a good sail on the way and prizes for all those who successfully spotted the lobster pots. Lots of games in harbour, including the chocolate mousse game and extreme washing up.

There was time for a bit more shore leave next morning and then a great sail in the sunshine to Yarmouth, where they did rowing, dinghy races and the crème caramel game. Next, the sea staff kidded the crew that they were going to do an abandon ship drill but they all had to clip their harness lines to each other in order to avoid getting separated. They then walked like this into the middle of town, all joined together, causing great amusement to the locals as there was a big fair on and everyone was out and about!

Yesterday there was RYA training in the morning, and then they tacked up the Solent in a nice wind, anchoring in Osborne Bay for dinner and then a night sail back up to Southampton last night. All nine of the crew earned RYA Start Yachting certificates. Many thanks to sea staff Yvonne, Ben, Mark, Kirsten and special congratulations to David Aspinall and Amy Keightley for passing their third mate assessments.

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* 2010 voyages for young people
Almost all the 2010 season is already fully-booked, but we are still looking for crew members for the following voyages:

26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - 1 place left
12-23 July, Antwerp to Aalborg, Tall Ships race 1, £780 plus travel - 1 place, minimum age 15.

Other than that we are provisionally full on all youth voyages until November! Anyone else who wants to sail this year can email me and ask to go on the waiting list - then if anyone drops out at short notice we can let you know. Otherwise it’s time to start thinking about 2011.

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Mates' training voyage
New potential volunteers, or existing mates who want more practice: book now for the September training weekend 10-12 Sept, £160 (1 or 2 places left). Email me to book.

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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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* Kirsty and Jez - sponsorship and event updates!
Kirsty Keith is doing a half-ironman in July to raise money for us - she has already run a marathon and raised 93% of her target of £1,000 for OYT South - please go to her web page and support her - she is so close to her target now!

Jez Snead’s fundraising for his half-ironman earlier this month has now gone up to £3,078.50: see his website here. Huge thanks to him.

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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OYT South AGM date 2010
The 2010 OYT South AGM will be held on Saturday 16th October at 1.30 or 2pm (tbc) 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.

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Annual report
The OYT South annual report for the year ending October 2009 has now been published and is available here. Hard copes are also available - email the office if you would like one.

The second half of the annual report contains our financial statements and accounts; but the first half includes an account of the year, with lots of useful information as well as comments from our clients - do have a look! If you are ever trying to enthuse anyone about us - a potential crew member, parent or group leader, or a sponsor, or a new volunteer - the annual report is an excellent place to find all the background information you might need.

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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