Nic and James setting up the rig


OYT South bulletin 26th March 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* One space on this weekend’s adult voyage, owing to last-minute cancellation
Owing to family illness, we have one space on the adult weekend voyage, starting tonight (Friday 26th March). Full price £160 but we would take the best offer from anyone aged 16+ who is able to get to the boat in Southampton tonight (ideally by 8pm but we could be a bit flexible) - call the boat on 07990 518915.

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* OYC / OYT 50th anniversary - 16th October 2010 - BOOK NOW!
We have had a stream of bookings for our 50th anniversary event from the moment that the tickets went on sale last week - 64 sold already, 286 left. If things carry on 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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* Voyage news
The last bits and pieces of the refit continued through last weekend - all fitted around Friday visits from two of the crews who will be sailing with us later in the season, and then a shakedown voyage on Saturday and Sunday, with the engine, rig and much more all being checked and tweaked. On Saturday it was allegedly very wet and cold on deck, though Andy Royse and I were stuck inside in the warm and dry finishing off the chart corrections so sadly missed it. This is the reward we get for all those times when we are correcting the charts while other people are having fun! We went to Cowes on Saturday night, where most of the team had an evening ashore. A few of us ended up staying on the boat, where the highlight of the evening was listening to Kirsten the bosun play the violin - we knew she had a musical background, but simply improvising over the top of the usual boat guitar music, she turns out to be exceptional, and those who were there enjoyed it hugely.

Next morning we went ashore for breakfast, where Andy Viney earned a certificate from the café for finishing their super-bonus-all-you-can-eat-and-then-some fry-up, which most people apparently don’t get through. This set us all up well for a lovely sunny sail back to Southampton and a chance to test bits of canvas that don’t often get an airing. Many thanks to all those who came along and helped ensure the boat was ready for the season.

Then on Monday we started the first full voyage of the season for young people! The crew were from Plumpton College, doing diplomas in outdoor education - a very positive group, and good fun, with their teacher, Sam, who was extremely enthusiastic.

They started with a short trip to Cowes in the rain, and a trip ashore there. Next day, more rain, and a sail to Poole - the rain meant they barely needed showers when they got there! Then on to Weymouth, by which time the team had tired them out so much that they all opted for an early night. Next day was spectacular – thunder and lightning all the way to Yarmouth, surfing past the Needles at 12 knots with lightning all around and John Laing doing her typical thing of speeding up more and more as the crew reduced sail. Luckily they got all the sails down in time not to surf past Yarmouth, so they all got in and had icecreams. Then they were split into teams and put in charge of the navigation, and between them successfully got the boat back to Ocean Village, where the voyage ended today.

Thirteen Start Yachting certificates were earned this week - all the crew, plus Sam the teacher and Kirsten our bosun.

Many thanks to sea staff James, Kirsten, John Parkin, Andy Shuttleworth, Emma Burrows and Gina Seller.

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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.

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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: experienced 3M and bosun
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 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, 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!

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* Could YOU be a bosun?
You will see from the list that we have a number of vacancies for bosuns, when Kirsten is on leave or doing training. If you are aged 16+, have done at least one voyage in John Laing and think your watch leader or the skipper might be prepared to recommend you, please apply to be a bosun. You get to sail for free, but you need to be prepared to work hard, learn fast and pay attention to detail. There are no bosun vacancies left in school and college holidays, so we are looking for trainee bosuns who are available to sail in term time. Email me for more information.

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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
Apart from the last-minute place for this weekend, we also 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 - 3 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 - 4 places left
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - 6 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
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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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the TMI Trust for a very generous donation towards bursaries and to help with the 50th anniversary; and to the Charities Committee of N M Rothschild & Sons Limited for another donation (presumably arranged by Annant Shah?)

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 only recently 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 almost £1,500 pledged 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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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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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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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