Cardiff voyage - and our new 50th anniversary hull logo


OYT South bulletin 28th May 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Tall Ships - one crew vacancy, and possibly one mate too
Owing to a cancellation, we now have 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.

It is possible that we may also have space for one additional qualified watchleader (who would need to arrive on July 11th) - please email me if you would be available to step in if needed.

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* Day sail vacancies Sunday 13th June
The client who had booked a day sail on Sunday 13th June has had a problem and been forced to pull out. Our sponsors International Paint are hoping to step in and fill the places, but just in case they can’t fill all twelve, we are setting up a reserve list, open to any adult. £55 for the day - a great sail, and lunch provided on board - please tell your friends! Email if you are interested.

Assuming we get enough people for the day to go ahead, we will need one more watch leader - email if you can help.

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

13 June day sail: 3M
14-19 June: 2M
11-23 July, Antwerp to Aalborg, Tall Ships race 1: possibly space for one more mate
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton: 2M
25-31 Aug, Southampton to Poole: 3M or trainee mate
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole: 1M and 3M / trainee mate
6-10 Sept, Poole-Southampton: 3M / trainee mate
13-17 Sept: 1M, trainee mate and bosun - one must be female
18-19 Sept, marketing day sails: 3M or bosun
24-26 Sept: 3M and bosun
28 Sept - 3 Oct: experienced 2M for Small Ships race
4-8 Oct: 2M, 3M and bosun - one must be female
8-10 Oct: Bosun
11-16 Oct: Southampton-Portsmouth: Bosun
22-24 Oct: 3M
25-31 Oct: Bosun - preferably female

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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* John Laing maintenance days - lots of help needed June 7th
We really need lots of people to help on the next maintenance day, Monday 7th June, in Southampton, as we have to sort through a lot of spare sails, tidy the store, and get through a long list of jobs on board. Call the boat phone on 07990 518915 to book yourself in.

Other maintenance days this year:

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

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* Voyage news
Two weeks to report on this time…

Things started with a weekend voyage for Cheltenham Ladies’ College - a lovely group who had a great time and some fantastic weather. They tacked up from Gosport to Cowes on the Saturday, hove-to for lunch, and then went into Cowes for icecreams, before a night sail up to Southampton. Next day they went back down into the Solent and anchored in Osborne Bay before sailing back to Gosport. Many thanks to sea staff James, John, Clare, Mark and Kirsty.

The next group came from Park House school and sports college, in Newbury - another great voyage with a lively group. The sailed across the Channel on the first night, arriving in the early hours before enjoying a day in Cherbourg for shore leave and RYA training. A very early start next day took them in to Chichester, where they anchored and had a BBQ on the beach. Next day was Cowes, from where they left the berth under sail, and also sailed back on to the berth in Southampton as an exercise, without using the engine. All ten young people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates - the two leaders had them already. Thanks to sea staff James, Sparky Ben, Andy, Di, Angus - and many congratulations to Gerry Moore for passing his third mate’s assessment.

Last Sunday we had a day sail for sponsors and other supporters, including MDL, who provide our berth and sponsor a number of crew members each year; Hampshire County Council, who fund a major bursaries programme and are also planning a new group voyage for children who have been adopted; Chemring, which donates flares and safety equipment; some individual donors; and others who have volunteered or supported us in a variety of ways - plus Sally, on a thoroughly-deserved day out from running our office! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect - bright sunshine but enough wind to get us going, with spinnaker and mizzen staysail. It was a lovely group of people and it was great to be able to show them what we do and give them an enjoyable day at sea as a small thank-you for all they do for us. Thanks also to sea staff James, Sparky, Caz, Kirsty, Mark - with special thanks for a lot of hard work in the galley - and Kat “Gizmo” Nelson, formerly Francis - her first time sailing with us since her recent marriage!

This week’s voyage was for a group sponsored by Cardiff Rotary Club. They joined on Monday when it was so hot in the marina that it was a relief just to get going. One of the young crew drove the vessel off the berth in Ocean Village, and they headed down to Cowes for the night, where they met up with our friends on board Pegasus. A very early start next day as all the crew woke at 6am and the sea staff decided they might just as well get going on the sail to Weymouth. Simon Jinks was doing his skipper’s assessment and had just agreed with Wolf a list of exercises he need to complete, one of which was fog navigation. No sooner had they said this than the fog came in for real, lasting for at least five hours from the Needles fairway buoy to Weymouth; but, infuriatingly, Pegasus, less than an hour behind us, had only 20 minutes of fog! Eventually, when visibility returned, they had time for exercises - sailing manoeuvres, man overboard recovery drill and fire drill - before going ashore for beach games in Weymouth. Next day they did some RYA training before tacking to Poole - a very nice sail but unfortunately a passage which some of the crew found quite challenging. First mate Ben has already been told he faces his Yachtmaster Instructor exam with Simon as examiner later this year, but he has now lined himself up for being given a really hard time as he was blamed for launching another man overboard recovery exercise for Simon to deal with on this passage!

Next day they decided to give the crew a gentler day - lovely weather and good winds brought them in to the Solent via Hurst at 9 knots, and they anchored off Newtown for dinner before a night sail got them in to Ocean Village around midnight. All 11 crew members earned RYA Start Yachting certificates. Many thanks to sea staff Mark, Ben, Geoff, Heloise and special congratulations to Simon Jinks for passing his skipper’s assessment and Frederik Ferner for passing his third mate’s.

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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:

20-25 June, Southampton-Southampton, 5 nights, £365pp - up to 3 places left
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - 3 places left
12-23 July, Antwerp to Aalborg, Tall Ships race 1, £780 plus travel - 1 place, minimum age 15.
13-17 Sept, 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.

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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 (7 places left). Email me to book.

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to South Coast Sailing and Veryan Ltd for extremely generous donations.

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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* Other thanks!
Many thanks to Fiona Pankhurst for donating some desks to our office; and to Bowcrest Marine which - as a consequence of an office move - has left us with a large Triffid - a big brother for Wilt, the ship’s plant.

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* Kirsty and Jez - sponsorship and event updates!
Our two watch leaders, Kirsty Keith and Jez Snead, who are raising money for OYT South through half-ironman and marathon events are both doing really well.

Jez’s half-ironman is now less than two weeks away. He says “Despite all the good intentions I don't think I've trained enough and perhaps really should have given up alcohol for some of the training but now looking to pull it all back by buying a new waterbottle.” He 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 three-quarters of the way towards a target of £3,000 for OYT South. His website is here - do go and motivate his last few days’ training with a donation if you can!

Kirsty has recently run a marathon; her next challenge is a 70.3 mile swim-bike-run in July; and she has already raised £900 towards a £1,000 target - please go to her web page and support her.

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