Ever wondered what our liferafts look like when inflated?


OYT South bulletin 3rd February 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Refit news
Total figures for January show we had 76 days of work on board John Laing, including 37 from volunteers, with 80 nights used in the refit house, including 39 by volunteers. Total refit figures so far (November, December, January) are 258 days worked (154 by volunteers) and 233 nights used in the house (126 by volunteers). This is a really tremendous effort, with volunteers showing fantastic commitment to our work - it would cost us thousands of pounds to have anything like the same amount of work from professional boatyard refit workers.

Last week Kirsten was away from the refit doing her Ship Captain’s Medical Certificate, which she passed - well done to her! In her absence, the refit was kept under way by James, Dan, Mattie and Bridget. This week Ben “Sparky” Whinnett is back at the refit after sailing in Australia, and we have also got a great team of other volunteers: Brendan Stewart, Brian Osborne, Dave Price, Ben Martin and Kerrin Koetsier. Many thanks to everyone for their work!

The team has dismantled, ground and primed the stern platform; sanded the entire deck; dismantled and serviced the sink foot pumps, including a lot of work on the surrounding wood; taken off the old bottle screws so that the tangs can be painted before the new ones are fitted; they are sanding, painting and varnishing the bosun’s cabin; and will be painting the scuppers if it ever stops raining. Fraser Old is taking away the floorboards tomorrow, for repairs; and Susan and Peter Hughes have cleaned and mended the oilskins - many thanks to everyone!

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. 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 6th-7th February 2010 - THIS weekend - one last place!
Thanks to all those who have now confirmed and paid for places at the training weekend.

As things stand, we only have ONE space still available - it’s for the GMDSS radio course on Saturday: £50 + exam fee. Email me to book.

More details here, including prices, information on course content and latest availability.

The RYA or ISAF Sea Survival courses are not running on the same training weekend as the rest of our courses. If you want to do Sea Survival, there are courses running on March 6/7 or April 17/18. This course is very highly recommended, covering such things as use of distress flares and a session in a swimming pool with a life raft. Email me if you are interested.

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* Training weekend lunches / supper - all invited
Even if you aren’t doing a training course, other OYT South supporters are welcome to join us for lunch on either day, or for supper on Saturday (with the option of staying in the Sea Cadet Unit overnight). Unlike previous years when we have gone out for a meal, this year the whole thing is being done in the Sea Cadet Unit, to keep prices down. More details on the bottom of the booking form. If you want to come along, please use the booking form - you can leave the training course sections blank if they don’t apply to you. There’s space for a maximum of 8 more people for dinner on Saturday so don’t leave it too long if you want to join us!

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* UK Sail Training conference
Last Friday was the UK Sail Training conference, with around 100 delegates from dozens of sail training organisations, including a good turnout from the Ocean Youth Trust. Good to see so many friends there; and we enjoyed lots of useful and informative sessions. Some papers from the conference are available here.

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2010 voyages for new volunteer watch leaders - IMPORTANT
We have had a very good number of people wishing to join our team of volunteers on board this season, including plenty who have signed up for the early-season training voyages. This is excellent news for us but it does create pressure for voyage places suitable for assessments and new mates later in the season. Following any training or familiarisation voyage, or earning a skipper's recommendation on any other voyage, all those who still want to get involved will need to go on to do an assessment voyage with young people, and this has to last at least four nights, and can’t take place on special voyages such as Tall Ships. After assessment, successful candidates will then want to go and do further voyages as mates; but if we leave bookings till that stage, suitable mates’ berths may have filled up. I am therefore collecting preliminary details of availability from new potential mates, so that you are at least pencilled onto the list for the year, even if we can’t confirm it all till the season gets under way. If you want to join us this season, do please email me now. If you leave it till the season starts, you risk finding that other people have filled most of the berths!

If you want to join us and haven’t yet arranged either a training or familiarisation voyage, these are for adults only and are designed for you to get to know the boat and our routines without the added pressures of teaching young people at the same time. Dates for these are:

26-28 March, £160
21-26 April, £360
10-12 Sept, £160.

The first two have attracted a lot of interest and are likely to be full shortly; there is plenty of space on the third. Email me to book.

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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Third mates
Because new and trainee mates generally sail in the third mate’s berth on board John Laing, and there are so many potential trainee mates this year, there is a very high demand for 3M berths at the moment. Some of the new people are hugely experienced sailors and may quickly get to second mate; but for the moment, if you are a qualified third mate planning to sail this season, please email me about your availability as soon as possible, or you may find that the voyages you wanted have been taken.

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Other sea staff bookings 2010

Lots of bids are coming in for voyage dates, from qualified sea staff and those looking for assessments this year. It's a bit of a juggling process as we aim to get a good mix of sea staff on each voyage, ensuring we get female staff where needed, making certain those who have helped most at refit or in other ways get a good pick of their preferred voyages and so on. If you want to get in the mix now rather than waiting for leftover voyages that other people haven't asked for, please email me a.s.a.p. You need to look at the voyage programme here, and give me the voyage numbers for anything you'd like to be considered for - making clear where you are bidding do lots of voyages, and where you are giving me a list of options hoping to get onto one or two.

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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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* 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:
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
8-12 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - full group booking (12 people) available
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - full group booking (12 people) available
11-16 Aug, Hartlepool-Ipswich, 5 nights, £365pp - 6 places left
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton, 7 nights, £510pp - 4 places left
25-31 Aug, Southampton-Poole, 6 nights, £465pp - 2 places left
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole, 4 nights, £290pp - 6 places left
13-17 Sept, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left
11-16 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 5 nights, £360pp- full group booking (12 people) available
18-22 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left
25-31 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 6 nights, £420pp - 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.

The four 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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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 £700 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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Financial appeal

The major appeal at the moment is for the 2009-10 winter refit - please donate something if you possibly can.

We also need bursary funds for next season.If you would like to help some specific young people to pay for their voyages - perhaps children with physical and learning difficulties, or homeless teenagers, or young people growing up amidst poverty and even violence, or brothers and sisters of children being cared for by a children's hospice, please email me to discuss it.

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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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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Spiral Music Awards - vote now
Anyone who has sailed in John Laing in recent years might know that we have a number of musicians and bands who are very friendly towards us and our charitable work. Two of our friends have been nominated in the Spiral Music Awards, which are voted for by the public. If you want to support them, see here to vote for Phil Beer of Show of Hands:

And here to vote for Oysterband’s John Jones:

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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