Training weekend - diesel, first aid, radar


OYT South bulletin 11th February 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Voyages for young people in 2011
Owing to one group swapping to later dates, and another group not filling all its places, we now have some unexpected vacancies on Easter holiday voyages:

15-17 April, 2 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £170pp
22-25 April, 3 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £240pp
We only have a few weeks to fill these voyages, so please do think if there is anyone who might be interested in coming, and spread the word around.

Other youth voyages this season which still have spaces (age range 12-25 unless otherwise stated) include:

6-10 June, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp
2-11 July, 9 nights, Waterford to Greenock, Tall Ships Race 1, age range 15-25, £645pp
11-23 July, 12 nights, Greenock to Lerwick, Tall Ships Cruise, age range 15-25, girls only, £840pp
30 July-7 Aug, 8 nights, Stavanger to Halmstad, Tall Ships Race 3, age range 15-25, £610pp
9-15 Aug, 6 nights, Halmstad to Cuxhaven, Baltic cruise, £455pp
16-23 Aug, 7 nights, Cuxhaven to Ipswich, Homeward cruise, £510pp
31 Aug-4 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £320pp
5-9 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp
7-9 Oct, 2 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £170pp
10-14 Oct, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp
16-21 Oct, 5 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £380pp
28-30 Oct, 2 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £170pp

Other spaces may crop up from time to time, so do please keep checking back. Please pass the dates around among your friends, and if anyone wants a small A4 poster with voyage availability to put on a school, college, youth club or sports club noticeboard, just ask and I’ll let you have the latest version with availability right up to date.

See here for the full voyage programme, with prices, dates, details and latest availability. You can also look here for our big summer adventure - not only the Tall Ships race series but some exciting voyages either side. Contact the office with enquiries or to make a booking.

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* Shorebased training weekend report
Many thanks to everyone who came along to the shorebased training weekend, and everyone who helped set it up, run the courses, organise the food and altogether made sure we had a very successful and enjoyable weekend. We ran two Fairbridge youthwork courses (Working with Difficult Individuals, and Facilitation, Participation & Group Dynamics) as well as the RYA First Aid, Radar and two Diesel courses. 65 places we taken up on the courses (special thanks to Sally in our office for dealing with all the bookings and payments), and TS Hornet Sea Cadet Unit provided 112 meals - many thanks to Tony Salmon and his team. On Saturday evening our Chief Executive, Mark Todd, gave a short presentation on some key facts and figures from the last sailing season, and plans for this year, including thanks for everyone who has helped the charity in so many ways. Then the bar was opened and a lively social evening ensued.

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* Volunteer sea staff bookings 2011 - book now!
Quite a bit of time was spent at the training weekend establishing when volunteers are wanting to sail this year, and adding their preferences to the lists people have been emailing me over recent weeks and months. I am just about to start emailing out confirmations where I have been able to juggle people’s preferences, and once that is done I will start putting lists of remaining gaps in future issues of this newsletter.

Anyone who still hasn’t sent in their preferred dates, please let me know as soon as you can, though we are filling up well at some times of the year and for certain berths.

If you are not yet qualified as a member of OYT South sea staff but are doing one of the volunteers' training voyages: for those who get selected as a result of those adult training voyages, the next stage will be to go on and do an assessment on a voyage with young people. Especially if you have limited availability, it is well worth giving me an idea now of possible dates for assessment voyages (which need to last 4 nights or longer): we can't confirm these until you have a skipper's recommendation, but at least we will try to ensure that all your available dates aren't taken before you have a chance!

The voyage programme is here for you to check possible options. It does speed things up for me if you look at the programme and give me voyage numbers that might suit you, rather than giving me a list of dates which may or may not coincide with any particular voyages!

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* Volunteer training 2011
Volunteers' training voyages for 2011 are:

1-3 April 2011, Southampton, £170 - 3 places left
26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380 - possibly 1 or 2 places left
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170 - 12 places left

Email me to book.

These voyages are suitable for qualified mates who want a bit more practice; for new volunteers who are hoping to join our sea staff; and for any other adults who just want to see how we work and what is involved in sailing with us.

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* Refit news
Two and a half weeks to the launch, five weeks to the shakedown voyage!

The deck and cockpit painting is finished, as is the antifoul. The stern platform has been redone as it appears the last lot of paint may have frozen rather than going off properly! The anchor chain has been marked; new insulation is going up in the accommodation area; all but two of the winches have been reassembled and put back, as have the blocks by the mast; and the chart room has been masked ready for painting. Big thanks to James, Kirsten, Fiona, Elizabeth and Audrey, Theo, Pete, Dave Price, John Niven and Paul Millman.

John Laing will be launched on March 2nd or 3rd. We then have a volunteers’ weekend on 5th and 6th March and we really need as many people as possible – some who are familiar with the boat and know where everything goes, and a good team for lifting, shifting and stowing. Anyone who can come for a few days either side of the weekend (especially after) will be very welcome.

We are also happy to take volunteers on other weekdays up to March 18th (the shakedown voyage) - contact James or the boat ( or 07990 518915) rather than replying to this email, it gets confusing if we don't have all refit bookings going to the same place. We really hope to see all volunteer sea staff over the winter!  

If you are over 18, you are welcome to book yourself in for a weekend, a few days or a week or more. If you are aged 16 or 17, particularly current or prospective relief bosuns, you need to discuss refit bookings with the skipper - we would like to have you along but we need to be able to arrange some supervision while you work. Sadly we cannot have under-16s at refit.

Volunteers all get free food, and accommodation in the refit house, two and a half miles by car from the refit site in Hamble, or a bit less across the common by bike.

See here for more refit details. And see here for a report that was written for one of our key refit donors outlining some of the major work being done, with a provisional budget.

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks to Hampshire County Council for news of another bursaries grant this week. This is a real tribute to everyone who has sailed on voyages linked to the Hampshire bursaries scheme in recent years: with such enormous cutbacks in local government funding, we might have expected not to get anything from them this year, and the fact that we have this new grant means that we really have impressed them with the difference we can make to the young people they have sent. The grant is smaller than in recent years, but under the circumstances we can all be pleased and proud to have been given anything at all.

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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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