John Laing at sea


OYT South bulletin 15th April 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

Volunteer sea staff bookings - urgent vacancy in May

Still short of a couple of sea staff on voyages that are getting very close now. We desperately need a second mate and/or another third mate for 2-7 May; and another 3rd mate for 8-12 May - can anyone help? Both should be good voyages with some very deserving young people.

The full vacancies list is as follows:

26 April - 1 May - room for an additional experienced mate
2-7 May - 2M and 3M or trainee mate
8-12 May - 3M or trainee mate
1-5 June - 3M or trainee mate
6-10 June- 3M or trainee mate
12-17 June - 3M or trainee mate
26 June-2 July (Falmouth-Waterford) - 3M or trainee mate
23-30 July (Lerwick to Stavanger) - room for one more 3M for Tall Ships race 2
30 July-7 Aug (Stavanger to Halmstad) - experienced 3M or additional 2M for Tall Ships race 3
9-15 Aug (Halmstad to Cuxhaven) - additional 3M or trainee mate
16-23 Aug (Cuxhaven to Ipswich) - additional 3M or trainee mate
31 Aug-4 Sept - 2M and additional 3M or trainee mate
28 Sept - 2 Oct - experienced 3M for ASTO Small Ships race
3-7 Oct - 3M or trainee mate
7-9 Oct - 3M and/or trainee mate
10-14 Oct - 3M or trainee mate
24-28 Oct - 3M and/or trainee mate
28-30 Oct - 3M and/or trainee mate

Please note that dates given are for when young people are on board - except for weekend voyages, staff should expect to join the night before, and may be needed for even longer for Tall Ships and other overseas voyages.

Don’t forget that you MUST have a CRB check before you can sail with young people - if you are booked on a training voyage and want the option of moving on to youth voyages shortly after if you get your recommendation, please start the CRB process now by completing this form.

 Unless you know you are exempt (i.e. skippers, other paid staff, and anyone who has already negotiated bursary funding - e.g. if you are unwaged) you MUST make sure you have paid your annual membership and sailing donation before your voyage. Membership is £36 (£18 for under-25s) and the sailing donation has a recommended rate of £100 per year and a minimum of £70: you can choose what to pay within this band depending on your circumstances and how often you expect to sail with us this year. Call the office on 02392 602278 with a credit card to pay. If you have paid for the mates' training or familiarisation voyage, please note that this includes your annual membership and sailing fee - you do not need to pay twice.

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* Voyages for young people in 2011
A few last-minute vacancies on Easter holiday voyages:

15-17 April, 2 nights, Southampton, £170pp, age 12-25.
18-22 April, 4 nights, Southampton, £315pp, age 12-15.
22-25 April, 3 nights, Southampton, £240pp, age 12-25.

We have very little time 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:

8-12 May, 4 nights, Gosport, £305pp, age 12-25.
16-20 May, 4 nights, Gosport to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25.
6-10 June, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25.
26 June-2 July, 6 nights, Falmouth to Waterford, age range 15-25, £445pp
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, age 12-25.
16-23 Aug, 7 nights, Cuxhaven to Ipswich, Homeward cruise, £510pp, age 12-25.
31 Aug-4 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £320pp, age 12-25.
5-9 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25.
7-9 Oct, 2 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £170pp, age 12-25.
10-14 Oct, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25.
28-30 Oct, 2 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £170pp, age 12-25.

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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* Royal wedding competition - design a card from OYT South - and is anyone going to the wedding?
Is any OYT South member going to the Royal wedding? If so, please could you let us know?

As you may know, OYT South was selected last month as one of the charities to benefit from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund, since Prince William and Kate Middleton have asked for donations instead of wedding presents.

We want to send them a card designed by a young person who has sailed with us. Entries to reach us by Friday 22nd April, so you don’t have much time! The cover will be A3-sized, so you can either send an entry at that size, or we may have to enlarge it with a photocopy. The design can be anything you want - a drawing, a piece of computer art, a collage including photos - whatever you like. You can either post it to our office, or email it if it is in a suitable format. All addresses here. Please make sure you include your name, age and contact details so we can inform the winner.

While we wait for the cover design, the blank card will be on board John Laing so that anyone there can sign it if they wish.

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* Voyage news
This week’s voyage was for a mixed group of individual bookings - some who had sailed with us before, some doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award residential, some who were completely new to us. They had thought of sailing to the Channel Islands on Monday, but the conditions meant that Cherbourg became a better option. They did some sail training in the outer harbour on Tuesday morning and then went ashore - there was a fair in town, and they also played some football.

Back across the Channel to Poole next day, they played some games on board, before heading back to the Solent on Thursday. They anchored for dinner in Newtown Creek and then the crew were set the task of taking over navigation back to Ocean Village. However, near the bottom end of Southampton Water they came across a small yacht with engine failure, so the final stage of the voyage involved towing them back.

10 of the crew earned RYA Start Yachting certificates (the other two had certificates already) and there were lots of people on board who would be welcome back any time - including one or two who have the potential to become volunteer watchleaders.

Many thanks to sea staff James, Graeme, Kirsten, Joe, Rob and Viki.

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* New safety information for sea staff
A report has been published concerning an incident that happened on board a sail training vessel run by another organisation - we recommend all sea staff read it and look at the lessons learned. There is a copy on the members-only section of our website.

Also on this page is a link to the revised edition of the Voyage Handbook, sometimes known as the Baboon file.

Sea staff who don't have a password can get one by emailing me.

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* Jez runs the Paris Marathon for OYT South - and survives!
Jez’s fundraising exploits are never done the easy way, so after last year’s Ironman in Switzerland which he failed to realise might contain some hills, it’s good to know that the key problem with the Paris Marathon could not have been predicted when he entered: a temperature of 26 degrees Centigrade. This obviously makes running a marathon tough for anyone, so huge congratulations to Jez for finishing in a time of 4 hours 51 minutes. Do please make a donation in recognition of this fantastic effort - he really deserves it! His fundraising page is here. He’s already raised over £1,600 to divide between OYT South and Cancer Research.

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* 2011 AGM event - a date for your diaries
Please put Saturday 15th October in your diaries - it’s the date of this year’s Annual General Meeting but we also hope to link it to a social gathering, ideally along the lines of the lunch we had two years ago (last year it was all linked to the 50th anniversary party). More details to follow.

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Volunteer training 2011
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.

26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380 - 1 place left
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170 - 10 places left

Email me to book.

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* Annual Report
We now have hard copies of the latest Annual Report available, as well as the version on the website. Please contact the office if you would like one or more copies – these can be very useful for sending to prospective donors or clients. As well as the financial statements, the report also includes an account of our year and lots of interesting stories, facts and figures - do have a look!

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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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New Boat appeal
Those who attended our 50th anniversary celebrations last October will have heard the talk by renowned yacht designer Merf Owen about our plans for the long-term replacement of John Laing - a new boat for a new generation. Details can now be found on the website here - along with a form for making donations. This is a tremendously exciting project and regular readers will be hearing a good deal more about it in the months and years to come - we are just getting started but this is the place where our members and supporters can keep in touch with progress!

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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