Refit continues...


OYT South bulletin 18th February 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* BBC Radio 4 Midweek - Weds 23 February, 9-10am
Mark doesn’t want anyone to know this, but it could be worth a listen next week (or on iPlayer after the programme).

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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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* Volunteer sea staff bookings 2011
I’ve been busy confirming sea staff bookings - many thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time. If you think you have a provisional sea staff booking which hasn’t yet been confirmed, let me know now.

I need to save some 3M and trainee mate berths for new people who might come through the early-season mates’ training voyages; and James is looking after the relief bosun bookings, but these are the current gaps for first and second mates - qualified sea staff who can help out, please let me know!

21-26 March - 1M
27 March-1 April - 1M and 2M
10-15 April - 2M
15-17 April - 2M
18-22 April - 1M
2-7 May - 1M and poss 2M
8-12 May - 2M
13-15 May - 2M
16-20 May - 1M
22-27 May - 1M
1-5 June - 1M
12-17 June - 1M and 2M
9-15 Aug (Halmstad-Cuxhaven) - 2M
16-23 Aug (Cuxhaven-Ipswich) - 1M
31 Aug-4 Sept - 2M
5-9 Sept - 2M
23-26 Sept - 2M
24-28 Oct - 1M and 2M

There will be other gaps once questions over provisional bookings are resolved; and some places are not straightforward as we need to book female sea staff – but do let me know where you can help!

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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
A week and a half to the launch, four weeks to the shakedown voyage!

The galley, saloon and chartroom have all been painted; the headlining in the forepeak is finished; one anchor is back on board; and a team from International Paint very kindly came and painted the topsides. Apart from that it has mainly been a week for finishing up lots of small jobs. Many thanks to James, Kirsten, Fiona, Elizabeth, Audrey, Terry Bufton, Tristan and Josh from Contact Marine, Roger and the team from International Paint, Steve from Wheatsheaf, and Kerrin, Al and Theo.

John Laing will be launched on March 2nd, with the masts going in on the 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
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