Shakedown voyage


OYT South bulletin 25th March 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

Volunteer sea staff bookings
The first couple of gaps on this list are coming up VERY soon - any competent CRB-checked adult might be a useful addition to the team. Email me or call the boat on 07990 518915 if you can help.

27 March-1 April - room for an additional mate or trainee mate
1-3 April - room for an additional experienced mate
10-15 April - 2M
15-17 April - 2M or additional 3M
26 April - 1 May - room for an additional experienced mate
2-7 May - 2M and 3M or trainee mate
8-12 May - 2M and 3M or trainee mate
22-27 May - 3M or trainee mate
1-5 June - 3M or trainee mate
6-10 June- 3M or trainee mate
12-17 June - 1M and 3M or trainee mate
26 June - 2 July - 3M or trainee mate
23-30 July (Lerwick to Stavanger) - experienced 3M or additional 2M for Tall Ships race 2
30 July-7 Aug (Stavanger to Halmstad) - experienced 3M or additional 2M for Tall Ships race 3
31 Aug-4 Sept - 2M
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.

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!

Anyone doing the mates’ training or familiarisation voyages early in the season is welcome to apply for trainee mate berths (email me now) which can be confirmed subject to getting a skipper’s recommendation on your training voyage - sometimes it helps to have an idea of dates well in advance. I won’t confirm all the 3M / trainee mate berths till these training voyages are over and we know how many of the new people need a place on another voyage.

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
Owing to one group swapping to later dates, and another group not filling all its places, we have some unexpected vacancies on Easter holiday voyages:

10-15 April, 5 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £390pp
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:

8-12 May, 4 nights, Gosport, £305pp
6-10 June, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp
26 June-2 July, 6 nights, Falmouth to Waterford, age range 15-25, £445pp
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
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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* Voyage news
A good shakedown voyage last weekend - thanks to all the sea staff who sailed to Cowes and back and checked that everything was in good working order. It was a sunny weekend with some good sailing; and going ashore to a café on Sunday morning in Cowes, we saw several members of the team eating breakfasts so gargantuan that the café hands out certificates to anyone who can finish them.

The first youth voyage of the season has enjoyed some fabulous weather and great sailing: if this sets the standard for 2011, then it is going to be an excellent year. The crew from Plumpton College joined on Monday and sailed to Cowes that evening. Next day they had a fast crossing to Cherbourg, and on Wednesday did sail training exercises in the outer harbour before enjoying an afternoon ashore. Yesterday they had a lovely sail back across, with Kirsten doing traditional navigation all the way – no electronics, but EPs and Walker log readings. They got into Poole late last night and are currently making their way back towards the Solent. They plan to stop somewhere and wait for the tide before heading back to Southampton late tonight. Skipper James said they are all well on their way towards getting RYA Start Yachting certificates, and at least one person has a good chance of getting the more advanced Competent Crew. Many thanks to sea staff James, Ben, Kirsten, Terry and Sam.

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* Voyage handbook (Baboon file)
There is a revised edition of the Voyage handbook, sometimes known as the Baboon file, on the members-only section of this website. Sea staff who don’t have a password can get one by emailing me.

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* Refit news
A few statistics on our refit efforts: we had 665 days worked during the refit, 152 by staff and 513 by volunteers - an outstanding effort and we are really grateful to everyone who came along. The refit house again proved its worth, providing 382 nights’ accommodation including 212 to volunteers.

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Vessel tracking
Vessel tracking has been switched back on for the season - see here to follow where John Laing is sailing.

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Volunteer training 2011
Volunteers' training voyages for 2011 are:

1-3 April 2011, Southampton, £170 - possibly 2 places left
26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380 - possibly 2 places left
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170 - 11 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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Latest Annual Report and Accounts
OYT South’s Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st October 2010 are now available here. 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! Printed copies will be available soon for those who need them.

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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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Jez runs the Paris Marathon for OYT South!
After his exploits last year, when he completed an Ironman on behalf of OYT South (having failed to realise that entering an Ironman in Switzerland might involve some hills in all the sections apart from the swim), watchleader Jez Snead has this year entered the Paris Marathon and is once more raising money for us. Do please go to his website and support him - as you’ll see, he is not doing it for fun, so he surely deserves some reward for his efforts!

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Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund
Most of our friends, members and supporters will know by now that OYT South has been chosen as one of 26 charities included in the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund (see under “Changing Lives Through Arts and Sport”). This is very exciting news for us - our full reaction can be found here and we will add more news here as we get it, including links to any press coverage. If you spot any coverage - perhaps in your local paper - that isn’t listed here, could you email us? This would be specific coverage about OYT South, not the general story which just lists the Ocean Youth Trust as one of the chosen charities.

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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