TS Swiftsure in command


OYT South bulletin 3rd June 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Queen honours OYT South
For anyone who didn’t see yesterday’s special bulletin: Ocean Youth Trust South is delighted to be able to announce to our members, supporters, donors and friends that we have won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their local community for the benefit of others. More details here, including a huge thanks to all our supporters and volunteers, for whom this award is fantastic recognition.

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* Adult day sail 11th June
One place left for an adult day sail, Saturday 11th June, £85 - open to anyone aged 18+ who fancies a day out in the Solent on board John Laing - lunch included. Contact the office to book. Starts Ocean Village, Southampton at 0930, ends 1700 in the same place.

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* Voyages for young people in 2011
Berths available on the following voyages:

20-25 June, 5 night, Southampton to Falmouth, £380pp, age 12-25 - possibly 1 or 2 berths tbc.
26 June-2 July, 6 nights, Falmouth to Waterford, age 15-25, £445pp - 3 berths
11-23 July, 12 nights, Greenock to Lerwick, Tall Ships Cruise, age range 15-25, girls only, £840pp - 4 berths
23-30 July, 7 nights, Lerwick to Stavanger, Norway - Tall Ships Race 2, age range 15-25, girls only, £520pp plus travel - possibly 1 place left (please ask)
30 July-7 Aug, 8 nights, Stavanger to Halmstad, Tall Ships Race 3, age range 15-25, £610pp - 1 berth
9-15 Aug, 6 nights, Halmstad to Cuxhaven, Baltic cruise, £455pp, age 12-25 - 2 berths
16-23 Aug, 7 nights, Cuxhaven to Ipswich, Homeward cruise, £510pp, age 12-25 - 4 berths
5-9 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 8 berths
18-22 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 12 berths (full boat booking available)
10-14 Oct, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 7 berths.

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.

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- new vacancies
The remaining vacancies list is as follows:

11-23 July (Greenock to Lerwick) - additional mate needed for Tall Ships cruise
23-30 July (Lerwick to Stavanger) - room for one more 3M for Tall Ships race 2
9-15 Aug (Halmstad to Cuxhaven) - poss 3M or trainee mate tbc
31 Aug-4 Sept - 2M
3-7 Oct - 3M or trainee mate
7-9 Oct - 3M and/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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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. There is just one more adult training voyage this season:

9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170 - 10 places left.

Email me to book.

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* Voyage news
One addition to the final voyage report in the last bulletin - seems like a long time ago as there was no bulletin last week: congratulations to Dave Hodgson who passed his third mate’s assessment. Also to Viki Lough who became a 3M in May but was somehow missed off the bulletin.

On 21 May we had a day sail for supporters and potential supporters and clients - a lovely bunch of people with varying backgrounds and interests, and we had a good day on the water showing them what OYT South is about and hopefully inspiring them to stay in touch. Many thanks to sea staff Mark, Ben W, Kirsten, Andy, Rosie and Caz.

They were followed by the annual voyage for Park House School, a lively mixed group of 12 and 13-year olds. They had a week of really challenging weather – having got to East Cowes on the first night, they were stormbound all next day and had shore leave in Cowes, RYA training and games. Some walked round close to Gurnard Ledge and saw another boat being rescued. Next day they planned to anchor in Sandown Bay but it turned out to be too rough so they went to Gosport instead. Next day they managed a lovely downwind sail into the western Solent, and then back for a night in Port Hamble. The following day they set out in 30-knot winds for the short passage back to Ocean Village, rowing practice and games. Eleven crew members got the RYA Start Yachting certificate and one teacher got Competent Crew. Many thanks to sea staff Mark, Sparky, Tigger, Kirsten and special congratulations to Adam Lane who passed a 2M assessment to join our volunteer team, and Gerry Moore who was upgraded from 3M to 2M.

This was followed by another voyage with the Nautical Training Corps TS Swiftusre, who have been coming back year after year in the hope of sailing to France, but are always scuppered by the weather. This time was no different and we faced the task of finding new challenges for a group of young people who mainly know as much about John Laing and her routines as the staff. We went to Cowes on the first night to pick up the sails that had been mended from the previous week, and then had a good sail on Saturday with lots of tacking in winds gusting to at least Force 7. We had hoped to get to Poole but the wind direction made Gosport a better option.

Leaving Gosport the next morning, heavily reefed, the mainsail split right along a seam; but we were able to make good progress without it, and went into Lymington for dinner, with two of the crew navigating us in. Once it got dark, we handed the whole boat over to the crew, with their own skipper, mates, bosun and navigators, and did a night passage to Poole. The entrance there proved quite a challenge for the 13-year old skipper and the navigators, one of whom was only 12, but as they got the hang of things they did a fantastic job, and we ended up alongside in time to be in bed not long after 2am. Next day everyone swapped roles and a different team took us out, back in the Solent and up to Cowes to drop off the mainsail. Everyone worked incredibly hard and it was amazing to see how much responsibility such a young crew could take given that all but one had sailed with us before and knew the boat well. A quick clean-up next morning on the way back to Ocean Village, and they left with Start Yachting certificates for the two who had not done it already. Many thanks to sea staff James, Kirsten, Caz, Andy, Annie and Ellie.

This week’s voyage is for a mixed group - some from Hertfordshire Young Carers, others sponsored by Cardiff Rotary Club. They picked up the mended mainsail on Wednesday and had a lovely sail to Weymouth in gorgeous sunshine yesterday, and went to a funfair last night. Today they are heading for an anchorage in Worbarrow Bay and a BBQ, and will decide later whether to stay for the night or do a night sail into Poole. Many thanks to sea staff James, Sparky, Paul, Amy, Audrey and Ian.

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Tall Ships prep 18-19 June - help needed
On 18th and 19th June we have two days in Southampton to get ready for the Tall Ships race series - maintenance, plus buying and stowing all the non-perishable food for two months out of the country. James needs all the help he can get - call the boat on 07990 518915 to volunteer!

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Staff bosun news
OYT South’s Staff Bosun position is designed to be a two-year training programme - which means Kirsten will be coming to the end of her time with us in November this year. A full job description, application process and salary range will be issued shortly, but in the meantime we would be happy to receive enquiries or early expressions of interest from anyone who might like to take on the role from November 2011 to November 2013. You should be aged 18+, hardworking, reliable, enthusiastic, interested in making and fixing things, and fully committed to supporting OYT South’s work. A clean driving licence, criminal records bureau enhanced check and a medical (including eyesight standards and colour vision) will be required. Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org for more information.

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks for some very generous donations this week: one from the Alchemy Foundation, and the other in memory of John Anderson, with special thanks to Fergus Anderson for arranging it. Also for a donation from John Gilmour from the surplus made on Dumpton School’s voyage earlier this year. All hugely appreciated!

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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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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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