Sections which have changed since last time marked *
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.
* Refit news
Two weeks to the shakedown voyage!
The last of the tent and scaffolding came down at the beginning of the week, and then there was a nailbiting wait as the yard had a backlog of boats to launch and we weren’t sure if we were going to get in the water on the right date or not. In the end it all happened at breathtaking speed - John Laing was launched on time and the masts went back in on the same day, rather than a day later as expected. By Wednesday night John Laing was already doing an epic first voyage of the season: the move back home to Ocean Village. This was a stressful passage because the team ran out of biscuits on the way.
Refit materials and equipment have now been cleared off the boat and some sails are back on board, but the major job of loading and stowing all the kit starts this weekend, when we have a good team of helpers but always room for a few more - call James on 07990 518915 if you can help. Accommodation available.
Big thanks for this week go to James, Kirsten, Audrey, Sparky, John Niven, John Bell, Al Baird, Roger Bigg and extra special thanks to Elizabeth Brown who is the second of this year’s core refit team to leave us after having volunteered for the whole winter. We wish her all the best as she starts a job in Brighton, but we’ll see her again for some voyages this year.
Apart from the volunteers’ weekend which starts tomorrow, we are also happy to see volunteers on weekdays up to March 18th (the shakedown voyage) - contact James or the boat (JamesBoyce@oytsouth.org 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.
One special job which needs volunteers is 17th March when we move out of the refit house and have to get it clean for the landlord. This is an invaluable way to help us as we have a big deposit on the property which we want to get back; and also we need to keep a good reputation among local letting agents so we get a house again next winter when we need it!
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.
* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Curatus Trust for a very generous grant towards bursaries, aimed at particular voyages which will offer sailing to some exceptionally disadvantaged or vulnerable young people who would not otherwise be able to sail.
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.
* Bill Bradbury
We were very sad to hear recently of the death of Bill Bradbury last month. Bill was an OYC skipper who will be remembered by many of our longer-serving supporters. Our condolences go to his family.
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.
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!
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.