Submarines, pirates and a lifeboat exercise

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 8th April 2011


In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *


* Volunteer sea staff bookings - urgent vacancy in May
We have one voyage in May which still doesn’t have enough sea staff to allow us to put to sea - are there any qualified 3rd mates (or 2nd mates) who could sail from 8-12 May? It should be a nice voyage - lots of funded places from Hampshire County Council for children who have had tough times but don’t have significant behavioural problems - young carers, children who have been bullied, etc. Let me know if you can help.

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 - 2M and 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
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
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.

Anyone doing the mates' familiarisation voyage at the end of this month 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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* Royal wedding competition - design a card from OYT South
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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* 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:

15-17 April, 2 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £170pp, age 12-25.
22-25 April, 3 nights, Southampton to 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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* Voyage news
One bit of unfinished business from last week’s voyage: huge congratulations to Clare Thorpe who was signed off as a first mate. This is a big achievement as a first mate has to show that they could take over the management of vessel and crew if the skipper is ill or injured, so very well done to Clare and we look forward to seeing her on board again before long.

Last weekend was the mates’ training voyage - a good mix of qualified mates wanting extra practice; people who will volunteer on youth voyages this season for the first time; young people who had done well on previous voyages and been offered the chance to join our volunteers; and others who had just come along to find out what we are all about. We had some welcome sunshine and decent winds, and managed to pack a lot into two days: how to do a sail hoist with a group of novices; reefing; man overboard recovery; hoisting the mizzen staysail; fire drill; daily and weekly checks and much more. It was particularly good to see some of the junior members of the team (aged 16-19) taking charge of their watches and giving instructions to experienced Yachtmasters! Many thanks to sea staff Mark, Sparky, Caz, Andy and Kirsten.

This week’s crew came from Dumpton School and managed an action-packed voyage with lots of unusual events and activities. They joined on Monday and sailed to Cowes in very windy conditions. On Tuesday the wind was a little less and they came off the berth under sail and did tacking and gybing practice before making their way in to Gosport. Next day, they were just leaving when they came across a parade of tugs and were lucky enough to be able watch a submarine surfacing!

They had planned to sail to Yarmouth but it was all going so well that they went past, and carried on to Swanage instead. Here our third mate (and the group’s teacher), John, who is involved with the local lifeboat crew, had arranged an exciting activity. John Laing moored in the bay and set up a whole series of fake accidents and equipment failures on board, and two Swanage lifeboats came out as an exercise to deal with it all.

Next morning as they were making their way back past Old Harry rocks, there came another incident: pirate attack, orchestrated by former OYT skipper Dave Carnson in his current boat, Leader. They were successfully fended off with water cannon (OK, the fire hose) and John Laing made her way to Yarmouth for football, a BBQ, and a new way of cooking sausages invented by first mate Andy. After dinner, the crew were split into teams and took charge of navigating back to Ocean Village with almost no help from the staff. All eight of them earned their RYA Start Yachting certificates.

Many thanks to the sea staff James, Andy, Kirsten, Andrew, John and special congratulations to Lee Mosscrop, whom we met on one of the RYA Instructors’ day sails at the end of last season and who has now successfully completed his second mate’s assessment.

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* Maintenance day TOMORROW Saturday 9th April
There’s a maintenance day on board John Laing in Ocean Village on Saturday 9th April - skilled and unskilled help required - call the boat on 07990 518915 if you can help.

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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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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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* Financial appeal
Many thanks this week for donations from Rosemary & Mike Martin, and from N M Rothschild Charities Committee.

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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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

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