Two boats!


OYT South bulletin 1st June 2012

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Urgent sea staff needed

Possibly one urgent vacancy: one of the mates booked for 10-17 June, the London to Portland ASTO race, has just warned us she may need to drop out - we really hope she won’t have to, but it would be good to know if anyone else might be around if we really need you at short notice. Any qualified OYT mate would do.

The rest of the current vacancies list is:
NEW 10-17 June, London to Portland - additional qualified mate possibly needed.
6-8 July, Poole - 3M
NEW 9-15 July, Poole to Plymouth - additional mate or trainee mate
22-29 July, Plymouth - additional mate or trainee mate possibly needed
2-8 Sept, Plymouth-Southampton - 2M possibly needed.
9-14 Sept, Southampton - 3M
3-7 Oct, Southampton - experienced 3M and/or additional 2M for ASTO race (ideally including one female volunteer)
15-19 Oct, Southampton - 2M
26-28 Oct, Southampton - female 3M
29 Oct - 2 Nov, Southampton - 2M and 3M (one must be female)
2-4 Nov, Southampton - 2M and 3M (one must be female)

More spaces to be announced in due course!

Please note that dates given are when young people are on board. Except for weekend voyages and other special trips, sea staff will generally be expected to join the day before.

Email me if you might be able to help.

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* 2012 sailing programme - including amazing discount offer for a weekend voyage!
Unfortunately the weekend voyage 6-8 July, out of Poole, has not been sold; but we would rather go sailing than keep the boat tied up, so if you are interested but couldn't afford the full £180 weekend price, make us an offer - we might accept the best price we can get, even if some of the bids are pretty cheap (especially if you commit to bringing a few friends and filling several berths); but we'll also give points for the cheekiest email, the most compelling reason why you should get a place, the most imaginative idea for filling the voyage, the most enthusiastic comments on your last voyage and why you want to come again - just email us and tell us how much you are offering to pay and why you should get a place. Ideally the voyage will be for age range 12-25 unless we get a particularly worthwhile bid from an older group. Please note that if you are a young person genuinely keen to sail, it makes a better impression if you write yourself - if an adult does it for you it doesn’t make you look so enthusiastic. By all means get an adult to confirm that you have permission to come and any offer you are making towards the price; but please tell us yourself why you want to sail. It doesn’t matter if you can write well or not - we just want to know that the voyage is filling up with people who really want to come and will make a small effort to get a place.

The full list of vacancies for this season is:

18-22 June, Portland to Southampton - see the Olympic sailing venue! 4 nights, £320pp - possibly 1 or 2 places available depending on whether provisional bookings are confirmed or not - please ask.
6-8 July, weekend voyage starting and finishing in Poole, £180pp - 12 places available - bursaries possibly available.
NEW 9-15 July, Poole to Plymouth, 6 nights, £445pp - 1 place available.
9-14 Sept, Southampton, 5 nights, £395 - 1 place available
8-12 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £320pp - 12 places available.
15-19 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £320 - 1 place available.
29 Oct-2 Nov, Cowes, 4 nights, £325 - 5 places available - half term voyage!

We can be flexible about how any currently-empty voyage (i.e. anything with 12 places available) is used. Ideally we'd like to run youth voyages (age range 12-25) but they could be an organised group or a mix of separate individual bookings. They could also be adult (over-18) voyages (though the current price is subsidised for young people - we ought to charge a little more for over-25s but this is negotiable - a disadvantaged or unwaged adult group might also be eligible for a subsidy).

Updated voyage availability can be found here or here. If you would be interested in a place on one of these voyages, do get in touch and we can tell you the latest status of any provisional bookings, if it isn’t certain how many berths are available, and also give you information such as the ages of other people booked on that trip.

Email me if you are looking for a booking or want more information.

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* Voyage news
This week started with a day sail last Saturday for the Wheatsheaf Trust - some of their staff and a journalist, plus a few young people who may be offered places on a longer voyage in September. It was the perfect day for a taster sail - hot sun but plenty of wind to get the boat going. We really enjoyed the day with this group and it would be great to see some of the guys back on board for a longer trip. Many thanks to sea staff James, Dave, Ben, Andy, John and Caz.

Sunday was a maintenance day: big thanks to James, Dave, Harry, Andy, Ben and Michaela who sorted the oilskins, sewed some sails and did some deck repairs.

This week has been an unusual cruise in company as one of our regular clients, Park House School, had enough young people this year to fill two boats! Our friends from Pegasus came to help us out and they have had a great week with crews swapping between the boats. They went first to Osborne Bay and then on to Studland where they had a BBQ on the beach. Then they motored to Weymouth and had to wait outside for a while for a fishermans' procession with lots of boats to watch. They had time ashore in Weymouth and games on the beach. Yesterday they had a glorious sail in the sun back to Osborne Bay before the young people took charge of the navigation for a night passage back to Ocean Village. They finished there today with 19 RYA Start Yachting certificates - ten on board John Laing and 9 on board Pegasus! Big thanks to the Pegasus team (which included our former staff bosun Liz) and to our own sea staff James, Ben, Dave H, Harry and Michaela and special huge congratulations to Di Roberts who passed her second mate’s assessment!

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* Quidditch success for OYT South watchleader
Any Harry Potter fans or anyone who has ever sailed with Sarah “Tee Hee” Tredinnick, now one of OYT South’s volunteer second mates, might enjoy this article. If you want to find out more, there is one crew space and one sea staff space left on a voyage organised by Tee Hee this year (9-15 July, Poole to Plymouth - see sailing programme and sea staff sections above).

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* Safety digest
There’s a new safety digest from Sail Training International which may be of interest to sea staff - it’s on the members-only section of our website. Anyone who needs a username and password to log in to this section should email me.

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* Commercial Endorsements
Skippers, first mates and anyone else applying for or renewing a Commercial Endorsement: please note that Mark Todd is now an instructor for  the Professional Practices and Responsibilities course which you will need to do - see here and here for details.

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* Online sea staff training - please note this will become compulsory!
OYT South is now able to offer a range of online courses for our volunteers, including Child Protection (the NSPCC course), which we want to make compulsory for all sea staff in 2013 unless people have done some other Child Protection course, plus a range of other youthwork courses and a few other important things such as food hygiene. These can all be done online, in your own time: you can save a course at any point and come back later to where you left off. They are all recognised courses and you will get a certificate for each one you complete successfully. OYT South volunteers will pay a bargain price of just £10 for access to this system - that single payment allows you to do up to ten different courses, though you can choose just to do one or two. See here for details and a link to sign up and pay. The Child Protection course won’t be compulsory until we start taking sea staff bookings for next year but it’s so cheap, it’s well worth getting ahead with it.

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Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
OYT South is now able to offer online navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course. This is an introductory-level course and is ideal for new sea staff or anyone who has done a little navigation but is a bit rusty; for young people looking to make the step up into volunteering; for young crew members who really want to stay involved with sailing and would like to build up their skills; and for those who have done several voyages and want to stretch themselves a little and understand more next time they come on board. It's a proper qualification, it takes around six hours to complete online but you can do it in your own time as it suits you, with the support of online course tutor Brian Eyres, a former John Laing skipper. The course costs £100 (including course pack) to non-members but only £75 to members, including anyone who has paid for a voyage with OYT South this year.

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Latest Annual Report and Accounts
OYT South’s Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st October 2011 are now available on this website. 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 are now also available for those who need them - please contact the office.

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Farnborough International Airshow tickets auction!
We have received a very generous donation from Farnborough International Airshow of four public day tickets for the show on either Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 July, to be sold to raise funds for the charity. We’re going to try an auction - i.e. you email us with a bid of whatever sum of money you choose for whatever number of tickets you want. We’ll let you know if your bid is currently in a winning position or not, and if it’s not you’ll be given the chance to make an increased offer. Let’s see how that works! The airshow is a fabulous family day out, a true spectacular and the biggest event of its kind in the world - check their website and start making your bids for the tickets - and do remember that whatever you pay will go to support voyages for young people who couldn’t otherwise afford to sail with us!

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Adult voyage vacancies
We only have spaces on one adult voyage planned for this year:

14-16 Sept 2012, Southampton, 2 nights, £180pp - up to 6 places possibly available.

For those who decide they are interested in joining our volunteer team, these trips can work as selection voyages: the skipper will decide who to invite back as volunteers. This can be about sailing experience, or youthwork skills; but we can also take on a certain number of people who may need quite a lot of training but who are potential assets to our team in terms of personality, willingness to learn, enthusiasm, commitment and interest in working with young people from all backgrounds.

Email me to book.

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Warsash Maritime Academy Open Day
Warsash Maritime Academy has asked us to pass on a message to any young people who have enjoyed sailing with us and might think about a career at sea! The Academy is a  faculty of Southampton Solent University and provides training to the international shipping industry. They have a Careers Open Day on Friday 29th June and anyone who wants to know more about an Officer Cadetship or is wondering what a career in the shipping industry is all about might like to go along. The campus is open from 10am to 4pm, and visitors have an opportunity to have a look at the student accommodation, training facilities - including the Bridge and Engine Room Simulators, Engineering Workshops and more. Shipping company representatives and cadets currently in training will be on hand to give a genuine insight into the career opportunities available. Lecturers and staff from the Student Support Office can speak with prospective cadets and their parents about the courses, and the support available to them on campus and during their sea time. Warsash Maritime Academy’s 3 year cadet courses cover navigation (deck), engineering and electro-technical officer training. Course fees, with a salary or training allowance, are funded by shipping companies through sponsorship. Representatives from the companies including Carnival (UK), Viking, Maersk and Princess Cruises will on hand throughout the day to explain how it works. The minimum age for entry is 16 and the upper age limit varies from company to company but can extend well into the 30’s. See here for details - please contact the academy and not OYT South if you are interested!

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The full list of maintenance days to put in your diary for this year:

Saturday 23rd June - Southampton
Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st July - Plymouth (preparing for the Tall Ships race series)
Sunday 23rd September - Southampton

Call the boat a few days beforehand on 07990 518915 if you can help. Lots of jobs to do, both skilled and unskilled - there's something for everyone. These days are ideal for sea staff who might learn a bit about some part of the boat or equipment they don't always come across in the normal course of a voyage; and maintenance days are also good for new volunteers because you can see the boat and meet the skipper and some of the team. When volunteer places are over-subscribed, people who have helped with refit or maintenance days may be given priority.

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Staff skipper news - job description available
As most of you will know by now, our wonderful Staff Skipper James Boyce has exciting plans for a voyage to the Antarctic and sadly therefore will be leaving us at some point next season. OYT South is therefore looking for an outstanding new Staff Skipper, and we have published a detailed job description. We are keen to give ourselves every opportunity to meet the right person and give the best candidates a chance to sail in John Laing before James leaves. We are looking for someone with a background in sail training, with a commitment to excellence and to delivering high-quality, safe sail training voyages. You should be a Cruising Instructor or capable of achieving that qualification before appointment, and you must have a minimum of 15,000 miles logged offshore, a Commercial Endorsement and an ENG1 medical. If you want to discuss this further, please contact our Chief Executive Mark Todd on 07771 771864 or

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Worshipful Company of  Drapers for a generous donation towards some specific bursaries, organised through ASTO.

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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New Boat appeal - including YouTube video
Check out the video of our new boat design on YouTube!

Those who attended our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2010 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 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 have tried a number of social networking websites to allow crew members to keep in touch with the boat and with each other - Facebook is by far the most active and popular, so that’s the one that now gets updated regularly. 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