Ready for the shakedown voyage!


OYT South bulletin 15th March 2013

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Volunteer berths in 2013

Thanks to everyone who sent in their availability as requested. We have now offered places to just about everyone who applied - if you wanted to sail and sent in your dates but haven’t heard anything, do please email me. The first step was to make sure that everyone got offered something, before we started giving extra voyages to the people who can spare more time, so here's what's left after the first round of allocations. Please let me know if there's anything here you would like to do. NB voyage dates given are when young people are on board - except for weekends and the occasional short voyage, sea staff will normally be needed the afternoon or evening before. All Southampton or Gosport unless otherwise stated - sea staff pay own travel for overseas voyages:

9-14 April - one more experienced mate (2M or 3M)
26-28 April - 3M
3-6 May - 2M
7-11 May - 2M or experienced 3M, must be female
24-28 May - bosun
29 May-2 June - 1M, and possibly 3M
29 June-6 July - Cuxhaven to Arhus - 2M or experienced 3M
6-19 July, Arhus to Helsinki, Tall Ships Race 1 - 2M or experienced 3M tbc - must be female
13-19 August, Cuxhaven-Ipswich - 2M
21-27 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton - 1M and experienced 3M
2-6 Sept - 1M and 3M - one should be female
15-20 Sept - 2M or experienced 3M
23-27 Sept - experienced bosun
2-6 Oct - female experienced 3M or 2M
8-13 Oct - experienced bosun
14-18 Oct - poss 1M; 3M, and experienced bosun (one must be female)
18-20 Oct - 3M and/or trainee mate, or additional 2M
21-24 Oct - 2M and additional 3M or trainee mate - one must be female
25-29 Oct - 2M or additional experienced 3M - must be female
30 Oct-3 Nov - experienced bosun

There may be other spaces as we hear back from people who have been offered different voyages; but we also need to save a few places until after the adult training voyages in March and April so we have space to invite back some new volunteers. But if you can potentially fill any of these gaps, please email me now!

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* Refit news - almost there!
Masses of work last weekend and all this week - lots of cleaning of both the boat and the refit house, huge amounts of kit moved from the store to the boat and stowed, and thousands of other small jobs to get everything ready for the season.

Huge thanks to Ben, Dave, Carrie, Neil, Amelia, Dean, Katie Outlaw, Chris Lane, Ben Martin, Dave Hodgson, Jon Seddon, David Blogg, Emily Parker, Dave Heffer, Mark Boggis, Jane Higgins, Matt Hart, Alan Bartrop, Annie Holt, Holly Vint, Gordon Cunningham, Sue Lovett, Matt Lovett, Abs Al-Halaki, Mustafa Abdirahman, Mark Todd, Rosie Todd, Jax Heffer, David Price, Zeljka Abramovic, Andy Royse, Emma Burrows and Tom Hartland - what a great turnout!

Just this weekend, with the shakedown voyage, to go!

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* 2013 sailing programme - berths available for young people and adults - bursary funding available!
We have a great programme for 2013 and we are taking bookings fast, so do have a look and think about when you would like to sail this year.

We have a weekend and another long Bank Holiday weekend in the first couple of months of the season which were booked and then cancelled, so we really need to fill them now. We could use them for standard youth voyages, or adult voyages, or we could break them up into day sails - we are open to all ideas so do get in touch if you are interested in sailing then or if you know anyone who might like to sail. The prices quoted are the full advertised price but if we cannot fill the voyages at that price we would take the best offer we can get, so if you want to sail but can't afford it, please do discuss it with us (email

26-28 April 2013 (weekend), Southampton, 2 nights, £190pp - 12 places available (full-boat booking).
3-6 May 2013, Southampton, 3 nights, £265pp - 12 places available (full-boat booking) - STOP PRESS: we have now been paid the deposit owed by a group who initially booked this voyage and then cancelled, which would allow us to reduce the price to £199pp!.

There are two further voyages later in the season which we are also particularly keen to fill - again, there may be bursary funding available for people who genuinely can't afford to sail; and we would consider adult voyages if we can't get youth bookings:

21-28 June 2013, London to Cuxhaven, Germany - complete a North Sea crossing! 7 nights, £550pp - 12 places available. Age 12-25, or adult.
29 June - 6 July 2013, Cuxhaven, Germany to Aarhus, Denmark - through the Kiel Canal and take part in the first Tall Ships festival of the series! 7 nights, £550pp - 12 places available. Age 15-25, or adult.

Anyone who would like to sail on any of the four voyages above but cannot afford it should contact us to discuss bursary funding.

The full list of vacancies for the season is:

29 March - 2 April 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £340pp - possibly 2 places available if provisional bookings aren’t confirmed. Age 12-25.
3-8 April 2013, Southampton, 5 nights, £420pp - 1 place available. Age 12-25.
21-26 April 2013, Southampton, 5 nights, £400pp. Age 18+, adult voyage, suitable for training / selection for new volunteers. 2 places available.
26-28 April 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £190pp - 12 places available. Age 12-25, or adult.
3-6 May 2013, Southampton, 3 nights, £265pp  / £199pp - 12 places available. Age 12-25, or adult.
29 May - 2 June 2013, Gosport to Southampton, 4 nights, £340pp - up to 8 places available. Age 12-25.
12-18 June 2013, Southampton to London - sail up the Thames! 6 nights, £465pp - 1-4 places available tbc. Age 12-25.
21-28 June 2013, London to Cuxhaven, Germany, 7 nights, £550pp plus travel - 12 places available. Age 12-25, or adult.
29 June - 6 July 2013, Cuxhaven, Germany to Aarhus, Denmark (Tall Ships festival), 7 nights, £550pp plus travel - 12 places available. Age 15-25, or adult.
6 -19 July 2013, Aarhus, Denmark to Helsinki, Finland - Tall Ships Race 1, 13 nights, £995pp plus travel - 4 places available. Age 15-25.
19-27 July 2013, Helsinki, Finland to Riga, Latvia - Tall Ships cruise in company, 8 nights, £625pp plus travel - 2 places available. Age 15-25.
27 July-5 Aug 2013, Riga, Latvia to Szczecin, Poland - Tall Ships race 2, 9 nights, £720pp plus travel. 1 place available. Age 15-25.
5-12 Aug 2013, Szczecin, Poland (Tall Ships festival) to Cuxhaven, Germany, 7 nights, £550 pp plus travel, age 15-25. 7 berths left.
13-19 Aug 2013, Cuxhaven, Germany to Ipswich - complete a North Sea crossing! 6 nights, £465pp plus travel - 8 places available. Age 12-25.
2-6 Sept 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £340pp - places possibly available tbc - please ask. Age 12-25.
6-8 Sept 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £190pp. Age 18+, adult voyage, suitable for training / selection for new volunteers.
23-27 Sept 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £335pp - 4 places available tbc. Age 12-25.
8-13 Oct 2013, Gosport to Southampton, 5 nights, £415pp - 12 places available. Age 12-25.
14-18 Oct 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £335pp - 6 places available. Age 12-25.
18-20 Oct 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £190pp - 12 places available. Age 12-25.
21-24 Oct 2013, Southampton, 3 nights, £265pp - 12 places available. Age 12-25.
25-29 Oct 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £340pp - 6 places available tbc. Age 12-25.

If you are interested in one of the overseas voyages, see here for more details.

Updated voyage availability can also be found here.

Email me to reserve your berth!

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Adult voyage vacancies - including new volunteer training / selection
Adult voyages this year will be:

22-24 March 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £190 - provisionally full but we will take names for a reserve list in case anyone drops out.
21-26 April 2013, Southampton, 5 nights, £400 - 2 or 3 places left
6-8 Sept 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £190

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.

But the voyages are also open to other adults who just want to come for a sail or to see what we do.

As described above, any of the following voyages could be used as an adult voyage if we get sufficient interest - either for prospective volunteers or just an enjoyable sailing experience and a way to support the charity!

26-28 April 2013 (weekend), Southampton, 2 nights, £190pp - 12 places available (full-boat booking).
3-6 May 2013, Southampton, 3 nights, £199pp - 12 places available (full-boat booking
21-28 June 2013, London to Cuxhaven, Germany - complete a North Sea crossing! 7 nights, £550pp - 12 places available.
29 June - 6 July 2013, Cuxhaven, Germany to Aarhus, Denmark - through the Kiel Canal and take part in the first Tall Ships festival of the series! 7 nights, £550pp - 12 places available.

Bursary funding may be available for people who wish to sail on one of these four voyages but cannot afford the full price.

Email me to book, or for more information.

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Raise And Sail - new website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
OYT South has recently launched Raise And Sail, a new website full of ideas, information and support for young people who would like to raise money in order to come sailing with us. Huge thanks to Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows for putting Raise And Sail together. We hope you will find it useful - let us know how you get on as we can add success stories and new ideas to the site in due course.

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New leaflet to publicise OYT South
Following a networking event attended by one of our Trustees, John Millican, we were asked to put together a general leaflet on OYT South to send to participants. We felt it might be useful to others too so there is now a copy available on this website - do please print it out, give it to people, stick it on noticeboards etc.

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Child Protection training - compulsory for all our volunteers

OYT South wants all our volunteers to sign up for Child Protection training. This really is VITAL - there are some donors who will not support us unless all our volunteers are trained, so it will become compulsory during 2013 for all sea staff to have done some formal Child Protection training. If you haven't yet done any, we recommend NSPCC Child Protection Awareness in Sport and Active Leisure which you can do very cheaply online and in your own time. It's not complicated or time-consuming - you should be able to complete it in a couple of hours and some people are getting through it much faster.

The online training page not only gives OYT South members access to child protection training at the bargain price of £10: that single one-off payment gives you access to a range of recommended courses. We would very much like all sea staff to do the food hygiene course; and there are several other courses you will find interesting and relevant. The system is very straightforward - each course is broken into a number of short modules and you just have to read each module and then answer some questions about it. 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. We can see at a glance who has signed up and who has completed a course.

If you have done alternative child protection training in the last three years, please email us with the name of the course, the awarding body, and the date of the training, and we'll add that to your records.

Please do get on and do your Child Protection training NOW - sea staff bookings for 2013 will give priority to people who have done some training so if you leave it too long you risk finding that other people have taken all the more interesting voyages!

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Submarine Museum boat fest 22 August - volunteers needed
OYT South has been invited to take part in a summer boat fest run by the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport on 22 August from 10am to 4pm. John Laing won’t quite be back from the Tall Ships series but we can have a stand and there will be all sorts of activities for families. We have some adult volunteers already but it would be great to have more and to include some young people as well - email the office if you can help.

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Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
For some time now OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course. Now for those of you who want something a little more advanced, one of our relief skippers, Simon Jinks, is offering online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. Simon is a great sailor and a top instructor so this is very highly recommended. He is very generously offering a 15% discount for OYT South members and volunteers, so do mention your role with us if you get in touch. Details here. He is also offering a one-day Weather for Sailors course. Please note that Simon's website also includes Essential Navigation and the PPI course, both of which OYT South can offer in-house.

Simon has also very kindly offered one course a year as a prize for a promising member of sea staff who genuinely can't afford to get their next qualification. If you are really keen to climb the sea staff ladder and hoping to do lots of sailing with us, email us or talk to the skipper on your next voyage to see if you can enter for this prize.

With our own courses and Simon's we now have navigation courses to suit everyone from total beginners right up to the most advanced level - please give it a go and do ask for advice if you are not sure which course is right for you.

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Children's hospices - voyage funding
Regular readers may remember that we started working with various children's hospices a decade ago, offering voyages for brothers and sisters of life limited children and of children who have died. These voyages are hugely important, allowing young people to have a break while making friends with others who are going through similar experiences. In recent years, we have had one major donor supporting the children's hospice voyages, but that fund is now exhausted and we are looking for new sponsors who can help us keep this project going in the long term. £3,000 supports 24 places each year; £125 (or £10 a month) supports one place. It is really important that we keep the project going, and anyone who hears the stories these young people have to tell couldn't help being moved - if you can help them in the coming years it would be a certain way to feel good about yourself. Email me if you can help.

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Legacy leaflets
OYT South has printed some leaflets describing how people can support our charitable work through legacies. If you might want to remember OYT South in your will, please ask the office for a copy. We would also like to ask solicitors, accountants etc. to take a few leaflets - if you could give some leaflets to offices in your local area, contact the OYT South office for copies.

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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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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