At sea!

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 3rd May 2013


In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  


* Voyage news
Three voyages to report on because I was at sea last week!

This period started with a maintenance day on 20th April - big thanks to Ben, Andy, Dave, Neil, Brigid, Carrie, and Dean, who repaired a scratch on the hull, did some repainting on deck, replaced the manual bilge pump, did the chart corrections, worked on the systems manual, did the shopping and much more!

Next we had an adult training voyage for prospective volunteers. We headed across the Channel on the first night and enjoyed time ashore in Cherbourg and dinner in a restaurant where we made enormous inroads into the local mussel population. Next day all our thoughts of the Channel Islands were interrupted by a forecast full of fog, so we set off back across the Channel - a good sail ending with a beautiful evening in the Solent and a night in Cowes. After that it was day sailing with all sorts of training exercises - sail hoists and drops, tacking, gybing, sailing off berths, tours of the boat and equipment, pilotage and passage planning and a good session where the crew were divided into pairs to plan and teach sections of the Competent Crew syllabus. On the final day two teams of people did pilotage first from Cowes to Hamble where we dropped off the boom for repairs, and then pilotage out of the Hamble and back to Ocean Village. Big thanks to sea staff Mark, Andy, Ben, Dave and Caz. Eight of the crew were recommended to come back as sea staff, including all the members of the winter’s full-time refit team, some of whom had already done some sailing with us on youth voyages. All those who were told at the end of the voyage that they should come back as sea staff should look at the section below on remaining vacancies for the season and let me know about any 3M, trainee mate or bosun vacancies they would be interested in. This list does change from time to time as people occasionally drop out, so it is worth checking back from time to time. We don’t have a huge number of vacancies at this stage of the season because our other volunteers have already chosen their dates, but if any of the new people don’t get back on board this season then we hope they will contact us next winter when they will be eligible for a wide choice of voyages in the following season.

Next came another staff training weekend but this time for current sea staff and at a more advanced level - they picked up the repaired boom and then had two days of man overboard recovery drills under power and sail; sailing off berths; anchoring under sail; using the anchor to turn the boat in a confined space; and much more.

This week’s voyage - funded by our Comic Relief grant - was with PASS, a pupil referral unit in Southampton, working with young people with a broad range of often complex issues. The group included 8 students and 3 staff. They sailed south around the Isle of Wight on Tuesday, ending up in Poole, and then made their way back via Yarmouth, Cowes and the Hamble. It was a challenging group but they all completed the week and earned their RYA Start Yachting certificates. And they enjoyed some really good weather – the skipper wore shorts two days in a row! Many thanks to the sea staff who worked incredibly hard with this group: Dougie, Andy, Colin, Dave “Tigger” Heffer, Lucinda and Dean.

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* Volunteer berths in 2013
The full list of current vacancies is below. 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:

29 May-2 June - 3M
13-19 Aug, Cuxhaven to Ipswich - 2M
21-27 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton - experienced 3M
2-6 Sept - 1M and 3M
15-20 Sept - 2M or experienced 3M
23-27 Sept - experienced bosun
28 Sept-1 Oct - bosun
2-6 Oct - female experienced 3M or 2M
8-13 Oct - experienced bosun and poss 3M (one must be female)
14-18 Oct - poss 1M; poss 3M, and experienced bosun (one must be female)
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 if you can potentially fill any of these gaps, please email me now!

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Student discounts on summer voyages
Are you a student aged 18+? Would you like to sail on one of these four voyages but just can't afford it?:

21-28 June 2013, London to Cuxhaven, Germany - complete a North Sea crossing! 7 nights, £550pp - 8 places available. Age 18+.
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 - 8 places available. Age 18+.
5-12 Aug 2013, Szczecin, Poland to Cuxhaven, Germany - see the final Tall Ships festival of the year before cruising through the Baltic and the Kiel Canal. 7 nights, £550 per person, age 15-25. 7 berths left.
13-19 Aug 2013, Cuxhaven, Germany to Ipswich - complete a North Sea crossing! 6 nights, £465pp - 4 places available. Age 12-25.

We definitely have bursary funding available to help people join either of the first two voyages, and we MAY have funding for a few people on the second two voyages. What you need to do is email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and tell us which voyage(s) you are interested in, the MAXIMUM you could afford to pay for a voyage after covering your own travel costs (even if that is well short of the official advertised price), and also if there are any special circumstances for you or family which explain why that is all you can afford. Then we will decide how many places we can offer. Another option is that we want one "local champion" in any university or college, who will spread the word among other students - emailing people, putting up flyers, spreading the word via facebook etc. - and we will give £50 credit towards their own voyage to the local champion for every extra booking we get from your college or university from someone who tells us they heard about it from you - so the more you help us with publicity, the cheaper your own voyage could be. Again, email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you want to get involved.

We might also be prepared to discuss some bursaries or "local champion" places on other voyages this year (see below for availability) - it is always worth asking! And don’t forget our website full of fundraising ideas for your voyage..

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* 2013 sailing programme - berths 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.

The full list of vacancies for the season is:

29 May - 2 June 2013, Gosport to Southampton, 4 nights, £340pp - 2 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 - 8 places available. Age 18+.
29 June - 6 July 2013, Cuxhaven, Germany to Aarhus, Denmark (Tall Ships festival), 7 nights, £550pp plus travel - 8 places available. Age 18+.
6 -19 July 2013, Aarhus, Denmark to Helsinki, Finland - Tall Ships Race 1, 13 nights, £995pp plus travel - 2 places available. Age 15-25.
19-27 July 2013, Helsinki, Finland to Riga, Latvia - Tall Ships cruise in company, 8 nights, £625pp plus travel - 1 place 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 - 4 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 tbc - please ask. Age 12-25.
21-24 Oct 2013, Southampton, 3 nights, £265pp - 12 places available tbc - please ask. 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!

Anyone who would like to sail on any of the voyages above but cannot afford it should contact us to discuss bursary funding: please tell us the MAXIMUM you can afford to pay (after covering travel costs to and from the boat), and any special circumstances affecting you or your family which might help to explain why you can't afford the full price. In some cases we may be able to help with bursary funding; in other cases we might advise you on how to raise money for yourself; or we may be able to come to some arrangement where you help us (perhaps with boat maintenance, or publicising available voyages in your school, college, club etc.), in exchange for a discount off your own voyage fee.

Don’t forget our website full of fundraising ideas for your voyage.

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* Recycle print cartridges and mobile phones for OYT South!
OYT South has signed up to a recycling scheme that means money is donated to us for any printer cartridges (excepting Epson in general) or mobile phones which are recycled.

You can bring small numbers of cartridges to the boat or the office; but if you know of a company that may be willing to recycle for OYT South then please get in touch! It's really very low effort on your / the company's behalf: Essentially, all we need is an address and an approximate amount of recycling per month and a recycling box will be delivered directly to the company. Once the recycling bin is full, call the number on the box and it's collected for you. More details here.

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* Adult voyage vacancies - including new volunteer training / selection
The remaining adult training voyage this year is:

6-8 Sept 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £190

For those who decide they are interested in joining our volunteer team, adult training weeks or weekends 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.

Either of the following voyages is also open to adults - either for prospective volunteers or just an enjoyable sailing experience and a way to support the charity! Anyone over 25 (our normal upper limit) will require a CRB/DBS check before sailing on these voyages:

21-28 June 2013, London to Cuxhaven, Germany - complete a North Sea crossing! 7 nights, £550pp
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

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

Email me to book, or for more information.

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Voyage handbook (baboon file)
There is a new edition of the Voyage Handbook (baboon file) with details of all aspects of how our voyages are run, available for sea staff on the website. Any sea staff or trainee sea staff who don’t have a password for this section of the website, please email me.

There is also a manual for our new Raymarine radar / chart plotter for sea staff who want to look at it before you sail.

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Two requests - a handheld GPS and an A3 printer!
Would anyone kindly be able to donate either of these items?

We need a handheld GPS unit for the emergency grab bag, A very simple one would do - it just needs to show latitude and longitude.

And the office A3 printer has has died and we really need a new one that cn also copy!

Contact benwhinnett@oytsouth.org if you can help with either of these things.

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Raise And Sail - 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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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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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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* John Laing maintenance days
Maintenance days for this year are as follows:

Sun 12th May - Ocean Village, Southampton
Mon 10th and Tues 11th June - Royal Clarence, Gosport (preparation for Tall Ships voyages)
Tues 20th August - Ipswich
Mon 7th October - Royal Clarence, Gosport

Please come and help! Lots of jobs available, both skilled and unskilled - just call the boat (07990 518915) a few days beforehand to book yourself in, so the skipper can plan jobs and make sure there is food for everyone who is coming.

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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
Huge thanks this week to the Man Charitable Trust for a very generous donation to support voyages for young people who are not in education, employment or training, or are at risk of becoming NEET. Big thanks also to Stephen Bond and to Mike Bowles for very generous donations.

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

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