Cold Easter sailing!


OYT South bulletin 5th April 2013

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Voyage news
Lots to report as there was no bulletin last week!

22-24 March was the first mates’ training weekend of the year, with a selection of current and prospective volunteers including a remarkable number of people who sailed with the OYT or OYC in years gone by and were keen to come back to us. It was a freezing cold couple of days but we managed to do enough sailing and training sessions to show us that we had a great group of people on board who will all be welcome to apply for any suitable volunteer berths listed in this bulletin - mainly trainee mate, third mate and bosun slots to start with but hopefully we’ll also have people who can quickly move to a more senior level - not least because the group included a returning ex-OYC skipper! We also had a good evening in the pub in Warsash and can heartily recommend their sharing platter of puddings (though Patrick wasn’t convinced they were really for sharing...). Many thanks to sea staff Mark, Andy, Ben, Patrick, Carrie and Caz.

The next voyage was for a group from London organised by Lucinda Neall. They did a night sail to the Hamble with the staysail and mizzen and an air temperature of around 0-1 degrees C. Next day they had shore leave and went into Hamble village before leaving the Hamble and doing some great tacking practice in Southampton Water. Then a night in Cowes and some shore leave next morning before sailing off the pontoon and making their way into the Solent. Lunch was a drifter in the western Solent with people enjoying the un-forecast good weather. After a fire drill they set sail for Gosport as the breeze filled in. What a great sail! They were piloted into Portsmouth by crew members Heaven and Bercyi, helped by third mate Patrick. Next day they left and sailed out to the Nab tower and back into the Solent. Then we had a man overboard recovery drill and crew member Abs, as trainee bosun, recovered the fender “casualty”. All crew members earned RYA Start Yachting certificates. Huge thanks to the sea staff who worked unbelievably hard in Arctic conditions all week: Mark, Andy V, Andy R, Rooby, Patrick and Lucinda.

The Easter weekend voyage was for a range of young people from Hampshire and West Sussex funded by Hampshire County Council, Comic Relief, Itchenor Sailing Club and the Peter Dixon Trust. All of them were recommended by teachers, social workers and youth workers as individuals with limited opportunities who would really benefit from the experience. It was a challenging trip, predominately from a weather point of view, as they endured biting north easterly winds for the whole week. The secret to success was working around the cold temperatures to provide the young people with an enjoyable balance of sailing and other on board activities inside the boat with the heating on full-blast! On the first day they set sail into the western Solent and did sailing practice and a man overboard recovery practice drill. They ended the day going into Cowes for the first night. On Easter Sunday, after practising knots and doing a meteorology masterclass, they enjoyed an easter egg hunt which made sure all the crew had some morale-boosting chocolate before setting sail! The day involved more sail training ending with great gybes down the western Solent and entering Yarmouth that evening. The next day they woke to big winds. The crew wrapped up warm and set off tacking up the Solent in winds of gale force 8 and gusts consistently over 42 knots - challenging conditions for experienced adult sailors, yet this group coped exceptionally well! Once in Southampton water they enjoyed some great beam reaching in the sunny afternoon. All 12 young people successfully completed the Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting qualification and they should all be proud of themselves for doing so well in such cold conditions. Huge thanks to sea staff Ed Green, Andy, Dave, Patrick (special thanks for stepping in at short notice when another watchleader was unwell), Victoria Botting (making great progress in learning to be a watchleader) and special congratulations to Martyn Powe for completing his third mate’s assessment,

This week is another mixed group - some from the school where third mate Rob Butler teaches, some individual bookings, and a few funded by generous donors. Yet again it is very cold - it has been snowing! - but there are beginning to be signs of improvement in the forecast so maybe the ice age will end some day...They spent much of yesterday reaching up and down Southampton Water before going into Haslar last night. They did a lot of training towards their RYA qualifications this morning and then went for shore leave in Portsmouth. The plan is to sail across to Cowes later on. Many thanks to sea staff Ed, Clare, Tom, Rob, Dave and Mieles.

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* Volunteer berths in 2013 - one more mate needed NEXT WEEK!

We could really use one more mate or trainee mate next week, for the voyage 9-14 April (ideally joining 8th April) - please email me urgently if you can help!

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:

9-14 April - one more mate (2M, 3M or trainee mate)
26-28 April - 3M
3-6 May - 2M
24-28 May - bosun
29 May-2 June - 1M, and possibly 3M
6-19 July, Arhus to Helsinki, Tall Ships Race 1 - 2M or experienced 3M tbc
21-27 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton - 1M and experienced 3M
2-6 Sept - 1M and 3M
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 and poss 3M
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 two voyages but just can’t afford it?:

21-28 June 2013, London to Cuxhaven, Germany - complete a North Sea crossing! 7 nights, £550pp - 10 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 - 11 places available. Age 18+.

We have bursary funding available to help people join either of these two voyages. What you need to do is email and tell us 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 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 if you want to get involved.

Please pass this on to any students you know!

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!

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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.

The full list of vacancies for the season is:

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 - 8 places available. Age 12-25.
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 - 10 places available. Age 18+.
29 June - 6 July 2013, Cuxhaven, Germany to Aarhus, Denmark (Tall Ships festival), 7 nights, £550pp plus travel - 11 places available. Age 18+.
6 -19 July 2013, Aarhus, Denmark to Helsinki, Finland - Tall Ships Race 1, 13 nights, £995pp plus travel - 3 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. 8 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!

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.

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* Yachtmaster course and exam 12-19 April

One of our volunteers had booked a Yachtmaster course an exam 12-19 April but has had to drop out for work reasons - he paid £600 for it and says there might be a deal to be done if anyone wants to take his place - email me now if you might be interested.

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Adult voyage vacancies - including new volunteer training / selection

Remaining adult voyages this year are:

21-26 April 2013, Southampton, 5 nights, £400 - 2 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.

Any of the following voyages could also 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
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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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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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 Joan Braithwaite Sailing Trust for a very generous donation, and to a number of individual private donors.

Also this week, Diana Coman and the Channel Sailing Club have chosen OYT South as their Commodore’s Charity for the year - we look forward to getting involved with them, and we are very grateful for their support!

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