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Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 31st October 2014

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  


* Voyage news
Two half-term voyages to report on!

Last Friday we were joined by a group from Community Links, an east London charity which sails with us every year. They arrived late that night but in great spirits, and covered some safety briefs before getting to bed. More briefings on Saturday morning and then they caught the tide for some exciting upwind sailing to Poole. Next morning the clock change gave them an extra hour in bed, which was followed by the chance to check out some of the shops in Poole. They left on the ebb to catch the tide around Anvil Point for Portland, stopping on the way to practise man overboard recovery techniques, with third mate Lucinda donning the dry suit for her first time. They arrived in Portland in time for showers, dinner and then games on board.

Everyone was up for the dawn on Monday, and enjoyed a lovely downwind sail in the sunshine back into the Solent. They had a few hours in Yarmouth where half the crew went ashore to enjoy the delights of the town, whilst the rest rowed the dinghy around the harbour. Then everybody got together to plan the navigation back to Ocean Village. After a delicious chicken curry made by the skipper, they set off just after sunset under brilliant starlit sky, and the crew saw them safely back to John Laing’s home berth, with three of them earning RYA Competent Crew certificates, and Start Yachting certificates for everyone else. Big thanks to sea staff Nic, Andrew, Steve, Lucinda, Harri and extra special congratulations to Richard Haig who successfully completed the first stage of his skipper assessment!

The last crew of the season joined on Wednesday: some chosen by our Isle of Wight support group and the rest from Queen Mary Sailing Club. There was a group chat about the chart and possible destinations - and an impassioned plea from some crew members to go to France. So after a night in the Hamble, an early start on Tuesday saw them setting off towards Dieppe. Initially there wasn’t much wind so they motor-sailed and did some drills, but by lunchtime there was enough wind for a really enjoyable sail. After dinner, the skipper started seeing an interesting group of vessels on the AIS (which allows us to identify other vessels on screen). By midnight John Laing was sailing past a group of NATO warships, all displaying minesweeping signs! They were alongside in Dieppe by 2am, and woke this morning to croissants for breakfast! Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Richard, Di, Holly, Lucinda and Jack.

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Refit news
See here for information about John Laing’s winter refit and how you can get involved. The 2014-15 refit runs from Monday 3rd November 2014 through to Friday 20th March 2015.

We have some volunteer weekends arranged so that people who are busy on weekdays can get involved:

8/9 November (see below for further information on this weekend)
13/14 December
17/18 January
7/8 March.
(NB There is no volunteer refit weekend in February because there will be a shorebased training weekend instead).

On other weekends the refit is normally closed so that our staff can have time with family and friends! But we can also use volunteers during the working week, Monday-Friday, through most of the winter (Christmas break to be confirmed). Most people come and help for a day or two, but it is possible to come for longer and we can usually offer accommodation.

We need as many volunteers as possible, skilled or unskilled - email refit@oytsouth.org to get yourself booked in!

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OYT South 2014 AGM and supper, Saturday 8th November - PAY NOW for curry afterwards!
The formal mailing for the AGM has gone out to members by email. If you think you should be a member and you haven't had your copy, let us know now!

There will be a refit volunteers' weekend 8th and 9th November in Ocean Village and we'd love to see as many people as possible helping on the boat. Then from 6pm on the Saturday we have a room booked for the AGM at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club (that's the one in Ocean Village, NOT the Royal Southern Yacht Club in the Hamble where we have held AGMs over the last few years). All welcome - whether or not you can help at the refit! Non-members and guests are welcome to attend the AGM but only members can vote.

All are welcome to join us for curry in Kuti's, Oxford Street, Southampton - as we'll be a big group we have arranged to have their excellent hot buffet for £15.99 a head. Please pay in advance using the PayPal form here. Final deadline for bookings is 6pm on Thursday 6th November.

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* Shorebased training weekend 21-22 Feb 2015 - replies needed urgently!
We urgently need a rough idea of the level of interest in various courses which we could offer on 21-22 February 2015, in the Sea Cadet Unit in Gosport, so that we know which instructors to confirm and which courses to put on each date to minimise clashes. As things stand, only the first aid course and the GMDSS radio exam look as though there will definitely be enough people for us to go ahead (though neither is full), so if you want to do Radar, Diesel Engines, Chart Corrections or possibly a Disability Awareness course, please let us know NOW. You don't need to commit until after we have confirmed the price, but we don't have up-to-date prices until we have a rough idea of the demand. Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and let us know what you would like.

There will also be the usual social evening and meal, and cheap basic accommodation on the Saturday. Details to follow for those of you who have never been to one of those weekends - for now, just put the date in your diary!

We won't be offering RYA Sea Survival over that weekend but we do recommend this course for all OYT South sea staff. KTY Yachts runs the course regularly and will offer good rates to our volunteers - you can book direct with them: http://www.ktyyachts.com/.

If you're not sure what course(s) would be best for you, here's the list of recommended / compulsory courses for volunteers:

Bosun: Recommended - diesel engine, first aid, sea survival.
Third mate: Recommended - first aid, GMDSS, sea survival.
Second mate: Compulsory - first aid, GMDSS. Recommended - sea survival, diesel engine, radar.
First mate: Compulsory - first aid, GMDSS. Recommended - sea survival, diesel engine, radar, (though in practice it would be rare for first mates not to have the recommended qualifications as well as the compulsory ones).

Don’t forget that a Child Protection course (updated every three years) is compulsory for all sea staff and can be done quickly and cheaply online (though we can accept alternative recognised child protection training if you send us the details). The online course page also offers other courses including Food Hygiene which is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for all sea staff.

We also recommend Powerboat Level 2 for everyone, which we won't be running at the February weekend - however, let me know if you would like to do it and if we can get a group together we will look for some possible dates.

Remember that first aid certificates need to be updated every three years - do check when yours expires!

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2015 sailing programme now available!
The 2015 programme is now available. There's still time to try and change it if your group needs something which is not currently on offer.

Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org to ask about bookings or with any comments on the programme.

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RYA practical qualifications for OYT South volunteers

Our Chief Executive Mark Todd (who is also an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, and a Yachtmaster Examiner) will be running some small-boat courses over the winter: After previous bulletins, the December Day Skipper course was oversubscribed and Mark is trying to sort things out with those applicants. There may still be space in January. The Coastal/Offshore course in February is now provisionally full.

RYA Day Skipper - 18-23 January
Learn to sail and skipper small yachts in familiar waters by day. Pre-course knowledge required for Day Skipper: basic knowledge of navigation to the level of the Day Skipper Theory Course and basic sailing ability including at least 5 days' sailing, 100 miles and 4 night hours. Courses generally run from 1830 on the start date and finish c.1700 on the end date. Special price for OYT South volunteers: 18-23 Jan £340 per person.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org to apply.

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Voyage funding available for members of the Reserve Forces and Cadets
OYT South has been approved as a provider by the Connaught Trust, which can help with voyage funding for members of the Reserve Forces and Cadets in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and adjoining counties. If you are eligible and would like to sail with us, please contact us for details.

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Financial appeal
Volunteer watchleader David Price has been doing really well raising money for us by tackling the Great South Run  - please sponsor him!

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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Chris Ellis Award - win £££s off sailing

If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again next year (and are aged 12-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £200 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video - anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to webmaster1@oytsouth.org or posted to the office to arrive by Christmas. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity's founder.

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Child Protection training

All sailing volunteers must have done some Child Protection training before booking any voyage.

If you have done a course 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.

If you still need training, we recommend Child Protection 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.

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Food hygiene course
Owing to new regulations, it is now important that every voyage should have one or more people on board who has done a food hygiene course. Any sea staff who haven’t done this: please note that we offer a cheap and straightforward online food hygiene course via the same provider as the Child Protection training - in fact, if you paid for the child protection training in the current licence period, all the other courses on the list, including food hygiene, are already paid for! If not, then it’s still only £10 – so please can we encourage all sea staff to get on and do it. If you already have a food hygiene certificate that we don’t know about, please email a copy to the office and we will add it to your records.

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OYT South clothing range
OYT South clothing - hoodies, t-shirts, polo shirts, fleeces, caps, ties and more - is all available through this webpage. A donation will be made to OYT South for every item they sell.

The Slam jackets (which you may have seen sea staff wearing) are also available but they are cheaper in bulk, so they aren't on the webpage just now - if you wanted to order one, email webmaster1@oytsouth.org. If we only order one or two, they will cost £110 plus postage, but this will be cheaper if we can order five or more at the same time.

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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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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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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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