Ardingly and New Beacon voyages


OYT South bulletin 17th July 2015

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Voyage news
Lots to report as there wasn’t a newsletter last week!

On 4th July we crewed up in Poole with nine people from Ardingly College plus a teacher, Tim Sayers, who had done a mates’ training weekend with us at the start of the season, and three individual bookings. They left Poole very late that night to catch the tide, and went straight across to Sark - initially motoring in light winds but once they passed Alderney, a breeze came up and they were able to sail. They picked up a buoy in Sark and had dinner and games before bed. Next day they sailed to Guernsey and had shore leave, icecreams, showers and plenty of time for training towards their RYA certificates, including rowing practice, on a glorious sunny day. Next day they continued with their training before heading back across the Channel, sailing through the night, beating to windward and everyone making a brilliant contribution. They arrived in Fowey on Wednesday evening and had time ashore next morning. In the afternoon the sea staff were deposed and the young people chose their own skipper, mates and bosun and took charge of the vessel for the final passage to Plymouth - making a fantastic job of it. Light winds at the start meant they had to motor but later they were able to sail on a broad reach and put in a couple of gybes. The school very kindly took the whole team out for dinner on the last night! The voyage ended on Friday with ten RYA Competent Crew certificates and a lot of young people who should be encouraged to sail with us again in future. Ardingly College is a new client for us but we are already looking forward to seeing them on board again next year. Huge thanks to the sea staff Andy, Lee, Harri, Sam, Carrie, Jack Dignan who successfully completed his third mate’s assessment (with funding help from the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation), Clara Theil who was signed off as a relief bosun, and Ardingly teacher Tim who completed quite a lot of his own third mate’s assessment and should be completing the full qualification next time he sails with us!

That night after the crew had left, the sea staff were invited to a BBQ with local supporters and sea staff Andy and Sally Brown - big thanks for that!

Saturday 11th July was a maintenance day - many thanks to Andy, Harri, Carrie, Sam, Lee, Jack, Sue Carlyon and Brian Maddison, who completed lots of routine maintenance.

Last Sunday we were joined by another school group, this time from New Beacon in Kent. After initial briefings, they went down to Cawsands for dinner but then set off for night passage across the Channel, arriving in Roscoff early on Monday evening. The school took the whole team ashore for dinner, which was quite an experience as it was the night before Bastille Day - there was a great atmosphere on shore with fireworks and plenty going on! Tuesday morning saw some training for RYA certificates before they headed back to the UK - the forecast gave them a chance of a good sail but it would have been a motor in light winds if they had left it till later in the week. They had a cracking sail back, averaging 8.5 knots and absolutely flying for much of the time, arriving in Mevagissey at 3am and morring alongside another sail training vessel, our friends in Pegasus, with Dave Carnson, one of our own former skippers, in charge! After some sleep, the team woke to let Pegasus out before coming back alongside and spending a day doing RYA training, rowing and shore leave with icecream and Cornish pasties. That evening they motored round to Fowey in light winds and ended up alongside Pegasus again. By Thursday the sun had gone but the young people were ready to take charge of the vessel and took her all the way to Plymouth where the voyage ended today with ten RYA Competent Crew certificates (others had them already), and Mark O’Prey, the teacher who organised the group, had some sections of his third mate assessment signed off. Another great voyage and another new client already planning to come again next year! Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Clare, Tigger, Lucinda and Harri.

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* Sea staff bookings 2015 - vacancies
Email NOW if you are interested in any of these:

8 Sept, Southampton - one more watchleader possibly needed for client day sail
9-12 Sept, Southampton - one more qualified watchleader, ideally a 2M or experienced 3M
13 Sept, Southampton - one more experienced watchleader for day sail with donors, clients etc.
14-18 Sept, Southampton - 1M and 2M (NB the second mate originally booked for this voyage would like to swap to a different date if possible, owing to his daughter visiting from the Far East this week! - Is there a 2M booked for a different voyage who would like to do a swap?)
5-10 Oct, Southampton - 2M
19-23 Oct, Southampton - 1M and 2M

If you are interested in any of these dates please email me now.

Don't forget that any qualified or new trainee mates are also eligible to sail as bosun, and this can be a great way of getting to know the boat and how things work. New volunteers please note that your DBS and Child Protection training must be completed before you can sail in any capacity.

Please send bids or questions to

If you are aged 25 or under, please also look at the berths available for young people - there are plenty more spaces available and young volunteers can be treated as an extra member of staff and get training and experience by sailing in a crew berth. Funding help is often available for young people who have been recommended as volunteers and would benefit from the experience so a crew berth may not cost you anything.

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* Berths available for young people
Please spread the word and help us find people who might like to come sailing this year! Bursary funding MAY be available on application for people who can't afford the full voyage fee.

13-20 August - Poole to London - 7 nights - 1 berth possibly available tbc - age 12-25 - £575pp. Sail up the Thames and moor near Tower Bridge! Passports required.
4-6 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - 1 berth available - age 12-18 - £195pp.
9-12 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 3 nights - at least 6 berths available - £265pp. The bookings already taken for this voyage are for individuals aged 16-20 so we are looking for others who will fit in with them.
18-20 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights – 1 or 2 berths possibly available tbc - age 18+ (adult voyage) - £195pp.
5-10 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 5 nights - 11 berths possibly available tbc - age 12-25 - £435pp
19-23 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
28 Oct - 1 Nov -Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - up to 4 berths available - age 12-25 - £350pp - half-term voyage.

For the full updated voyage programme, see here or here.

Email with bookings or enquiries.

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John Laing in London (August)
John Laing is going to be in London and available for visits on

Friday 21st August 1000-1900
Saturday 22nd August 1400-1700

Friends, volunteers and supporters are all welcome to come and see us; but please also let us know of anyone else based in or around London who might like to come and find out what we do - especially potential donors, or anyone (such as teachers, youth workers etc) who might like to organise a group booking in future.

John Laing will be moored by HMS President but it is important to note that there are two HMS Presidents on the Thames: one is a ship on the Embankment (we won’t be there) and the other is a shore establishment which is where we will be: just downstream of Tower Bridge, overlooking the entrance to St Katharine Docks.

Visits will need to be arranged in advance - not least to ensure we don’t have everyone turning up at once - but please email to arrange a visit, or to suggest other people whom we ought to invite.

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* Core refit team for next winter

Are you planning a gap year, or not working over the autumn and winter for any other reason? Would you like to join our core refit team between November and March (ideally the full four and half months, but otherwise for at least a month during that time)? There is also the possibility of some special project work available in September and October for core refit volunteers able to start sooner. Food and accommodation provided as well as valuable experience in boat maintenance which in previous years has helped many people move into paid sailing work. If you think you might be interested, details and an “expression of interest” form to complete are available here. At this stage, we’re really thinking about the full-time team - if you want to come for a few days or the odd weekend then we’d love to see you but we will sort this out nearer the time, after we have the core team in place.

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* Adult voyages for training and selecting potential new volunteers

There is one more adult voyage in 2015 (18+ with no upper limit):

18-20 Sept 2015 - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp.

We have had a number of provisional bookings for this weekend and we are just trying to firm them up, but do let us know if you would like to go on the reserve list in case places are available.

Doing an adult voyage is the route into sailing as a volunteer if you are aged over 25. If you are aged 18-25 then you can choose whether to aim for your volunteer’s recommendation on an adult voyage or on any standard youth voyage - just book a voyage from the list but make sure you tell your watchleader when you join the boat that you are hoping to earn a sea staff recommendation - they may be able to give you some extra responsibilities and training during the voyage. This may be a better option than an adult voyage for many potential volunteers in the 18-25 range as we get to see how you work with other young people from the outset.

Adults who are not looking to join our sailing volunteers are welcome to join any over-18 voyage, just to enjoy the sailing. And current qualified volunteers are welcome to come for extra training and practice!

Please email to book.

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* Financial appeal

Big thanks this week to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Simon Mathieson, Fran Burge, Anne Jagger and Jonny Holman for 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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Tigger’s haircut - please give generously!
TiggerMany of you will know one of our volunteers Dave “Tigger” Heffer - and may have noticed that in recent years his hair has been growing is rumoured there may even be a nest of bluebirds living somewhere at the back...Anyway, the time has come and Tigger is going to have a haircut, to raise money for OYT South. Depending on how much money is donated, he could have a number two cut, a number one, or a complete shave. Full details here. The big day will be 13th August in Poole when John Laing is alongside...

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John Laing maintenance days - please help
We haven't always had as much help as we needed at recent maintenance days - PLEASE put these dates in your diary and come and help on any of them if you possibly can! Maintenance days generally run from 9am to 5pm and it is usually possible to offer accommodation on board for the night before or after.

John Laing's planned maintenance days for 2015 are as follows:
Monday 7 Sept - Southampton (Ocean Village)
Sunday 11 October - Southampton (Ocean Village).

Call the boat phone 07990 518915 a few days beforehand so the skipper can plan jobs and buy food for everyone who is coming. All over-18s welcome - skilled and unskilled, there are jobs for everyone. If you are aged 16 or 17, then check with the skipper - we'll generally have you at maintenance days if we can but it slightly depends on who is there and what needs doing.

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Powerboat Level 2 course
Does anyone want a Powerboat Level 2 qualification (needed to drive John Laing’s dinghy with an outboard engine)? One of our volunteers who is a Powerboat instructor has offered to put together a course just for us but it needs three participants available for a 2-day course. Let me know if you might be interested and I will put you in contact with each other in the hope that you can sort out suitable dates between you.

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OYT South branded clothing

T-shirts, hoodies and more are always available here - do have a look!

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Child Protection and Food Hygiene ttraining

All sailing volunteers must have done some Child Protection training (updated every three years) 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. This includes Food Hygiene: we are moving towards making this a compulsory qualification for all sea staff so we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that people get on and do it NOW! 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.

The system for these online courses 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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Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
Raise And Sail is a section of this 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
OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - do have a look and sign up if you want the qualification.

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. 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.

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 - sometimes 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. And there is a video here, made by a crew from the Prince's Trust, to give you an idea of what a voyage might be like!

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