Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* Maintenance day THIS Sunday!
Please come and help with John Laing’s maintenance this Sunday!
John Laing’s planned maintenance days for 2015 are as follows
Sunday 26 April - Southampton
Sunday 17 May - Southampton
Friday 12 June - Gosport
Saturday 11 July - Plymouth
Monday 7 Sept - Southampton
Sunday 11 October - Southampton.
Please put the dates in your diary and come and help us! 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.
* Voyage news
A fortnight ago the bulletin left John Laing heading for Poole with a crew from the Prince’s Trust on board. Catching the favourable tide meant entering Poole Harbour in the dark, a new experience for the crew. They left again first thing on Saturday morning and made their way back to the Solent, with lots of gybing and other manoeuvres, before anchoring off Calshot. Then they headed back to Cowes for the night and had showers. On Sunday morning they cleaned the boat on passage up to Southampton where the voyage ended at 12 noon, with RYA Start Yachting certificates for all six crew members plus the group leader. Big thanks again to sea staff Dougie, Brigid, Harri, Sam and Mollie and especially to Tom who completed virtually all of his first mate’s assessment - a fantastic achievement on a short voyage and he will be back on board as first mate soon!
The new crew on Monday included our annual MDL award winners - young people chosen by our major sponsors, Marina Developments Limited. They select individuals nominated by schools and other organisations and the winners are generally people who have experienced real difficulties in their lives but are still doing their very best, making a positive contribution and helping others. This group were joined on board by pupils from another regular client, Applemore College near Southampton.
They left Ocean Village on Monday evening after all the briefings in order to make their way to Cowes. As they passed Calshot, the fog closed in and some of the young people did extremely well on lookout as we carefully made our way across the Solent. Tuesday saw a relatively short passage to Yarmouth but with lots of exercises on the way, including a first man overboard recovery drill for two new bosuns. It turns out to be important that the last inch or two of the drysuit zip is done up properly...Next morning, Marion Heming from the Isle of Wight Support Group came to visit, bringing her dog, and the team went for a walk ashore in sunny weather. That was followed by a short trip across the Solent to Lymington where there was icecream, and then a good sail east to Chichester. We anchored off East Head for the night and the crew all kept anchor watches. Up to this point, it had been light winds all week, but on Thursday the forecast was for a good breeze so we set off for Brighton and had a lively sail almost all the way, though the wind headed us for the last section and we motored for a while just to get a very tired crew in for a rest. Next morning they had showers and shore leave followed by a fast, sunny downwind sail back to the Solent - including hoisting the cruising chute. Another late night arrival in Gosport was followed by a good night’s sleep and then showers in the lightship, before an elaborate manoeuvre to get off a difficult berth. Then we had an easy sail to Cowes under headsail only and the crew went ashore for milkshake. Back on board for fajitas - for many the favourite meal of the week - and then everyone got ready to spot all the navigation lights on the way back to Southampton. The voyage ended on Sunday with RYA Start Yachting certificates for all those who didn’t already have them. A lovely crew which hopefully includes several who we will be back on board again in future. Many thanks to sea staff Andy, Terry, Katie, Caz, Dom Coleman who successfully passed his third mate’s assessment; Jo Coomber who did her first voyage as bosun, and Jake Clark who was sailing in a crew berth but doing his bosun training having excelled on his first voyage with us last year. Jake’s initial voyage with us was arranged by our Isle of Wight Support Group, working with a local charity called Challenge and Adventure, so it is great for everyone that Jake is making such good progress and will doubtless be back as bosun before long!
This week’s voyage involves more young people from three local schools who are regular clients: Applemore College, Forest Education Centre and the Vyne School, plus one individual booking. Extra thanks to the Vyne for working hard to fill places at short notice when another client dropped out! The crew joined on Monday and sailed to Cowes on the first night. On Tuesday they went to Poole doing man overboard exercises and other drills on the way, in light winds. On Wednesday they had a cracking sail to Weymouth in the sunshine, and yesterday they got back to Yarmouth, sailing upwind in a decent breeze. This morning they were planning to take Marion’s dog for another walk, before sailing round to Cowes again. Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Graeme, Di, Matt, Charlie and Zoe.
* Sea staff bookings 2015 - vacancies! (ONE URGENT)
Please can you help with any of the following?
27 April - 1 May - one more qualified or trainee watchleader
2 and 3 May - space for one or two more additional sea staff on day sails
4-8 May - second or third mate or bosun. NB this vacancy is important as we are training a new first mate on this voyage and one more competent member of staff will enable us to focus properly on 1M training – which will really benefit the charity in the long run!
11-16 May - one more watchleader, preferably qualified 3M but not essential
11, 13 and 14 June - one more experienced watchleader or bosun for day sails with donors, clients etc. Happy to take someone for the whole period (including 12 June maintenance day), or for one or two days at a time.
18-19 July - watchleaders needed for day sails out of Plymouth
26-31 July - experienced 2M for a voyage starting and finishing in Jersey
23-29 August - London to Southampton - one more watchleader or trainee mate needed for voyage with partially-sighted crew
8 Sept - one more watchleader and bosun for corporate day sail for a donor
9-12 Sept - one more qualified watchleader
13 Sept - one more experienced watchleader for day sail with donors, clients etc.
18-20 Sept - experienced watchleaders for mates' training weekend
21-25 Sept - 2M, bosun and trainee watchleader.
26-29 Sept - 2M and 3M or trainee mate
30 Sept - 4 Oct - one more qualified watchleader for ASTO Small Ships Race
5-10 Oct - 2M
12-16 Oct - 2M and additional 3M or trainee mate
16-18 Oct - 2M or 3M for weekend voyage
19-23 Oct - 2M and bosun
23-27 Oct – experienced bosun
28 Oct - 1 Nov - 2M
This list is changing a lot as people drop in and out, and others are doing assessments or first voyages early in the season which will dictate what they can do later on. There are also voyages where we don't yet know who the client might be and that will affect the levels of experience we might need among the staff. So we may not be able to confirm new bookings straight away, but if you are interested in any of these dates - especially the April and May ones! - 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 email@example.com.
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.
* Happy birthday Brian Eyres and Andy Viney!
Happy birthday this week to a skipper and a former skipper! Staff skipper Andy Viney had his birthday yesterday (and yes, there was cake on board); and Brian Eyres was 70 this week! Brian has been involved with John Laing since her very first voyage; he went on to skipper her sister ship James Cook on the Ocean Youth Club’s round the world voyage before becoming the charity’s Fleet Manager. After the Ocean Youth Club was divided into regional Ocean Youth Trust charities, Brian spent some time in Scotland but soon returned to the south, became a Trustee and has since done vast amounts of invaluable work both as Treasurer and in looking after our IT. He really has been a key figure in all our successes and we wish him many happy returns!
* Poole Harbour Boat Show 9-10 May
On 9th and 10th May, John Laing will be taking part in the Poole Harbour Boat Show. We will be open to the public on both days and we need a good team on board to help show people round – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. Otherwise, if you are in the area, do come and say hello! Our Dorset Support Group is doing a great job inviting people to come and visit; but if you know anyone who ought to be introduced to our work as a charity, do let us know about them, or bring them along - potential donors, clients, group organisers, crew members or volunteers!
* Adult voyage 6-10 June
Is there anyone aged 18+ (no upper limit) who would like to join our adult voyage 6-10 June 2015 - Southampton - 4 nights - £350pp? Ideal for sea staff who want to practise their skills without the pressure of supervising young people at the same time; or for potential new volunteers who want to come along and find out what it’s all about. Also great for small-boat sailors who want the experience of sailing a 55-tonne, 72-foot commercial vessel - or for anyone else who just wants some good sailing in good company. Please bring passports as we may be able to get to France. Email email@example.com if you are interested. And please spread the word among your friends, family and colleagues!
* 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.
4-8 May - Southampton to Poole - 4 nights – berths possibly available - please ask - age 12-25 - £350pp.
11-16 May - Poole to Southampton - 5 nights - 2 berths possibly available - £435pp. Others on this voyage are all aged 15+.
22-24 May - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - 10 berths available - age 12-25 - £195pp - half-term weekend!
1-5 June - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - up to 11 berths available tbc - age 12-25 - £350pp.
6-10 June, Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - adult voyage (age 18+, no upper limit) - £350pp.
20-26 June - Southampton - 6 nights - 7 berths available - £510pp. Special voyage - see below! Passports required.
4-10 July - Poole to Plymouth - 1 berth available - age 12-18 - £435pp. Others in this group are aged 14-17, all have passports and are very keen to cross the Channel if weather allows, so anyone joining this voyage MUST have a passport.
7-12 August - Poole- 5 nights - 1 or 2 berths possibly available tbc - please ask - age 12-25 - £440pp.
4-6 Sept -Southampton to Southampton- 2 nights - 12 berths possibly available - please ask - age 12-25 - £195pp.
21-25 Sept -Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available tbc - please ask - age 12-25 - £350pp.
12-16 Oct -Southampton to Southampton- 4 nights - 11 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
19-23 Oct -Southampton to Southampton- 4 nights - 12 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
28 Oct - 1 Nov -Southampton to Southampton- 4 nights - at least 4 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp - half-term voyage.
For the full updated voyage programme, see here or here.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with bookings or enquiries.
Special June adventure voyage for crew members aged 16-25 - revised age limit
This voyage was originally advertised for crew members aged 18-25, but following enquiries from one or two 16 and 17-year olds, it has been agreed to make it 16-25 instead. The key message is that everyone is hoping for an adventurous voyage with some really good sailing, so it would be perfect for anyone with an adventurous spirit. Perhaps not the ideal first voyage for a nervous novice....
20-26 June - Southampton - 6 nights - 7 berths available - £510pp.
This trip has been half-filled by Hull York Medical School's Wilderness Medicine Society, who say: “We're all hardy outdoorsy types and would like to cover a lot of miles which might mean some slightly tough sailing, and trying to get somewhere interesting (France/Channel Islands) if the conditions are right! All the crew so far are keen to get their competent crew certificates, and a 7-day voyage is a good chance to do this without having to squeeze it in. Being into wilderness and survival, we'd maybe like to do a little bit more man overboard recovery practice and some more sea-survival teaching! The voyage starts on Saturday 20th June in Southampton and ends on Friday 26th June in the same place. Cost £510. Who wants to join us?”
Email email@example.com for more information.
Adult voyages for training and selecting potential new volunteers
Adult voyages in 2015 (18+ with no upper limit) are:
6-10 June 2015 - Southampton - 4 nights - age 18+. £350pp.
18-20 Sept 2015 - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp.
If you are interested in doing a voyage with a view to seeing whether you might enjoy volunteering with us, we strongly recommend the longer voyage. With a group of potential new volunteers on board, there just isn't time in a weekend for everyone to have a go at leading exercises such as sail hoists; but the longer voyage gives you time both to learn and then lead every exercise which you would have to do if you come back as a watchleader. Also the longer voyage allows for plenty of great sailing: where you go depends on the weather and on what people want: France, the Channel islands, the west country?
This 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 of these voyages, just to enjoy the sailing.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Adult day sails
Each year OYT South runs a few adult day sails. These are designed so that current or potential sponsors and donors can see the boat in action and find out what we do; teachers and youthworkers who are sending young people can experience life on board, which helps them do better follow-up work after a young person has sailed; potential clients can get to know us; and volunteers and supporters who are not sea staff and therefore don’t often get to sail can have a day on board. Basically anyone who is a current or potential supporter of the charity in any way can talk to us about places on day sails. If you would like to come or can suggest someone else we should invite, please email email@example.com. Dates this year are:
Sat 2 May - Solent day sail (start and finish Southampton)
Sun 3 May - Solent day sail (start and finish Southampton)
Sun 14 June - Solent day sail (start and finish Gosport)
Sat 18 July - day sail (start and finish Plymouth)
Sun 19 July - day sail (start and finish Plymouth)
Sun 13 Sept - Solent day sail (start and finish Southampton)
* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Joan Braithwaite Sailing Trust for a grant towards places for disadvantaged young people who cannot otherwise afford to sail.
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.
Transatlantic crew needed for ex-OYC ketch
The former Ocean Youth Club vessel Master Builder, now named Zenara, is currently in Antigua and looking for crew to bring her back to Spain from late May to early July. The owner is looking for competent and experienced crew who can pay for their own flights and contribute to the cost of food on passage. The plan is to have an enjoyable cruise in good company rather than a fast delivery trip with minimal stops. Details and contact information here. Please contact Susan direct rather than OYT South if you want to know more! This is not an official OYT South trip, we are just advertising it because of our historic connection with these lovely Robert Clark-designed ketches and any prospective crew will need to make your own enquiries about safety etc..
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 before the start of the season! 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.