Craig’s leaving present
Please can anyone who has been meaning to contribute to Craig’s leaving present do so as quickly as possible? We want to give it to him on November 5th but it needs a bit of organising once we know how much money we have! Please send donations to David Salmon, OYT South, Spur House, 1 The Spur, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants PO12 2NA (cheques payable to OYT South but please make it very clear it's for Craig's present and not a refit donation or anything else), or telephone 0870 241 2252 with a credit card handy.
And more stories about Craig for publication in the bulletin in his last week to me by email, please!
This year’s winter refit starts on 1st November. Stage one involves getting huge amounts of kit off the boat. The masts come out on November 15th and the boat will be lifted out of the water on November 16th. We are at Hamble Yacht Services (same place as last year) but sadly they can’t fit us indoors in the shed again, so we shall be outside. Wolf is exploring options for getting the boat tented. There will be accommodation available for refit helpers – we are in negotiations to get the same house as last year, which will be great if it comes off as the location is ideal.
For those of you who aren’t already familiar with John Laing refits: the boat needs volunteers seven days a week (staff skipper and bosun arrange their time off so one of them is always in charge). We need everyone from the most skilled to the completely unskilled, as there is always something you can do. There are some jobs available for people who are not physically fit and strong (e.g. sorting through the medical kit). There are jobs which can be taken away from the boat and done in your own time (e.g. laundering and stitching oilskins). We sometimes need people who can drive, to go on errands. If your skills are more domestic than practical, then simple things like cooking and shopping for the refit house can free up hours of other people’s time to work on the boat.
People are welcome to come for a day or a weekend, or for weeks at a time if you can manage it. Just ring Wolf on 07771 771864 and tell him the dates you’d like to do, and he can book you in. Unfortunately if you are under 16 there are significant problems with safety and insurance which mean that you can’t work on the boat during refit. 16 and 17 year olds can only work under supervision, which means you will need to arrange with Wolf to come when there is someone to keep an eye on you, and we can’t have lots of this age group all at once. But just talk to Wolf and he will work out what is possible for you to do.
Sea staff who want to sail next season are all expected to come to the refit at least for a day or two; and priority for booking on the most popular voyages will take account of who has helped a lot.
Anyone new to OYT South is strongly recommended to come to the refit as it’s a great way of getting to know a few people and learning how various bits of the boat work. It’s also very useful for former crew members who are hoping to make the step up to bosun or watchleader next year.
The boat will be closed and no-one will be working on board from 18-21 November as the staff will all be at the ISTA Tall Ships conference. There will also be a closed period for Christmas and New Year – dates to be advised nearer the time.
With all the volunteers we hope will turn up at the refit, we do need to have the funds for all the jobs we plan to do! This includes major items like new standing rigging – essential this year – right down to sandpaper and paintbrushes. If you can help us with a donation for any of this – either in cash or by helping us find sources of cheap or free materials – please get in touch. If you want to send cash, please send cheques payable to OYT South to David Salmon, OYT South, Spur House, 1 The Spur, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants PO12 2NA , or telephone 0870 241 2252 with a credit card handy. With ideas or suggestions regarding donations of equipment and materials, talk to Wolf on 07771 771864 about what he might need.
End of season party November 5th
Don’t forget the party on the boat on the evening of November 5th in Ocean Village, starting on board from around 7.30pm and finishing in a local pub. Keep letting me know if you intend to come - and especially if you will be wanting to stay on the boat overnight.
And please bring a bottle!
This week’s news
No sailing this week; but the season isn’t over as we have a full crew joining today for a half-term voyage; and another trip still to come after that.
In the absence of tales from the salt seas, the highlight of the week was undoubtedly last night….
Anyone who has sailed in John Laing this season while Wolf has been on board will probably have enjoyed / endured the music of the Oysterband, whose CDs have been a major feature of the 2005 sailing season. On one notable occasion, ten different Oysterband albums were played back-to-back for a whole Channel crossing. On another occasion, the crew (I think it might have been the Naomi House hospice siblings voyage) refused to leave the boat at the end of the voyage as they were having too much fun dancing on deck and requesting more and more repeats of their favourite Oysterband tracks.
The Oysterband are currently on tour and last night they played in Southampton. A group of twenty three OYT people went along and had the most fantastic night. Great music, much dancing (enthusiastically led by Wendy Dickerson, Craig’s mum, and Di Francis), a good deal of singing along (well, it’s easy for people to learn the words when Wolf plays the albums so often) and an outstanding atmosphere all round. The band had been warned that there was a big group attending the event from a sail training charity that takes hundreds of deserving young people to sea – so they came looking for us after the show and spent a long time chatting with us. They were genuinely fascinated by what we do, and, with a lot of their songs filled with nautical imagery, were keen to hear more. We are currently in discussions about taking a few of the band members sailing next season.
Apologies to anyone who would have liked to come along and didn’t get the chance this time, but you can find further tour dates at http://www.oysterband.co.uk/.
Sea staff vacancies
No vacancies left for 2005, but keep sending in your preferences for 2006 - see http://www.oytsouth.org/ for the official 2006 voyage programme. As ever, people who help with the refit over this winter get priority with 2006 staff bookings, but I can always pencil people in now if you know what you would like.
I’d also like to hear from people – whether new to OYT South, or former crew members who want to make progress – who would be interested in joining our volunteer sea staff in 2006, so that I can start planning familiarisation and assessment voyages.
We are now taking bookings on the 2006 programme, also available from the office, or on the website at www.oytsouth.org. Don’t forget the 2006 Tall Ships races to Spain, Portugal and Antwerp!
A number of full-boat bookings means that at certain times of year there are already limited spaces – so get your booking in now!
Dates for your diaries
1st November: refit starts
Saturday 5th November: End of season party, John Laing, Ocean Village. Individuals welcome aged 18+; crew members under 18 who have sailed this year and would like to keep in touch are welcome to come to the weekend with a parent or group leader.
15th November: masts out
16th November: John Laing out of the water
18-21 November: Boat closed for ISTA conference.
Don’t forget the OYT South link to Amazon!
At the bottom of the OYT South home page (http://www.oytsouth.org/) is a link to Amazon. Use this link whenever you order anything from Amazon and they will give a percentage of the price to OYT South funds.
Don’t forget the office can now take payments over the phone - just call 0870 241 2252 and have your credit card handy.