The OYT South Annual Report is now available – call the office (0870 241 2252) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org ). [Please note that the old email@example.com has been permanently discontinued].
Please help us to fill spaces on the following voyages, which don’t currently have enough crew members to run:
JL06-11 13-19 May £375 12 spaces (full boat)
JL06-12 19-21 May £150 11 spaces (age 16-25)
JL06-18 6-11 June £315 12 spaces (full boat)
JL06-38 9-15 Sept £390 11 spaces
JL06-48 14-20 Oct £340 12 spaces (full boat)
JL06-50 26-29 Oct £210 8 spaces
JL06-51 30 Oct-3 Nov £200 12 spaces (full boat)
Please do anything you can to encourage bookings on the following trips - tell your friends, and encourage other organisations to book.
There are also smaller numbers of spaces on a few other voyages, including two coming up very soon:
JL06-03 1-6 April £320
JL06-04 7-12 April £320
Plus some spaces on Tall Ships voyages over the summer (see below).
Call 0870 241 2252 for bookings.
This week saw our annual voyage with Stanbridge Earls School, which specialises in specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Most of the crew had sailed with us before, but there were a couple of newcomers.
This arrival on board of the Stanbridge Earls group is traditionally the signal for a lively weather forecast, and though things were not as bad as 2004 (when we spent days in harbour watching the instruments showing Force 10) it was nonetheless a good week for wind. They joined on Saturday and sailed to Cowes, where they were visited by another OYT South watchleader, Dave Blogg, in the Solent for a weekend’s race training and spinnaker practice. Some doubt has been expressed by John Laing’s sea staff about whether this was really a good weekend for spinnakers – come on, Dave, write in and tell us that you spinnakered all day Sunday and the others were just being a bunch of big girl’s blouses….
John Laing spent part of Sunday tacking towards Yarmouth, but then turned round and had a pleasanter downwind sail back to Gosport. I am told that this was not caused by the weather but was in fact an emergency divert to reunite Wolf with his washbag, which he had left on board, as otherwise he faced two weeks’ relief without being able to wash at all.
On Monday it was blowing Force 9, and the team settled for a day in harbour, during which the crew visited Gunwharf Quays, and Phoebe bought a new hat in green and blue stripes, which she subsequently decided made her head look like a pea. I am hoping someone will tell her that peas aren’t usually stripey….
On Tuesday it was still gusting Force 8 but people were keen to go sailing, so they enjoyed a fast passage to Yarmouth – on the sort of day when the staff bosun insists on taking the helm for half an hour and shouting “Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!” a lot. Obviously the crew were really getting the hang of things by this time, because the following day they went to Poole – again, very quickly, in windy conditions.
Thursday saw an early start, heading back through the Needles Channel, and then anchoring in Osborne Bay for lunch; tea in Cowes and back in Ocean Village by 11pm.
High points for the voyage included RYA Competent Crew certificates earned by the crew members who hadn’t already got it in previous years; and a Pavlova made by first and second mates Martin and Phoebe, which everyone agrees sets the bar pretty high for this season’s puddings. Big congratulations also to Joe Parker, who became the first new third mate of the season, passing his assessment and evidently being seen as quite a character on board.
Joe’s assessment did, however, start the week off on a difficult note for first mate Martin Skipper. Third mates on assessment are generally supervised by the first mate at the start of the week – which meant that on Day 1 Martin had to spend an hour on the foredeck where he actually GOT WET!!!! And if that wasn’t bad enough, a few days later he was navigating, put his head out on deck for just 30 seconds, a wave came into the cockpit – and Martin GOT WET again! If this sets a pattern for first mates this season there will undoubtedly be trouble….
Anyway, well done to the Stanbridge Earls crew for surviving bad weather again; and thanks to the sea staff – relief skipper Dave Carnson; Martin, Phoebe, Joe, Dings and third mate Bob Collier, who is also a teacher at the school.
Sea staff bookings
For early season voyages we still need:
22-26 May - second mate
31 May - 4 June - second mate
17-23 June – female second mate
30 June-2 July - first mate
There are also still some spaces in the autumn – email me if you want to sail then.
The mates training weekend 21-23 April is full and we are starting to take bookings for the next one: 22-24 September (£150).
We still have ONE SPACE on the longer adult voyage 30 April to 5 May (£275) - suitable for training, new prospective sea staff, group leaders, parents or anyone else who wants a first hand look at how we work at sea. The next adult familiarisation voyage is 25-30 Sept (£275) – lots of berths still available.
The prices for these adult voyages include £30 annual membership and £70 annual mates sailing fee, so once sea staff and prospective sea staff have paid this you can sail as often as you can manage in 2006 at no further cost.
Please email me to make sea staff bookings or reserve places on adult voyages.
Tall Ships crew bookings
Vacancies as follows:
Tall Ships rules allow us to take a maximum of four 15-year olds on each leg for these five voyages; all other crew members must be aged 16-25. As ever, most of our other voyages are open to people aged 12-25.
See above other vacancies for young people aged 12-25.
Call 0870 241 2252 for up-to-date availability and to make a booking - you can pay your deposit by credit card over the phone to secure your place.
Marketing day sails
We are still seeking bookings for marketing day sails, on Sat 6th and Sun 7th May this year. If you know anyone who would like to see the boat in action, with a view to booking a new group for a voyage, donating some money, or supporting us in other ways, please spread the word and make sure any new contacts know they would be welcome on one of those days (and either keep me or David Salmon informed). These days are also open to existing OYT South supporters who prefer not to come on full voyages but would like a short taste of life at sea in John Laing.
Matt Bland has emailed to tell his friends that he is back in Stanley after his first patrol of South Georgia in his new job in South Atlantic fisheries protection. He says: “The first trip went well, and I am enjoying it on here, seen lots of penguins and seals, and went ashore in a few old abandoned whaling stations. I saw the grave of Shackleton, and the place where he walked to, to find help for the rest of the group.
“On the way back, I did a boarding of a fishing vessel: a ship’s officer has to go with the fishery officer on the inspections, as a witness, in case there are any disputes later. The one I checked was OK, we measured nets, checked the hold, and inspected the logbook.”
Dates for your diaries
20 April: maintenance day, Southampton - volunteers needed.
5 June: maintenance day, Poole - volunteers needed.
15 September: OYT South Annual Dinner
Don't forget the OYT South link to Amazon - click on the Amazon logo at the bottom of the OYT South home page (http://www.oytsouth.org/) and a proportion of any money you spend will be donated to us - at no extra cost to you!