Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* Happy Christmas and New Year!
This will be the last newsletter before the holiday period, so merry Christmas and a happy new year from OYT South to everyone who has been involved with us in 2010. Thank you for making it one of our best years ever, and we look forward to a fantastic 2011!
* Shorebased training February 2011 - decisions to be made at the start of January
We are still hanging on in the hope of getting a few more people booked on courses to ensure that they can all run - some of them definitely don’t have enough takers to be viable at the moment. We need to be in a position to confirm or cancel instructors by the start of January. At that stage we will be able to give definite answers to all those of you who have made provisional bookings. Anyone else who wants to book, please email me by Monday 3rd January if you possibly can. We will take bookings after that date for any spare places on courses which are going ahead; but any courses without sufficient takers by then will be cancelled.
Details for the training weekend (February 5th and 6th 2011, in Gosport) are on the website, with dates, prices and further information. Have a look at the web page and email me to let me know what you want - maybe with a list in order of preference in case not all your chosen courses go ahead?
As last year, you will also be able to book lunch on both days, dinner on Saturday, and cheap overnight accommodation (mattresses on the floor) if needed.
* Refit news
Sarah Norbury, Editor of Practical Boat Owner magazine, visited the refit last Friday - look out for her impressions in the editorial of the January issue. Basically it seems as though James and his all-female refit team came across like something from an episode of Charlie’s Angels.
Angels or no, the team has been storming through the jobs lately. The mid-bilge is finished and the workshop bilge should be done by the end of the week. The workshop floor is done. The cockpit locker and gas locker have had their final coats of paint, as has the stern platform. Topside sanding continues but a bit more filling is needed. Work has started in the skipper’s cabin and the engine room. And the interior heating has been cranked into efficiency!
Many thanks to this week’s team: James, Kirsten, Audrey, Elizabeth, Pete & his son Johnny, Harry O’Sullivan and Mark.
Refit figures so far: in November we had 157 days’ work, including 132 from volunteers and 25 from staff, with 76 nights’-worth of accommodation used in the refit house. By the end of tomorrow, we shall have had 74 days’ work in December, 23 from staff and 51 from volunteers, and 84 nights’ use of the house. Total pre-Christmas figures therefore include 231 days worked so far, with 183 by volunteers - a big increase on last year’s smaller refit when the equivalent figures were 182 days worked, 117 by volunteers. Our last major refit two years ago saw 55 volunteers give a total of 572 days to the refit - can we beat that this year?
The last day at work before Christmas will be tomorrow, Friday 17th December, and the first day back at work is 4th January. From then on, we shall need volunteers on weekdays generally, and also on the following volunteer weekends:
If you are over 18, you are welcome to book yourself in for a weekend, a few days or a week or more. If you are aged 16 or 17, particularly current or prospective relief bosuns, you need to discuss refit bookings with the skipper - we would like to have you along but we need to be able to arrange some supervision while you work. Sadly we cannot have under-16s at refit.
Volunteers all get free food, and accommodation in the refit house, two and a half miles by car from the refit site in Hamble, or a bit less across the common by bike.
Email JamesBoyce@oytsouth.org or call the boat phone on 07990 518915 to book yourself in for a refit weekend or to discuss weekday volunteering. We really hope to see all volunteer sea staff over the winter!
We also need lots of small items for the refit, many costing just a pound or two, such as bin bags! See here for complete list - can you donate something?
See here for more refit details. And see here for a report that was written for one of our key refit donors outlining some of the major work being done, with a provisional budget.
* London boat show - OYT South outing 7th January
The OYT South team will be making an expedition to the London Boat Show on Friday 7th January. If anyone else is planning to be there on the same day, meet us at the Guinness Stand at 3pm.
Voyages for young people in 2011
We’ve had a big rush on bookings recently - lots of voyages filling up very fast, especially in school holidays, so do think now if you want to sail next year and haven’t yet booked anything!
See here for the voyage programme, with prices, dates, details and latest availability. You can also look here for our big summer adventure - not only the Tall Ships race series but some exciting voyages either side. Contact the office with enquiries or to make a booking.
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.
Email me to book.
These voyages are suitable for qualified mates who want a bit more practice; for new volunteers who are hoping to join our sea staff; and for any other adults who just want to see how we work and what is involved in sailing with us.
OYC/T 50th anniversary follow-up
A page has been created on our website following our hugely successful 50th anniversary event. See here to download a copy of the event brochure - including a wonderful to history of the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust; or a copy of the leaflet about OYT South’s proposed new sail training vessel, details of which were launched at the event; or to order a 50th anniversary t-shirt; or a copy of the 50th anniversary commemorative print by marine artist Colin Baxter; or copies of event leaflets on how to get involved with us.
We hope to add more information to this page in due course, including copies of speeches, photos (if you were at the event, do please send in any good pictures), and perhaps the chance to buy DVD copies of some of the archive films shown on the night.
Keep in touch with other John Laing people
We use a number of social networking websites to allow crew members to keep in touch with the boat and with each other. 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 - 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.