Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* OYT South AGM 2010
The 2010 OYT South AGM will be held on Saturday 16th October at 1.30pm in Portsmouth. It is open to all members and shouldn't take very long, so people can attend before joining in our 50th anniversary celebrations that afternoon and evening. AGM paperwork has gone out to members and recently lapsed members (who should renew a.s.a.p.) and is also available here. If you want to be a member and vote at our AGM, or stand for election to the Board of Trustees, see here for membership information. Any member wishing to stand for election should print the form “Proposal of Candidature for Election as a Trustee” from the AGM documents on the website and return it to the office by 4pm on the 1st October 2010. Email me if you want more information on what being a trustee involves.
* Voyage news
Great mates’ training weekend last weekend - lots of new volunteers and a really nice bunch of people earning sea staff recommendations so that we hope to see them back to complete watch leader qualifications next season. We spent Saturday covering the hows and whys of safety briefings with young people and then lots of the volunteers had a go at organising sail hoists and reefing. We spent a long time tacking down into the western Solent, getting used to the backstays and the primary winch, and then had a gentle run back towards Cowes with some gybing practice. One of our first mates, Mattie, was in Cowes, working on another boat, and joined us for an evening out.
On Sunday we gave people a more detailed tour of the boat and safety equipment, and then did more sail training and man overboard recovery practice before anchoring for lunch and looking at how the Dacon recovery sling is rigged, before heading back up to Ocean Village. It was a happy and positive weekend and we look forward to seeing lots of these people again. Man thanks to see staff Wolf, Ben M, Ben W, Andy, Kirsten and Caz.
This week’s voyage has been for a mixed group - some from Steve Lacey’s Dorset group, some from a school in Somerset, one who should have sailed earlier in the year but who missed out after breaking his collar bone, and a few individual bookings including a couple who came to us via the Scoliosis Association.
It was very windy on the first night; they made it down to Cowes but Wolf was hit by a wave while standing in the companionway. He doesn’t really do getting wet so had to be persuaded not to take a sick day. Next day it was really exceptionally windy - not the day for sailing at all. They did RYA training in the morning, and then watchleaders Steve and Rooby took the crew on a walk to Newport, which took about an hour and a half and was apparently the longest walk many of them had done in their lives! Back on board for dinner and games.
Next day the wind dropped off…until John Laing left Cowes, at which point it gusted up to force 7 again! Someone noticed a tear in the batten pocket on the mainsail, so they went and swapped it for the spare main before sailing round to Portsmouth - a good downwind sail until they had to turn up to the harbour entrance and wait to let a lot of big ships go past: it was all a bit rolly there! They had a night in Royal Clarence and then yesterday morning fuelled up and set off for a big day of sail training – especially including exercises for Andy who is doing some first mate training. They went down to Sandown Bay where Andy ran a tacking and gybing training session and then chased a lot of fenders under sail and later under power. Then the skipper pretended to be out of action which left Andy in charge of getting the boat safely back to the Hamble - which seemed to be the cue for every big ship in the area to converge on Southampton Water. They did a night-time entrance into Hamble, where Andy particularly enjoyed having to deal with a fire drill in the middle of it.
Back to Ocean Village this morning, and 11 of the crew earned their RYA Start Yachting certificates - the twelfth was already qualified well beyond that level. Many thanks to sea staff Wolf, Ben W, Andy, Steve, Angus and special congratulations to Rooby for completing her second mate’s assessment.
After that, we will be needing volunteers at the refit from November to March - help always needed on weekdays, but also on specific volunteer weekends. Proposed dates are:
Email JamesBoyce@oytsouth.org to book yourself in for a refit weekend or to discuss weekday volunteering.
Please note that you cannot sail until you have completed a mates' application and done a CRB check (see here for details) - and EITHER paid for a mates' training / familiarisation voyage, OR paid your annual membership and sailing donation.
50th anniversary raffle prizes
We are looking for donations of raffle prizes for our 50th anniversary celebration party in October. If you have anything you might like to donate, or you work for a compnay which might donate something, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, from experience we know that people do drop out from time to time, so we are putting together a reserve list in case any spaces crop up. Just send me an email if you would like to be alerted to any short-notice vacancies or discounted places.
Apart from that, we are now taking bookings for 2011 - do have a look at our plans, dates and details - including Tall Ships 2011 (Waterford - Greenock - Lerwick - Stavanger - Halmstad). Lots of great voyages available but parts of the programme are already selling fast. Contact the office to discuss sailing next year.
Office volunteer needed
We are looking for a volunteer to join our office team in Gosport to assist with computer based tasks and routine admin during our busy sailing season. Ideal for someone between jobs or looking for experience to add to a CV.
Duties to include:-
Answering telephone calls
General office duties
Skills / experience required:-
Knowledge of MS Word/Excel
Good telephone manner
The ability to work alone with little supervision
Friendly, with a sense of humour
Capable of accurate data entry
Contact the office if you are interested.
Lifejacket packing course - Monday 27th September, Southampton
It is now compulsory to have trained people to repack our lifejackets after their regular inflation tests or if a lifejacket goes off by mistake. It is therefore absolutely essential for safety reasons that we get a good number of sea staff through this course. The next one will be held during our maintenance day on Monday 27th September in Southampton. It only takes a couple of hours. Price £25. Email me to book.
Sea survival / ISAF course 13-14 November
Places available on a Sea Survival / ISAF course run by KTY Yachts at Universal Marina on the weekend of 13/14 November. You can just do one-day Sea Survival on Saturday for £75, or the more advanced ISAF course (including first aid) by doing the Sunday as well, for another £75. Email Yvonneandkeith@ktyyachts.freeserve.co.uk for more information or to book - stating that you are from OYT South, as the price is discounted for us.
Free next winter? Taking a gap year, or not working for other reasons?
As in previous years, we are looking to recruit a small number of full-time volunteers to work on our winter refit between November and March. We hope all sea staff will turn up for a weekend or a few days, as normal; but it really helps our professional staff to have a small number of long-term helpers who are there for periods ranging from a month to four months, developing real experience and skills (which can often lead to careers in the marine industry, for those who want). See here for more information. Volunteers receive food and accommodation as well as valuable experience. If you would be interested, please email me.
* Financial appeal
Thanks this week to the Bernard Sunley Foundation for a very generous pledge of funds.
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.
* Shorebased training February 2011
It seems likely that we will be running our usual shorebased training weekend on February 5th and 6th 2011, in Gosport. If you would like to do any of the following courses, please let me know fairly soon, as we will book instructors as soon as it looks as though there will be sufficient interest:
First Aid (NB these certificates need renewing every 3 years – check when yours expires)
You will only be able to do two courses over the weekend, and unless we get a lot of interest, many of the courses will only run once, so it is possible that some people will want courses that end up being scheduled at the same time. We’ll try to minimise this but the sooner you let us know what you want, the better the chance that we will be able to organise things to suit you!
We may also run other courses – more details to follow.
Email me to let me know what you want.
1-3 April 2011, Southampton, £170
26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170
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.
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.