Yes, John Laing is finally out of the water and now sits safe and snug inside the shed at Hamble Yacht Services! This is by far and away the most pleasant environment we have had for a refit in years, and we are sure there will be a new flurry of interest from volunteer helpers in the next few weeks.
Wolf spent a few days this week acquiring a first aid at work certificate, so that anyone who comes to help will be in good hands (though thanks to the efforts of Andy Royse in writing a detailed new health and safety policy, no-one should get injured in the first place). Also, as many people will know, Wolf has claimed for years that his equipment of choice for all medical incidents is his trusty Diazepam Rectal Dispenser, which does seem to concentrate everyone else’s minds on avoiding accidents.
Anyone else with an interest in first aid might like to know more details about our Training Weekend in February. As announced last week, this will take place on the weekend of February 19th-20th, location to be confirmed, and will include OYT South’s AGM on the Sunday. As we said in the last bulletin, we shall be offering the VHF / GMDSS course (essential for all those who might need to use John Laing’s new radio). However, we now have trainers for two additional courses on the Saturday: the one day courses in radar and first aid.
All first and second mates need the VHF / GMDSS certificate and the first aid certificate, and these are both recommended qualifications for third mates; radar is recommended for first and second mates. Any new prospective sea staff and anyone looking to progress up the ladder should certainly consider doing one of these courses. There are minimum and maximum numbers of people for which these courses can be run, so please email me ASAP with your preferences.
Meanwhile, this has been a good week for our helpers, with lots of people to thank. The Southampton Support Group responded to last week’s plea for help in cleaning and repairing our oilskins, and came to pick them up last Sunday – a fantastically useful job for them to take on.
Chris Hirst organised a successful collection at Waterloo Station and raised £274.71 for OYT South with the help of Yaron Peled, Brogan Dean, Tom James-Cattell (who works at Ocean Village during the summer), Rob Harwood and Judy Holmes. It was a long day (0700 – 1830) in a cold railway station, but was enlivened by much humour, Santa hats, and Judy meeting her MD when no-one knew that she was out of the office!
Meanwhile, work continued on the boat. Kerry and Kathryn are still around and working hard. Mark Boggis came down for the day last Sunday. And I introduced one of my neighbours, Pete McSherry, to the joys of OYT South. (Pete turned up at my door a couple of weeks ago looking for some help with his RYA Day Skipper theory evening classes – I obviously have a bit of a reputation in my street. We got talking about OYT South and the next thing I knew he was volunteering to help.) As he is an engineer who can fix most things, this may come in handy. He made a good start by servicing the bilge pumps on Saturday.
Finally, Tim Deverson, who combines being a third mate with working as a rigger in the yard we are using, has given invaluable support this week.
Thanks very much to all these people – we wouldn’t get far without you.
So John Laing’s masts came out on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the boat herself was finally lifted out of the water on Thursday. Today the sails had to be taken for repairs and maintenance, so the aim of giving our full time staff, Wolf and Craig, a couple of days off every week has not been possible lately. They are both working exceptionally hard and are getting pretty tired, so PLEASE go down and take some of the load off their shoulders – there’s plenty of room for both skilled and unskilled help. Call them on 07771 771864 and let them know when you’re coming.
Now, some changes to contact details: David Salmon and the OYT South office now have a new email address: email@example.com, to be used for general enquiries, crew bookings etc. The old address firstname.lastname@example.org will continue to work for some time, though.
Chris Hirst also has a new email address: email@example.com.
And the website has now been restored to its usual place at www.oytsouth.org, and you will no longer be redirected to .com, which was a temporary measure over the lat few months.
Finally, the usual notices:
FUNDRAISING: We are also still looking for donations to help with the refit, so please give generously (Cheques payable to OYT South to Spur House, 1 The Spur, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants PO12 2NA – but taxpayers please contact the office on 0870 241 2252 to ask about GIFT AID first.) Thanks very much to all those who have contributed so far.
CREW BOOKINGS for 2005: see the 2005 sailing programme with dates and prices at www.oytsouth.org. Crew members, group leaders and anyone with suggestions for new groups to approach should contact the office on 0870 241 2252, firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
SEA STAFF (and prospective sea staff) BOOKINGS for 2005: email me with your booking preferences (including second choices where possible), both for normal trips and assessment or familiarisation voyages. If you need to discuss anything, call 07986 354697.