JOHN LAING is back in the water!!!!
The first voyage starts tomorrow!!!!
Yes, I know this bulletin is a day early but I’ll be on the boat tomorrow.
The last week has seen some truly exceptional efforts from Wolf, Craig, Dinghy Boy, Sarah, the Contact Marine team (Chris, Adge, Ian and Joe), Jamie Seymour, James Inglis, John Smith, Penny Buckley, Chris Lane, Chris Hirst, Tiff and Hannah, Richard Stevens, Rob Harwood, Matt Bland, Mark Boggis, Andy Royse and Caz.
It probably isn’t worth listing all that’s been done: it’s enough to say that everything has been put back on board, and the entire boat put back together again, tidied and cleaned. A number of people also gave invaluable help in moving out of and cleaning the refit house.
Nothing I could write would adequately express our thanks to all those who have helped us since November. A number of volunteers gave up holiday time or weekend after weekend to be there, working late into the night on numerous occasions. We do appreciate what it takes to labour on the boat all weekend only to go back to a real job on Monday morning. Some people, notably the Contact Marine team, gave technical expertise which we couldn’t have done without.
We also owe an enormous amount to the full-time helpers: Dinghy Boy, the only volunteer to do the whole refit; Phoebe, who would have done the whole thing if she hadn’t had to move to New Zealand for the last few weeks; and Sarah, who has been full-time for most of the second half of the refit.
And above all we should recognise the efforts of our staff on the boat, Wolf and Craig, whose contributions have been truly outstanding. No-one could have worked harder, or more deserved the final verdict which came after the RYA / MCA coding inspection on Tuesday: the inspector reported no defects at all, and, having seen JOHN LAING in the past, was very complimentary indeed about her current condition, and said it was obvious that we had worked really hard and truly cared about the boat.
Anyway, it’s not all over until the crew arrive tomorrow evening (Friday), and there are still jobs to be done during the day – anyone who can get to Ocean Village and give us a hand, please call Wolf on 07771 771864.
Meanwhile, did anyone borrow any books from the boat’s library last season? We’re missing a few novels by Graham Hurley, which were a present to the boat from the author after he did a day sail with us, and which we would very much like to have back. For those of you who haven’t read his books, they are highly recommended – many of them are excellent police / crime novels set in Portsmouth.
There may be some of you heaving a sigh of relief, thinking that this must be the last in this series of bulletins. No such luck: the plan is to continue with a series of regular email updates during the sailing season. I will, of course, remove anyone from the mailing list who thinks they can’t stand it any longer! But otherwise, if anyone has news or information they’d like to spread widely among Ocean Youth Trust South supporters, please let me know.