OYT South bulletin 19th August 2005

OYT South’s weekly newsletter, including details of what has happened on the boat in the last week, plus short notice sailing vacancies for crew and sea staff and other ways you can get involved, and all the charity’s news.

OYT South bulletin 19th August 2005

by | Aug 19, 2005

Southampton Boat Show
PLEASE call David Salmon if you can help on our stand at the Boat Show – any day between 16th and 25th September. We don’t have nearly enough volunteers at the moment, especially on weekdays – but in any case it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the show, which is always a great day out. If you can give us a few hours of your time while you are there, we really would appreciate it! Call David on 0870 241 2252 or email office@oytsouth.org.

Calling all second mates
Owing to unforeseen circumstances (exam resits) we are now short of a second mate for 3-8 September – can any other second mate step in for that voyage?

Annual dinner
This is a joint fundraising event for OYT South and two children’s hospices, to be held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble, on Friday 16th Sept. Tickets £65 each. Guest speaker Sally Taylor from BBC South Today. We’ve sold 108 tickets but the target is 140. If you’re interested, contact Chris Lane at chrisl.shse@virgin.net.

Credit cards
The office will be able to take booking fees, mates fees and donations over the phone from Monday 22nd August – just call 0870 241 2252 and have your credit card handy.

Adult voyages
Still a few spaces on the following adult voyages:
12-16 September, Southampton, £200
16-18 September, Southampton, £100
Open to sea staff, prospective sea staff, crew members aged 16+ who want to sail more, future group leaders and any other adult who wants to have a go! We’ve taken several bookings lately from the parents of keen crew members who are jealous that their offspring seem to be having all the fun. So please help us fill the last few gaps! Email me or call 07986 354697 to find out more.

Bookings needed urgently
There are relatively few crew berths not filled over the rest of this season; but we desperately need more bookings for three trips in particular to make sure we don’t have to cancel anything: 10-14 Oct (£210); 15-20 Oct (£225) and 1-5 Nov (£160) – please spread the word among anyone aged 12-25 (individuals or groups) who might like to sail then.

I need to produce some material on this summer’s voyages, including the Tall Ships races, cruise in company and the voyages either side. I’d really appreciate more photos – please email them if possible!

Voyage news

This week’s voyage had a staggered start, owing to weather conditions which meant the previous voyage didn’t finish where it should have done. All but two of the crew had been on the boat for the previous voyage, since Norway, and four sea staff and one more crew member joined in Rendsburg on the Kiel Canal.

Another member of sea staff and the final crew member (Matt Bland and George Robinson-Slater) met up with them in Brunsbuttel at the western end of the canal after a particularly tortuous journey. They arrived in Cuxhaven by ferry in the morning and spent the whole day waiting for another ferry across the Elbe to Brunsbuttel, only to find that strong winds were preventing this ferry from running at all. They were then told that Cuxhaven to Brunsbuttel by train was impossible. Undeterred, they took the train to Hamburg, convinced that in a worst-case scenario it would be more comfortable to camp out there than in Cuxhaven (where all the hotels were full – owing to the Bremerhaven sailing festival). Somehow an onward train was discovered and they achieved the impossible, arriving in Brunsbuttel at 2330. The following day John Laing set off for….Cuxhaven! (Matt: “I had seen enough of Cuxhaven the previous day to last a lifetime”).

Also in Cuxhaven, relief skipper Dave Carnson completed the ship’s complement when he joined the boat on 12th August – allowing skipper Wolf his first day off since July 6th.

From Cuxhaven they motored along the Dutch coast to Lauwersoog – “very rough and a lot of seasickness”. Arriving late at night, they had the following day off to see the area (Matt: “Lewersgoog is closed on Sundays, apart from the market where lots of jewellery was bought.”)

Next they sailed to Den Helder, in winds up to Force 7 and even rougher seas. Skipper Dave, with years of experience, said: “It was awful” – so all credit to the crew members who got through it with, in most cases, barely a week’s sailing experience behind them. Apparently there was a big oil rig which at 5 miles range was still disappearing behind the waves! However, most of the journey was done at 10-11 knots, with occasional bursts up to 12.5 knots, so at least the experience was over as quickly as possible.

They had another well-deserved day off in Den Helder, which Dave described as wonderful – very friendly people and lots to see. It’s the big Dutch naval port so was full of warships – but it also had some very welcome showers.

Leaving that night with a forecast of south westerly wind, they encountered another manifestation of the weather’s infinite variety: a sea like glass and not a trace of a breeze. The last full day of the voyage was spent motoring in beautiful sunshine. They anchored that night in the River Stour, where watchleader Cubie learned not to go on deck with a malfunctioning water pistol when everyone else was equipped with water bombs, buckets, and the fire hose!

Wednesday saw a short motor up to Wolverstone Marina and the end of the voyage.

Dave says the crew were lovely and did really well; and thanks also to the other sea staff: first mate Dyfrig Harries (experienced in other OYT boats but this was his first time in John Laing – we’d be delighted to see him again); plus Matt, David Parrish, Gizmo and Cubie.

The latest voyage started yesterday: our annual trip with half the crew sponsored by MDL, the marina company. MDL makes an enormous contribution to OYT South every year, especially in terms of our berthing costs; but they also run a competition to identify six exceptionally deserving young people to sail every year, so it is always a good week.

Sea staff vacancies

First mates still needed for: 19-23 Sept; 24-30 Sept; 15-20 Oct; 1-5 Nov.

Second mate needed for: 3-8 Sept; 26-31 Oct and 1-5 Nov.

Third mate berths currently all full, but if any 3Ms are desperate to sail I can make up a reserve list in case anyone else drops out.

Email me or call 07986 354697 if you can help!

Crew bookings

Current vacancies as follows:

JL05-40: 4 nights, 12-16 Sept, Southampton, £200 – a few spaces (adults 16+ only)
JL05-41: 2 nights, 16-18 Sept, Southampton, £100 – a few spaces (adults 16+ only)
JL05-42: 4 nights, 19-23 Sep, Southampton, £220 – 3 berths left
JL05-47: 4 nights, 10-14 Oct, Southampton, £210 (whole boat group booking available)
JL05-48: 5 nights, 15-20 Oct, Southampton, £225 – 9 berths left
JL05-49: 4 nights, 21-25 Oct, Southampton, £200 – 6 berths left
JL05-51: 4 nights, 1-5 Nov, Southampton, £160 -11 berths left

For information on latest vacancies, please contact the office on 0870 241 2252, or email office@oytsouth.org.

We are now taking bookings on the 2006 programme, also available from the office, or on the website at www.oytsouth.org. Don’t forget the 2006 Tall Ships races to Spain and Portugal!

Dates for your diaries

Friday 16th Sept: OYT South annual dinner, Royal Southern YC, Hamble, held jointly with two local children’s hospices. Tickets £65 each.

16th – 25th September: Southampton Boat Show: volunteers needed for the OYT South stand.

Saturday 1st October: John Laing maintenance day, Southampton (call Wolf 07771 771864).

Saturday 5th November: End of season party and possible other weekend activities tbc. Individuals welcome aged 18+; crew members under 18 who have sailed this year and would like to keep in touch are welcome to come to the weekend with a parent or group leader.

For more information on any of this, email me or contact the office on 0870 241 2252, office@oytsouth.org.

People News
Lots of news this week! Top story: Phoebe has decided to come back from New Zealand! She is currently scheduled to start a degree in History and Archaeology at Southampton University in October.

And we’ve also had news of Princess Craig at last! He’s taken unpaid leave to do some sailing work in the Caribbean for a few weeks – apparently he was thrown in the deep end a bit on his arrival, but it’s now going really well; he’s done some skippering and also a fair amount of snorkelling, and is having a good time.

Also had several emails from the Canadian crew members who sailed with us from Portsmouth to Waterford and on to Cherbourg earlier this summer. Liz says: “I just got home from sailing on our tall ship in Canada (check out the website, http://www.brigantine.ca/ !)…I just want to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our trip on John Laing, it was definitely the
highlight of my summer! We keep talking about it, so much so that our crew mates here in Canada are sick of hearing about it! I’m really grateful that I was given the privilege of sailing in the race this summer, and I definitely want to come back and sail with OYT again in the future, if not for next summer’s race to Spain and Portugal. This trip has made me fall even more in love with sailing than I was before! Anyway, I miss all the crew so much, since the trip I have become addicted to tea and have started using British terminology (wellies, oilskins, courgettes, snogging…{Editor’s note: who taught you about snogging, Liz?})! And I definitely want to come back to the UK to visit on land! Thanks again for everything, have a great end of summer and I hope to see you again soon!” And Skye says: “Ever since I have been back, I haven’t gone an hour without thinking of John Laing, I would come back in a second. I just got back from sailing on our boat for a week – Liz and Veronica and I have had plenty of John Laingsessions where we bring up tons of stories and laugh and reminisce cause we miss it so much. I don’t think I could ever thank the sea staff enough for being some of the most amazing people and sharing some of the most amazing times, seriously. Especially coming from so far, it was really nice to feel at home. I hope you’re all doing awesome!…I’ll never be able to match this experience ever, and it really was because of you guys. I’m saving up all year so I can go to Tall Ships 2006. I think I’ll die if I can’t go on John Laing….!”

Third mate Jamie Seymour is back from the Fastnet Race with a final position of 27th in class “which we were all quite happy about, apart from the fact that we sat off Portland Bill for three hours on the first night after missing the tide by minutes. In the end the overall winner beat us by five hours on handicap so at least it wasn’t such a disastrous mistake. We sailed and trimmed harder than ever before to get back into the race, and eventually rounded the rock on the Wednesday about 1800 in the most amazing sunshine. Quite an experience!
The sail back was perfect spinnaker all the way. Only issue was running out of water off Penlee Point which our Skipper assures us was perfect planning, we all think it’s luck after he accidentally emptied one of our tanks on the way to the start trying to save weight. You will also be pleased to know we had done about 6 spinnaker peels whilst leaving the Solent and a few at night, still don’t think I would be quite ready for attempts on JL though!”

We’ve also been in touch with second mate Colin Robertson, who hasn’t sailed in John Laing for a while as his career change – becoming a lawyer – is very demanding; but he says hello to people who know him and hopes to be back on the boat when things calm down.

Don’t forget the OYT South link to Amazon!