OYT South bulletin 29th July 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 29th July 2005

by | Jul 29, 2005

Adult voyages
We have a number of spaces available on adult voyages in September, as follows:
12-16 September, Southampton, £200
16-18 September, Southampton, £100
Both trips are basically designed for staff training – or existing sea staff, and for potential staff who want to come along and find out more about how we work. But staff being trained need “crew members” to practise on – so remaining spaces on these voyages are open to any adults who want a chance to sail on the boat – including supporters who don’t wish to be sea staff but who might like an adults-only trip; or parents, group leaders etc. of previous crew members; or crew members over the age of 16 who want to improve their sailing skills and perhaps see whether they might have the potential to become a bosun or watchleader. 12-16 September in particular could do with a few more people – email me or call 07986 354697 to find out more.

Overseas crew members (and maybe some spaces for British crew)
We might still have a couple of spaces left on a trip primarily aimed at crew members from overseas: 3rd-8th September, Southampton, age range 15-25, subsidised by an international crew donation so it will cost just £150 per head. Priority to non-British crew but if people from this country apply, they are eligible for any remaining places.

Southampton Boat Show
Volunteers needed for the OYT South stand at the Boat Show from 16-25 September. Spend a few hours helping out and then get a chance to look round the rest of this spectacular event. If you can spare any time to come along, call David Salmon on 0870 241 2252 or email office@oytsouth.org.

Marketing days
Sunday 11th September has been set aside as a marketing day when prospective clients, donors etc. can come and look round the boat. It could be just a chance to see the boat in harbour; or we might organise a short day sail, depending on demand. If you know anyone who might be interested, call 0870 241 2252.

Empty voyages
One of the great successes of 2005 has been that so far, we have not had to cancel a single voyage due to lack of bookings. It will be fantastic if we can keep this record up till the end of the season. Although we do have spaces left on a number of trips, there are only three which still definitely need more bookings in order to run at all: 10-14 Oct (£210); 15-20 Oct (£225) and 1-5 Nov (£160) – can everyone make a huge effort to try and drum up interest in these voyages?

Voyage news

The Tall Ships cruise in company began with an amazing send-off from Cherbourg, as thousands of people came down to the harbour to say good-bye to the fleet. Skipper Wolf says it was almost overwhelming; but that didn’t restrain him from orchestrating another water fight: this time it was John Laing plus Ocean Spirit (the Gordonstoun school boat) versus Jolie Brise. The pincer movement proved to be an effective tactic, along the lines of naval manoeuvres practised by the likes of Nelson, Hornblower and Jack Aubrey.

The idea of a cruise in company is that events are held in a number of ports en route, and vessels can choose which to visit. In many cases, boats where staff and crew have got to know each other will arrange to go to the same ports at the same time; and John Laing has been part of a lively gang, with five OYT boats involved plus a number of the other smaller Tall Ships vessels. The first stop was Ramsgate, after a long period of motoring; but the second stage took them on to Lowestoft in one of the best sails of the Tall Ships series so far: seventy miles on a beam reach with the speed never falling below ten knots all the way.

Lowestoft laid on a great reception for the boats and the atmosphere there was superb. They very nearly had all five OYT vessels in there together; but Lord Rank and Greater Manchester Challenge missed each other by an hour.

Wolf particularly wanted to visit Whitby as the next stop; but the passage up the coast proved to be horrendous – really big seas, lots of people seasick, gas fields and sandbanks for the navigators to worry about, and everything in the boat (including most of the contents of the workshop) being thrown about. Entering Whitby in these conditions was out of the question, so they had no choice but to carry on to Hartlepool. A straight line from Lowestoft to Hartlepool would have been just 150 miles; but tacking made it 290 miles. John Laing was one of the few vessels which sailed all the way – most other people were motor-sailing.

However, Hartlepool turned out to be well worth a visit. Wolf’s mum and dad (Mr and Mrs Wolf?) came to visit, had dinner on the boat and took part in the crème caramel game. They also brought lollies for everyone, and Mrs Wolf did Wolf’s laundry (and he just managed to avoid sailing without it). On the last day, they brought down sandwiches for everyone, which proved to be a real bonus as once out of the harbour, the cooks took one look at the sea state and decided it was too rough to spend much time in the galley!

Another bonus of this trip was meeting Peter Allison, who was involved in building John Laing and our sister ship, James Cook. Pete was able to tell all sorts of tales about John Laing’s origins, which I’ll put in a future bulletin if I can track him down to get more details.

Anyway, the cruise-in-company crew left the boat in Newcastle on Tuesday – Wolf says they were all fantastic and really put a lot into the voyage despite several of them being so seasick.

Sea staff were Wolf, Graeme Cole, Steve and Cathy Lacey, Jonny Holman and Gizmo. Many congratulations to Cathy for passing her second mate’s assessment!

New crew joined on Wednesday; and went straight out to do the parade of sail on Thursday morning, followed by the race start in the afternoon – 450 miles to Fredrikstad in Norway! Lots of old friends on this voyage plus a few who are new to sailing. If you want to track their progress over the next few days, try one of these links:


At the time of writing, these pages haven’t updated; but I’m told they will do so as the race goes on. Don’t forget this is a handicap race so the vessels at the front of the fleet aren’t necessarily winning – if they are generally faster boats, then their handicaps might move them back a bit on corrected time.

Finally, one entirely separate piece of news: Simon Holman, who was our staff bosun for several years up to 2002, has just graduated with a 2:1 – well done Si!

Sea staff vacancies

First mates still needed for: 12-16 Sept (adult familiarisation voyage); 19-23 Sept; 24-30 Sept; 15-20 Oct; 26-31 Oct; 1-5 Nov.

Second mates needed for: 12-16 Sept (adult fam voyage); 26-31 Oct; 1-5 Nov.

Third mates needed for 3-8 Sept; 10-11 Sept; 16-18 Sept (mates’ training).

Email me or call 07986 354697 if you can help!

Crew bookings

Current vacancies as follows:

JL05-37: 5 nights, 3-8 September, Southampton, £150 – a few berths left
JL05-40: 4 nights, 12-16 Sept, Southampton, £200 – several 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 – 4 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 (whole boat group booking available)
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.

Dates for your diaries

Thurs 11th August: John Laing maintenance day in Bremerhaven.

10th and 11th September: more John Laing Open Days.

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.

Don’t forget the OYT South link to Amazon!
At the bottom of the OYT South home page (https://www.oytsouth.org/) is a link to Amazon. Use this link whenever you order anything from Amazon and they will give a percentage of the price to OYT South funds. We’ve just had £48 from them, so well done and keep shopping, everyone!