Happy New Year!
I hope everyone has had an enjoyable break – at least, you’ve had a break from these OYT South bulletins. I’ve just realised that we produced 43 of them in 2004, which says a lot for the stamina of our regular readers!
2005 looks set to be an even busier year. The first priority is of course:
The refit: We really do need lots of help over the next few weeks. We had great support in December; but while many of you have been in touch to say you are intending to help in January and February, we really need you to firm up those commitments and agree some dates. Please call Wolf on 07771 771864 as soon as possible, to help him plan key jobs for the days when he has enough people around to help. He’ll keep worrying about it until he has lots of workers listed in the ship’s diary – and you don’t want to be personally responsible for the existence of a Worried Wolf, do you?
If he doesn’t hear from more volunteers in the next week or so, we will need to start phoning all those who have expressed an interest in helping, which would take up time and resources – so we’d much prefer not to have to do it!
Next, more details for the Training and AGM weekend, February 19th and 20th. This weekend will be the ideal way to start preparing for a great sailing season in 2005, for all sea staff, potential sea staff and shore supporters. It will be based around the sea cadet unit in Gosport and we hope to see as many people there as possible. It’s aimed at those aged 18+ but if there are any 16 and 17 year olds who particularly want to do one of the courses, please let me know and we’ll see whether or not it’s possible to make special arrangements for you.
The event will be in three parts: training, social and AGM.
Training: We now have four courses confirmed on Saturday 19th. They are all running simultaneously, so you can only do one of them!
RYA VHF/GMDSS course (£20 plus £20 exam fee).
RYA Radar course (£40).
First aid (£30).
Chart work, chart corrections and passage planning the OYT South way (free, but not leading to a formal qualification).
Numbers on all these courses are limited, so to be sure of your choice you need to email me with your first and second preference as soon as possible. (NB we would like to move towards a position where all third mates have First Aid and VHF/GMDSS, which are already compulsory for second mates – and we’d like all second mates to do the radar course. This weekend is a chance to do a course at a very competitive price).
On Sunday 20th Feb from 10.30-12.30 am we will run a session, open to everyone, on crew welfare. This looks at different issues that can arise on board and how we might tackle them.
[While we’re on the subject of training, I have one more announcement, entirely separate from this training weekend: Tony Salmon is offering an RYA Powerboat level 2 course in Gosport on March 26/27 for £50 per head to OYT South members (normally £180). This course is highly recommended for all mates and bosuns. Again, email me if you are interested]
Social: On the evening of Saturday 19th Feb we will have social evening open to sea staff, potential sea staff and shore supporters: a great opportunity to catch up with everyone.
AGM: The formal Ocean Youth Trust South Annual General Meeting will take place at 2.30 pm on the Sunday afternoon. Formal Advance Notice and Agenda attached. The AGM will be followed by an Open Forum for your questions and suggestions, details of the OYT South Development Plan, and a few words from the skipper.
Accommodation: If you want to come to both days and live some distance away from the South Coast then we will have accommodation available at the refit house – please let me know a.s.a.p. if you will be wanting to stay on the Saturday night.
We have made some minor amendments to the voyage programme in order to fit in with events during the Tall Ships Races. Please note changes of dates and prices for the following voyages:
JL05-28: 2-7 July, Portsmouth to Waterford, 5 nights, £381
JL05-29: 8-15 July, Waterford to Cherbourg, 7 nights, £560
Jl05-30: 16-26 July, Cherbourg to Newcastle, 10 nights, £635.
Other Tall Ships legs and related voyages remain unchanged:
JL05-31: 27 July–5 Aug, Newcastle to Fredrikstad (Norway), £635
JL05-32: 6–10 Aug, Fredrikstad to Bremerhaven (Germany) £305
JL05-34: 12-17 Aug, Bremerhaven to Ipswich £380
Also please note that there has been a change to the age limits on Tall Ships voyages, and they are now open to people aged 15-25, the lower limit having been reduced from 16. (The normal OYT South limit for non-Tall Ships voyages remains 12-25).
There are still crew berths available on all six of these voyages, as well as a wide range of other south coast trips during the rest of the season. Please contact the office on 0870 241 2252, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Owing to a cancellation, we now have 9 spaces on the first proper voyage of the year, 21-24 March, Southampton to Southampton, £140 – let’s make sure we fill this trip and get the season off to a good start!
We do have some bursary funding available, so if you want to sail on any voyage this year and really can’t afford the fees, please get in touch.
There is one set of restricted bursaries, available for the Portsmouth to Waterford trip 2-7 July: these funds are offered to young people from Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex. Please contact the office if this is the trip for you!
Sea staff: Many thanks to all those who have sent me their booking preferences. We’ve been particularly successful in attracting third mates and candidates for assessment voyages, so there are only a few vacancies for this berth in the spring and summer – though there are plenty of spaces from September onwards. However, I do need to hear from more first and second mates – especially anyone who could sail in March and April.
Also, there are still a few spaces for the following trips:
6th-10th April, adult familiarisation voyage, £190
6th-8th May, mates training weekend, £105
London Boat Show: This is running in London’s Docklands from now until 16th January. If you’ve never been to a Boat Show, it’s a great day out. OYT South does not have a stand at the London Boat Show (though we do at the Southampton show in September). But if any OYT South supporters are going along, please go and say hello to the Little Ship Club on stand B707. They have provisionally booked an OYT South voyage on board John Laing in June, as an adult Competent Crew course. This is at a time of year when we have historically struggled to sell voyages since most young people are doing exams. The Little Ship Club will be marketing this voyage at the Boat Show so it would be great if we can give them a bit of support.
Also, anyone planning to be at the Boat Show next Monday 10th January might like to know that our esteemed skipper Wolf will be there – anyone who wants to say hello will find him at the Guinness stand at around 4pm.
News from the boat: It’s been a long time since the last bulletin on 17th December! The pre-Christmas period was very busy, with help from Dinghy Boy, Rob Harwood, Tim Deverson, Mark Boggis, Tom Hughes, Ollie Watts and Vic from the Cruising Association. Dings and I were overjoyed to discover when we lifted the floorboards in the skipper’s cabin that the bilge was full of extremely smelly water. Since we had to remove it bit by bit in a 5 gallon container, we can report that we found 85 gallons, or not far short of 400 litres, most of which came from rain trickling through from the cockpit locker while John Laing was still outside. But at least the smell seems to have gone now….
Wolf then went sick with a disease that might well have been bubonic plague, it laid him so low. (Or perhaps, being a wolf, a mix of canine distemper, rabies and kennel cough). Princess Craig, who had returned from holiday purely to attend our Christmas party, found the party cancelled and had to take over running the refit for a few days instead.
However, I am glad to report that Wolf seems to be on the mend; and the team has been back at work since January 4th. This week’s helpers have included Tim, Ollie, Ceri and Kathryn again, plus Chris from Contact Marine, Karen (Phoebe’s friend), and Joel Kemp and Phil Harrison from Southampton City College. Two-thirds of the hull has now been sanded; lots of work has been done on the deck; the gas locker, cockpit locker, anchor locker and forepeak have all been prepped; and Chris has taken off the engine cylinder head and injectors. Thanks so much to all who have been down to the boat recently, and we look forward to seeing many more of you over the next few weeks!