Prolific in the Kiel Canal - and a winching team!

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 18th August 2017

In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *


* Voyage news
Last week’s bulletin left Prolific heading towards Kiel - a cracking sail requiring only two tacks, and with the boat doing 12 knots at one point. They got into Kiel around midnight last Friday, and on Saturday started making their way through the Kiel Canal. They stopped that night partway along the canal in Rendsburg where the marina was very helpful despite the fact that we ended up not in the one we had booked (we have heard two completely different versions of whose fault this was and for the sake of diplomacy in the bulletin we can only suggest that the answer may lie somewhere in between the versions given by Mark and Jonathan). Either way, Peta did a great reverse to get the boat in. They left at 0630 next day and had a great motor along the canal with plenty to keep people amused - in fact the video post showing what they got up to has already been seen more than 3,000 times on Facebook..

They eventually arrived in Cuxhaven (great navigation by crew member Alex) and had a major farewell party on Sunday night before the crew went home on Monday - Prolific’s saloon looked as though it was hosting a rave! It was a great crew who completed 373 nautical miles. Three people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates but all the others already had that or a higher qualification. Big thanks to sea staff Mark, Martyn, Peta, Steve, Shaun, Jonathan and Di and special congratulations to our Staff Engineer Josh who completed his second mate’s assessment!

The next crew joined on Tuesday - another really good group. The start of the voyage was held up a little as some flights were delayed, so there was only time for briefings and introductions on the first day; but at 8am on Wednesday they set off, initially motoring because there was no wind, and made their way out of the Elbe estuary and down past the Frisian Islands. The wind filled in during the afternoon and they had a lovely sail on through into a clear night with lots of stars. There were a lot of other yachts to see, plus a number of gas platforms which pleased Andy Brown! They arrived in Harlingen yesterday morning after 24 hours and 198 nautical miles - not bad as a first passage for those who were new to it! Yesterday the crew had the chance to visit a ship being prepared for the Northeast Passage, an Arctic route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans past Russia's and Norway's coasts. Today they had a very early start to get into the Ijsselmeer, and they are hoping for Amsterdam tomorrow! Big thanks to sea staff James, Andy, Lee, Josh, Sally, Steve, Hannah, Dave and Lauren.

Back to index


Vessel tracking

Don’t forget you can always see where Prolific is sailing by using the vessel tracking page on our website, generously sponsored by the Graham High Charity. This updates every few hours. If you are really keen and want up-to-the-minute vessel positions and more information, there are various apps for smartphone users (not always free) - MarineTraffic is a good option.

Back to index


* Andy’s leaving present - please give generously!
You probably all know by now that our lovely Staff Skipper Andy Viney is leaving us at the end of this season after five great years, which involved our final seasons with John Laing, plus a major refit and the first season with Prolific. We really want to send him off with a nice leaving present, so please give generously ! There is a webpage here with a paypal link and details of other ways of contributing.

Back to index


* 2017 voyage programme - LAST FEW berths available this year
Unless we get any cancellations there is currently just one voyage left this year which is not fully-booked. We have had a group enquiry for this voyage but it can’t be confirmed before the start of term and if they decide not to take it, we will need to fill places, so please let us know if you might be interested:

16-20 Oct - Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available tbc (full-boat booking) - age 12-25 - £285pp. This voyage has had an unavoidable cancellation by a group which had already paid a non-refundable 25% deposit, so the price has now been reduced from £375 per person.

Other than that, anyone who wants to sail should let us know, especially if you might be available at short notice - then if we get any cancellations on any voyages this autumn, we will let you know straight away. Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

Back to index

.
* Volunteer sea staff needed

The following dates have not yet been confirmed as bookings for anyone so please let us know if you can help to fill any of the gaps. Although we are running with extra sea staff this year, we definitely want to fill any spaces - please don't think we might not really need you if we already have a good team on board, because we definitely do need you!

Dates marked tbc have been offered to someone but not confirmed (e.g. they may not have got permission from employers to take leave for the voyage) so please bid for them if you wish and we will let you know as soon as possible if there is space for you or not.

13-15 Oct (weekend voyage) - possible vacancy tbc for another watchleader
16-20 Oct
- 3M
30 Oct - experienced watchleaders for day sail

NB dates given are when young people are on board - we generally need sea staff the day before (except for weekend voyages). All voyages start and finish in Southampton unless otherwise stated.

Bear in mind that we are carrying extra sea staff in Prolific's first season so if we appear to be advertising for someone in your role on dates you have already accepted, don't worry - it's unlikely we have forgotten you; but there is space for someone else as well.

If you can help with any of these, please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

Back to index


Winter refit core team needed
We haven’t yet finalised plans for Prolific’s winter refit 2017-18, but if you are planning a gap year, or you are between jobs or for any other reason potentially available for several weeks or months this winter, might you be interest in joining our full-time refit team? More details here, including an initial expression of interest form. Plenty of our previous refit volunteers have gone on to great jobs in the marine industry - it really helps to have maintenance experience as well as good sailing skills when applying for sailing jobs! And any refit volunteers who want to sail in Prolific can be offered berths as watchleaders, bosuns, or relief engineers. So it’s a great way of developing useful experience, contributing to a good cause, securing free food and accommodation for a few months, and having a positive experience with a fun group of people!

Back to index


Prolific maintenance days 2017 - help needed - including THIS Wednesday in Ipswich!
The remaining list of 2017 maintenance days is as follows - please put these dates in your diary and come and help on any of them if you possibly can:

Wednesday 23rd August - Ipswich
Sunday 24th September - Southampton

Email refit@oytsouth.org or phone 07990 518915 to let us know you are coming so we can plan jobs and make sure there is food on board for all helpers!

Back to index


DRAFT 2018 sailing programme
We have published a draft 2018 programme based on spending the summer in the west country (specific ports yet to be decided). We are taking bookings for next year, which sometimes involves shuffling things around to get dates and voyage durations to suit as many people as possible. This means that parts of the programme are not yet set in stone; but some periods of the 2018 season are already filling up very fast, so if you are interested in a group or individual voyage next year, do please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and let us know what you want, so that we can see what might be fitted around clients who have already put in their voyage requests.

Please note that we are NOT looking for volunteer sea staff bids yet!

Back to index


From youth crew to volunteer
Have you just done a voyage as a young crew member, enjoyed it, and been told by the skipper or any of the other sea staff to think about coming back as a volunteer on board? This is how many of our watchleaders and bosuns started, and it’s a great opportunity for getting years of very cheap sailing, plus something impressive to add to your CV, college or job applications. If you start volunteering with us and do well, you could gain invaluable experience in leading and motivating teams, looking after safety issues, taking responsibility and more - especially if you end up volunteering on some of our voyages with highly disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

If you’ve had a recommendation from the skipper, it’s still really up to you to decide whether you are keen and ready to take this step - moving from being a young crew member who can be looked after and supported by the sea staff, into a position of responsibility where you will be looking after other people and responsible for helping to deliver a successful voyage to others, and accepting that this can involve hard work - though we hope our volunteers also have plenty of fun! Junior volunteers will still get support and advice from more experienced sea staff, but you really have to be ready to get stuck in when there are things to do and your effort can help make the difference to keeping the boat working smoothly and ensuring that another group of young people has the best possible experience!

But the next stage is really up to you. There are plenty of young people who impress us on voyages each year, but the ones who get to come back for more voyages, training and qualifications are the ones who show a real interest and make the effort to keep in touch - we simply don’t have the time to chase all of you individually if we don’t hear from you. Reading this weekly newsletter is vital - you will see when we are advertising for trainee mates or bosuns, or offering courses, or asking for help with maintenance or other events. You may also sometimes see that we have a short-notice vacancy for a crew berth - if we can’t fill the place with a paying customer, offering it as a cut-price or even free place to a new potential volunteer whom we know will be an asset to the team is much better than sailing with an empty berth. So if you are keen, PLEASE read the bulletin and don’t be afraid to reply and ask questions - if you’re not sure whether an opportunity is suitable for you or not, or if there might be age restrictions, just ask. We really do want to hear from you!

Back to index


Southampton Boat Show 2017 - special offer
The Southampton Boat Show will run from 15th to 24th September 2017. John Goode has again kindly arranged for discounted Boat Show tickets for OYT South members, families and friends. If you receive the email version of this newsletter, you can see the discount details, which we can't put on a public website.

Back to index


OYT South AGM 4th November– save the date!
OYT South’s AGM will be held on 4th November at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, 1730 onwards. We will aim to follow it with the usual curry night. All welcome - more details to come in due course but for now, please put the date in your diaries!

Back to index


Financial appeal

We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries - please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, large or small.

See here for how to make a donation - you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can. Don't forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form we can claim back tax on your donation.

Back to index


Chris Ellis Award - win £££s off sailing
If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again next year (and are aged 12-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £200 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video - anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to webmaster1@oytsouth.org or posted to the office to arrive by Christmas. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity's founder.

Back to index


Small boat training opportunities for sea staff
A while ago we consulted sea staff about the need for a small boat so that people can practise skills which aren’t easily learned in Prolific. While we have concluded, that - for the time being - the cost and workload of having a training boat of our own didn’t make that a good option, there was nevertheless a clear demand for access to a small boat. We have therefore made an arrangement with our good friends at the Discovery Sailing Project for the occasional use of their 34-foot Alexander Fairey. The yacht is currently having work done and will be lifted at the end of January and back in service around mid February. She can be chartered by OYT South sea staff on the following conditions:

The person in charge must have a full Day Skipper qualification and a recommendation from Mark Todd or Andy Viney confirming that you are an active member of OYT South sea staff with an appropriate level of competence; and there must be a second person on board with Day Skipper or suitable experience in case the skipper is incapacitated. Additionally someone must have RYA First Aid (or equivalent) and hold a valid VHF Radio Licence. At the moment the price is £250 for a weekend (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) and £100 per day mid-week. This cost is ‘bare boat’. Cost for gas is included and diesel is charged at an hourly rate, deducted from a £20 cash deposit paid before takeover. The balance will be fully refunded if the vessel is left clean - if not, a deduction will be made for cleaning. Cleaning materials are provided.

Alexander Fairey sleeps a maximum of 8 people so might be suitable for a group of OYT South sea staff to get together and develop boat handling skills and command experience. Anyone interested should contact Clive Fisher at dsp_office@btconnect.com with preferred dates - obviously the boat is used for their own sea staff so the issue will always be about making sure they can fit everyone in.

Back to index


Youth Trustee - speaking up for young people

OYT South has a rule that at least one member of the Board of Trustees - which runs the charity - should be in the same age range as the young people who sail with us. The current Youth Trustee is 19-year old student Jack Dignan, who did his first voyage with us a couple of years ago. Jack is in a position to speak up for young crew members, suggest changes in the way the charity operates or to do anything else which will improve the experience of the young people who sail with us. If you are a young person and you have ideas or suggestions for how we can do better, and you want to talk to someone close to your own age, you can contact Jack. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Jack. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Jack can point you in the right direction. You can email him at jackdignan@oytsouth.org.

Back to index


Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
Raise And Sail is a section of this website full of ideas, information and support for young people who would like to raise money in order to come sailing with us. Huge thanks to Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows for putting Raise And Sail together. We hope you will find it useful - let us know how you get on as we can add success stories and new ideas to the site in due course.

Back to index


Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - do have a look and sign up if you want the qualification.

For those of you who want something a little more advanced, one of our relief skippers, Simon Jinks, is offering online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. Simon is a great sailor and a top instructor so this is very highly recommended. Details here. He is also offering a one-day Weather for Sailors course. Please note that Simon's website also includes Essential Navigation and the PPI course, both of which OYT South can offer in-house.

With our own courses and Simon's we now have navigation courses to suit everyone from total beginners right up to the most advanced level - please give it a go and do ask for advice if you are not sure which course is right for you.

Back to index


Keep in touch with other OYT South people
We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth - please do give us a Like! if you were friends with John Laing on our old page (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing please do move to the new page now.

We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18. Young crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual adults.

Back to index


Survey - tell us what you think
If you have recently completed a voyage, please help us by filling in our web-based survey. It really helps - we use the data to keep improving our voyages, and to help us raise funds!

Back to index


New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our e-newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday. It includes a wide range of news from the boat and from the charity, including details of voyages available for young people; adult voyages; opportunities for adult volunteers both ashore and afloat, and much more. We find that while some people read the bulletin almost every week, many others dip in and out, and read it when it's convenient - which is why some items are repeated. The new items are marked with an asterisk * so that if you did read it last week, you can see which sections you can safely skip.

Please feel free to join in any OYT South activities - nothing here is restricted to long-standing members or people who already know one another. New people are always very welcome!

If you need an introduction to the work of OYT South, you should find a lot of useful information on our website. But essentially, we are a registered charity (no. 1079959) which exists to offer adventure under sail as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 12-25, from the widest possible range of backgrounds. A high proportion of our young crew members are disadvantaged or deserving in some way: many of these sail in groups organised by other charities, youth clubs, special schools and so on, and will fill the bulk of our term-time voyages. But those from more fortunate backgrounds are also welcome to sail, either in groups or by coming as individuals on a mixed voyage. Every year we run a variety of shorter local voyages plus longer adventure trips - sometimes including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here - and this section is also useful for adults who are thinking of organising a voyage for a young person. Adults planning to organise a full group voyage should also see here. Adults who want to sail themselves should see here. And there is a video here, made by a crew from the Prince's Trust, to give you an idea of what a voyage might be like!

We have a professional staff skipper and engineer, but our watch leaders are normally all volunteers, who combine sailing skills with an interest in working with young people. You can find more information here - how the system works, how to join, and profiles of existing staff and volunteers.  

To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please see here. To help with the vessel's annual refit, see here.

It is a very expensive business maintaining a boat, running an office and employing staff. If you want to help us, please become a member of OYT South. Or see here for information on making a donation.

If you have any questions, please do email - or contact the office.

Back to index

 




“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte

Contacts