OYT South bulletin 10th June 2022

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 10th June 2022

by | Jun 10, 2022

* Maintenance day tomorrow in Southampton – please help!

There’s a planned maintenance day on board Prolific in Ocean Village tomorrow, Saturday 11th June. If anyone is available to lend a hand, please call the boat on 07990 518915.

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* Voyage news
Huge thanks to all the many people who have rallied round in the last couple of weeks to see us through a period of staff sickness and ensure that we did the very best we could possibly manage for the young people on board!

We had two voyages for children in care over half-term, beginning with a new client, Portsmouth Virtual School. They coped brilliantly with the fact that their voyage had to start in Weymouth rather than Southampton as originally planned – massive thanks to the Rona Sailing Trust who came to the rescue with a minibus so we could get the young people to the boat! The group consisted of 10 young people who are in care in Portsmouth, sailing with two adult leaders. The young people were aged 14-17 and it was clear that many of them had ended up in the care system after hugely difficult experiences, travelling long distances from war-torn countries. Some displayed real courage by coming sailing, having had bad experiences making journeys by dinghy. They also did very well to cope with the voyage given that English was not the first language for most. Our staff said “they were an incredible crew, a real pleasure to have on board, and so thankful to have this experience and for all the opportunities they were offered.”

Arriving late at night in Weymouth, they had hot chocolate and basic introductions and safety briefings, and then straight to bed. Next morning they did some more briefings and drills in the sunshine before setting off, putting the sails up, doing a man overboard recovery drill, and enjoying some great sailing in Weymouth Bay. There wasn’t a lot of wind but they got three sails up! They anchored in Worbarrow for the night and enjoyed “extreme washing up” – a technique for getting lots of washing up done quickly amidst a lot of laughter and people getting wet. We had to have people on watch through the night to ensure the anchorage was secure, and everyone took their turn to stay awake for a short period. They were set a challenge of using their time on watch to produce a drawing of the best moment from the previous day, which were shared over breakfast.

Next day there were lots of lobster pots to avoid, and a chance for people to get out on the bowsprit. It was a lovely sunny day so people were startled when the first mate appeared and advised everyone to put on waterproofs – but she was quite right, having spotted a heavy rain squall on the radar! The watch off-duty were below deck and were astonished to come back on deck and find everyone wearing wet oilskins in bright sunshine, since the squall had gone through quickly.

Arriving off the Isle of Wight and anchoring in Freshwater Bay, there were keen volunteers for a second night of anchor watches, and everyone enjoyed a wonderful sunset. Next day they sailed round the south of the Isle of Wight and there was a lot to look at as they came in through the Nab anchorage, into the eastern Solent and past their home city of Portsmouth – container ships, warships, cruise liners, dredgers and more. They anchored in Osborne Bay during the afternoon and spent time developing their understanding of navigation and preparing their own passage plan to get the vessel safely back to Southampton – while enjoying the views. The young people then took charge for the final passage and did it all for themselves – navigation, helming and some very clear communication as they spotted navigation buoys and avoided ships.

The verdicts of their adult leaders were “My most favourite thing is watching you all laughing so much together and being kind, taking care of each other so much, it’s been amazing to see that in all of you” and “Excellent experience for our young people, they really enjoyed learning all the different sailing techniques! Thanks for all the patience with explaining to those with other languages! The washing up game was a hoot!” A girl aged 15 said: “This voyage has been much better than I ever thought it could be! The mates and crew have been spectacular there was nearly always a laugh and best of all when I first boarded I knew nothing of sailing now it’s all I talk about! I’m definitely considering applying for volunteering because I just had so much fun! Thank you.” A boy aged 15 said: “Everything was amazing and fantastic. I had a lot of fun chats with everyone had good time yeah.”

You can see the full voyage track here. They sailed 125 nautical miles.

Big thanks to sea staff Lee, Martyn, Miranda, Glyn, Phil, Nige and Sarah.

They were followed by another group of young people in care, this time organised by Kent Virtual School which has been working with us for several years. The group consisted of 10 young people who are in the care system, plus two care leavers aged 23 and 25.

They sailed to Cowes on the first evening, had some time ashore next morning, and then motored out into the western Solent, hoisting the main and mizzen and doing a man overboard recovery drill. Then the staysail went up and they headed out through the Needles Channel and spent some time learning how to manoeuvre the boat under sail – tacking and gybing. They anchored for the night in Freshwater Bay – a somewhat lumpy anchorage! Next morning they set off south of the Isle of Wight and had an absolutely cracking sail all the way to the forts in the eastern Solent. They spent that night at Gunwharf, in Portsmouth Harbour, and next day motored up the harbour to find space to hoist sails, which gave everyone a chance to look at the ships – including the newest aircraft carrier. Then they motor-sailed out of the harbour and did some more drills before heading up the north channel into Southampton Water and keeping the sails up all the way to Dockhead.

One of the two leaders said: “Most memorable, probably all the awesome scenery we got to see along the way, like the different sort of horizons and stuff … Thanks for the awesome experience and being patient! I’ve had a great time learning how to operate a boat” and the other added “Memorable bit is the singalongs with the boys … Thanks for the enjoyable time and voyage. I have had a great time making new friends and learning lots. Thanks to the staff, who were great!” A 16-year-old said: “My favourite bit was sort of just getting out in the wind, having a nice time”, and a 14-year-old said “The best bit is piloting the boat. And the memorable bit is just to make new friends and just enjoy it”. A 13-year-old said: “Thank you for teaching us about boats and how to put up and take down sails”; a 14-year-old said: “Thank you for letting me come, and helping me”; and a 17-year-old said: “Thank you for an amazing time, everything was so fun. I enjoyed every bit of the trip and all the experiences”.

You can see the full voyage track here. They sailed 87 nautical miles.

Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Brigid, Jon, Saul and Michelle, as well as congratulations to Anna Owen who completed her third mate’s assessment and extra special congratulations to Miranda Camping who qualified as a first mate. This is a really significant achievement as the first mate must be capable of taking over the vessel if the skipper is ill or injured, and getting everyone back to a safe haven. Miranda has been involved with the charity since her teens, initially doing several voyages in John Laing as a crew member and also helping with maintenance and other jobs on board in order to earn her bosun’s recommendation. After a number of voyages as relief bosun, she passed her third mate’s assessment in 2010 and was upgraded to second mate in 2014. Since then she’s had years of sailing experience and we are very proud to add her to our list of first mates!

This week has seen the hugely welcome return of a very longstanding client, Alfreton Park Community Special School, which works with students with multiple moderate to severe physical and learning difficulties. They come sailing with adult carers but it is great to see how much they can manage on board.

They joined us on Monday and anchored in Osborne Bay on the first night. Watchleaders Cathy and Zeenat have been the queens of bed-time stories! On Tuesday they went for a sail and ended up in Cowes in the afternoon, with much excitement at the prospect of going for ice-cream. Then showers, dinner, a movie and bed. Wednesday was windy so they stayed in Cowes and did dinghy rowing, going out on the bowsprit and a dry version of a man overboard recovery demonstration – here’s crew member Rubie acting as the casualty:

They had fish and chips that evening and there were also two cakes as two people had birthdays.

Yesterday they had quite a windy sail but still got people out on the bowsprit, steering and generally joining in with all the activities:

They ended up back in Ocean Village in time to have fajitas for dinner. As ever, they were a lovely group and it was a pleasure to have both the young people and the adult carers on board and to see once again just how much the young people can achieve when they are given the opportunity. Crew member Rubie earned an RYA Competent Crew certificate – the second level qualification ahead of Start Yachting which we more commonly award, but she put in loads of extra effort to cover the syllabus!

You can see their full voyage track here – they sailed 44 nautical miles. Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Cathy, Val, Iori, Di and Zeenat.

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* Movement for Good Awards – PLEASE keep nominating us and sharing the link!

Please nominate us for funding from Movement for Good!

Several times in the past we have been successful with these awards and we have had significant sums to spend on our work with young people, but it really does require as many people as possible to nominate us and to share this post and encourage others to help – it’s incredibly quick and easy!

Go to https://movementforgood.com/ecclesiastical and click Nominate Now. In the box “search for charity name or number”, put Ocean Youth Trust South or 1079959 and select “education and skills” under “charity type”. Fill in your own details and that’s it – it takes seconds!

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* 2022 volunteer sea staff bookings – revised list – PLEASE help!
Can anyone help to fill either of these spaces:

2-8 July – Southampton to Poole – one more qualified or trainee member of sea staff
23-27 July – Brixham – one more qualified or trainee member of sea staff (ideally also for maintenance day 22 July)

Dates are when young people are on board – sea staff generally need to join the day before.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you can help.

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Vessel tracking – see where Prolific is sailing now!
Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.

Just for the moment we can’t welcome visitors on board due to Covid protocols but if you discover that Prolific is in a harbour somewhere near you, please go and say hello from a safe distance. And sometimes you may be just what we need if you have local information or a bit of time to spare to help with something, or a car for running a quick errand!

Big thanks to the Graham High Charity who sponsor our vessel tracking.

There are also apps like Marine Traffic that you can use to track Prolific on your phone.

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* 2022 voyage
availability – young people aged 11-25 – including possible funded places
We are taking bookings for young people on the following voyages:

2-8 July, Southampton to Poole, 6 nights, £625
9-15 July, Poole tbc to Brixham, 6 nights, £625 – may be full unless we can add extra places – please ask!
23-27 July, Brixham, 4 nights, £425 – at least ONE place left!
10-16 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625
17-23 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625 – at least TWO places left!
24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole, 5 nights, £525 – at least ONE place left!
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, £525 – at least ONE or TWO places left!
21-25 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £410 (voyage starts later on Friday so people can join after schools break up for half term)

If you are interested in any of these dates. email webmaster1@oytsouth.org stating the age of the person who will be sailing. Our voyages can be open to people aged 11-25 but in practice we aim to divide people into compatible groups and not have 11-year-olds and 25-year-olds sailing together. If you are around the middle of the age range, any voyage on the list could work, but for younger or older people we will advise if your chosen date looks appropriate or not – sometimes it is hard to be sure until we have a reasonable number of enquiries.

People who are aged 18-25 can apply for places on youth voyages but would also be eligible for adult voyages (18+ with no upper age limit).

The two voyages on the list above which are most in need of extra bookings are 2-8 July, (Southampton to Poole) and 10-16 Aug (Brixham) – if anyone significantly disadvantaged or with a good reason for wanting to sail but unable to afford the voyage cost would like to apply for a part-funded or even a fully-funded place on either of these voyages, please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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2022 adult voyages and volunteer training
We have adult voyages scheduled as follows:

12-16 Sept 2022, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £425, adult week (Monday to Friday). Spaces available.

7-9 Oct 2022, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £215 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening). Spaces available.

These are open to anyone aged 18+ but priority will be given to people who are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the charity and potentially hoping to use the voyage to earn a recommendation for volunteer training (especially those who have not had the opportunity to earn a recommendation on a youth voyage), as well as current volunteers looking for some extra training on a voyage where they can focus on their own skills without the responsibility of supervising young people at the same time.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you are interested in an adult berth.

In addition, as we did in 2021, we have earmarked a special training voyage for young volunteers aged 16-25. This will run from 6-11 September and will be largely filled by invitation: we will be looking for young people who have excelled on a youth voyage and have great potential as volunteers, or people who have recently started sailing as young volunteers and whose training we are investing in for the future of the charity. We will be aiming to raise funds to make this voyage as affordable as possible: the priority is to focus on the best young people who could be part of the charity for years to come and will make it possible for us to sail with hundreds of other young people in future. Although we will be inviting people to join this voyage, if you would like to be considered, you can ask the skipper on any other voyage if they would recommend you, or you can email webmaster1@oytsouth.org asking to be considered. If not all the places are filled with young volunteers, we may open up a few places to others in the same age range who don’t mind getting involved while others practise their leadership skills.

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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 (pdf) we can claim back tax on your donation.

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Painting of Prolific – prints available to buy!

Our friend, Gosport-based marine artist Colin Baxter, has prints taken from an original painting of Prolific available for you to buy.


The unframed prints will measure 370mm x 230mm plus border. They will be numbered and signed, and will cost £45 if you can pick yours up in Gosport, and £50 if you need it posted (they will probably come rolled in a cardboard tube). Order here:

Postage / collection options

Anyone outside the UK wanting to order a copy, please email us.

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Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £1,000 through Easyfundraising!
“What a fool I was!” says Mark Todd.

“For ages I’ve seen in the bulletin that Easyfundraising is a good way to raise money for charity, but I never got round to doing anything about it, and when Caz told me how easy it was, I didn’t listen.

I thought it might be a hassle, or that I’d have to remember to do something when I bought stuff online, or that it probably wasn’t really worthwhile.

This week I finally got round to it and it turns out it’s a REALLY EASY way to raise money for the charity I care about … and I definitely should have done it sooner.

It takes a minute or two to sign up; you can do it on a desktop, tablet and/or phone, and you can install a widget that flags up when a donation is available. Once that’s done, imagine you’re looking to buy – say – a rainbow unicorn: just put “rainbow unicorn” in your usual search box, and the list of results shows you which sites come with donations, and how much. It’s up to you what to pick and whether to accept the donation from the site, but a huge choice of sites will offer a donation – and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner … but if there’s anyone else who has been like me and just not got round to it, PLEASE click the link now and sign up!”


We have already raised more than £1,000 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

OYT South is also registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop – Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, do have a look – once you pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity and start using https://smile.amazon.co.uk, you don’t need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

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OYT South social media – please get involved
One of the simplest ways you can help us while we can’t sail is to keep looking at our social media pages and share, retweet or like as many posts as possible. This all helps to make sure other people hear about us too – and the more we can keep alive the interest in our charitable work, the more people might help us now or start to think about sailing with us in future. Maybe you’ve got a community group, a local page, even a street WhatsApp where members might like to know that you are involved with a charity that could be of interest to them?

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!

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

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, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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Branded clothing
OYT South branded clothing available – please see here. You can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South’s logo!

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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.

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New readers’ welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday, and is also copied onto the website.

If you have just started receiving this newsletter by email, it is because we believe you have signed up and consented to receive it – perhaps by emailing us to ask for it, completing a form on our website, or adding your email address to the book on board where people can sign up to receive news, as well as leaving comments. If this was a mistake or you simply decide you want to stop receiving the newsletter, just press “reply” to the email and write UNSUBSCRIBE at the top, or email webmaster1@oytsouth.org asking to unsubscribe.

Each week the newsletter 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. 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.

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.

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Receiving this newsletter by email
Many thanks to all those who have given consent to receiving this newsletter by email. If you are not currently getting it by email and would like to, please just click here Newsletter Subscribe and press “send”, or email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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