OYT South bulletin 15th July 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 15th July 2022

by | Jul 15, 2022

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

Revised Covid guidelines
Last season we had a policy of insisting on compulsory Covid tests before joining the boat, for everyone sailing – young people, group leaders, staff and volunteers. This season, with infection rates initially lower and the end of free test kits, we relaxed this and made testing a recommendation but not compulsory: however, we have kept this under review and we have recently taken the decision to return to compulsory testing.

This is in response to two things in particular: first is the evidence of a rising infection rate, confirmed by experience on board: we have recently seen more people dropping out of voyages because they tested beforehand and had a positive result.

Second is something that clients have mentioned to us: this summer many families have planned holidays for the first time since 2019, and some have been booking flights and accommodation – all of which is at risk if someone in the family tests positive before they are due to go. Others have been booking festivals or are hoping to attend graduation events, weddings and more. Which means clients are very keen that we should take the rise in infections seriously and do everything we can to keep the boat Covid-free.

Unlike last year, when we asked for two negative tests, three days apart, before sailing, the plan this year is to ask for just ONE test on the day before joining the boat, with evidence of a negative test sent to us that day. Young people will be sent details of what they need to do with their voyage joining instructions, and we have contacted sea staff separately.

We know the end of free testing may be an issue for some families, so if anyone is going to struggle to get hold of a test, OYT South can provide one as long as you tell us in time to post a kit out to you.

We will keep the procedure under review to make sure it is working effectively, and will remove restrictions once it is safe to do so.

We very much hope this change will keep everyone safer over the coming months and help to avoid disruption to people’s summer plans!

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* 2022 voyage availability – any young people want to sail 10-16 August or 17-23 August?

Most voyages are full or very nearly full now – except 10-16 August, for some reason! These individual youth voyages definitely still have spaces available:

10-16 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625 – several places left!
17-23 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625 –at least 1 place left and possibly up to four
6-11 Sept, Southampton, 5 nights, £525 – special voyage open to young people aged 16-25 who are training as volunteers for the charity –1 or 2 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)

Bursary funding may be available for young people who would like to sail but cannot afford it – please ask.

Other individual youth voyages MAY have spaces available if we can add extra capacity or if provisional bookings are not confirmed – please ask as things can always change!

23-27 July, Brixham, 4 nights, £425
24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole, 5 nights, £525
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, £525

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.

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).

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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.

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* Volunteer sea staff berths available

We are urgently looking for a back-up first mate who might be able to sail on the following dates, as the current first mate may have to drop out at short notice for unavoidable reasons:

23-27 July, Brixham
28 July – 2 Aug, Brixham

This could also apply to 24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole.

Also on that 24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole, we MAY need another qualified watchleader as someone may have to drop out for family reasons – we’ll know for sure quite soon but it would be good to have a back-up option in place.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you might be able to help.

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* Voyage news
A couple of weeks ago we enjoyed a superb day sail with sponsors, donors and other supporters on board – glorious sunshine and the perfect wind speed and direction for Prolific to perform to her best, and all without lunch falling off the table! We were delighted to welcome on board people from two charities which both provide us with grants for bursary funding in memory of young men who never had the opportunity to sail with us: #WillDoes and Ned’s Fund.

We also had on board Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, a supporter in his own right but also on this occasion visiting us on behalf of Hampshire’s Lord-Lieutenant. Oliver told us afterwards: “I so enjoyed my first sail on Prolific on Friday, and the more I think about it the luckier I feel to have experienced such a perfect sailing day in so many ways. I was hugely impressed by the crew, who made us all feel so welcome and who gently involved every one of us in the running of the ship, as evidenced by the glowing tributes expressed at the de-briefing. I am so glad to have the opportunity to experience all of this and to be able to convey the Lord-Lieutenant’s appreciation of the wonderful and hugely beneficial work that you all do for the community on board Prolific.” Other guests on the day included people with an OYC and OYT history stretching back for decades. Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Annant, Dave, Josh, Sara, Caz and Annette.

That was followed by a mixed crew of individual bookings who arrived well up for an adventure – and took on our first Channel crossing since 2019! They sailed overnight on Saturday and reached Guernsey on Sunday evening. That meant they could enjoy a well-earned rest day on Monday with time to make the most of a beautiful island, with showers, ice cream and time on the beach. They left in the early evening on Monday for the short passage to Alderney, to break up the return Channel crossing. They had a cracking night sail and picked up a buoy in Braye harbour (huge thanks to the harbour master for looking after us so well and making us feel welcome).

The crew were in bed by midnight which meant that everyone got a decent rest before tackling the next long passage – a wonderful crossing back to Weymouth Bay in eleven and a half daylight hours. There was little wind so they had to motor but there was sunshine, dolphins, smiles, music and dancing on deck.

They anchored outside Weymouth and next morning a berth was freed up for Prolificand they were able to enter the harbour and were alongside by 10am. Showers came first followed by Boho’s Gelato – yummy ice cream for all. Then off to the beach for sand and sea fun while some of the staff stayed behind to help maintain the boat.

After a good night’s sleep, the sails went up after breakfast and they had a gorgeous sail as far as St Alban’s ledge. Then the wind died and they motored the rest of way to Poole.

Ashore for more beach, shops and showers, then back for dinner and a movie on board, and the voyage ended next day. They sailed 264 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here. Ten people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates (four others already had that qualification or higher, from previous sailing).

Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Josh, Sara, Dave Dent, Harry Lack and well done to Hannah Nicoll, returning for her second trip in Prolific and only the first time as a member of volunteer sea staff, who got quite a lot of sections signed off for her third mate’s assessment and should have a good chance of completing it on her next voyage.

Next came another mixed group of individual bookings, joining in Poole last Saturday. They didn’t sail that evening but did all the introductions and safety briefings, and it was great to see the group gelling immediately, with friendships quickly made. They had very little wind all week but motored to Weymouth on Monday, staying fairly close inshore to enjoy the scenery of the Jurassic Coast. In Weymouth they enjoyed the beach and ice-cream (thanks to Lottie from the previous crew for the ice-cream voucher!). Next day they headed for Devon, trying to sail and hoisting the jib for an elusive breeze which soon abandoned them. However, there was a significant consolation as they were joined by dolphins which stayed with them for a long time, so that some people were lucky enough to get out on the bowsprit with dolphins directly underneath.

Hope Cove proved a popular anchorage, with rave reviews after dinghy runs ashore. They went into Salcombe on the next afternoon tide and picked up a buoy. Salcombe Yacht Club made us very welcome, allowing us to use their showers and helping out with a water taxi service. The crew had a beach BBQ. Salcombe was looking its best – although of course any view is enhanced by having Prolific in the middle!

Next they sailed to Dartmouth and anchored outside.

The following day there was wind in the forecast at last – but only for VERY early in the morning! The crew took a vote and as a result were up at 0430 and Prolific was under way by 0450, before sunrise. They were rewarded with a few hours of really good sailing.

When the wind eventually died again, they anchored and people were able to catch up on lost sleep, lying on the deck beanbags in the shade. Finally they motored into Brixham, our home-from-home – lovely to be back for the first time this year, with the usual warm welcome from MDL marina staff.

They had travelled 166 nautical miles, and you can see the full vessel track here. It was a fantastic crew, with lots of future potential sea staff, including at least four who would be ready to return in a staff berth straight away.

Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Sara, Graeme Cole, Martin Bayfield and special congratulations to Vernon Harten-Ash and Ciaran Robinson who both completed third mate assessments. This was really nice to see as they approached it from completely different ends of the spectrum – Vernon as a highly-qualified sailor with years of experience but new to OYT South last year, and Ciaran who has worked his way up since first sailing with us as a 13-year-old MDL Award Winner in 2017.

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* Nathan’s fundraising challenge –what happened in the mountains?
Our 18-year-old volunteer Nathan Kelsall made a fabulous start to his challenge to climb 15 Welsh mountains in three days to raise funds for us, conquering 7 peaks on the first day. But do have a look at his tales on Twitter @Nathan85806697 – it’s clear that every peak was a huge challenge with high winds and cloud.

Eventually, with deteriorating weather conditions and high winds of 40-50mph due, they were advised to cut the challenge short. Obviously OYT South was fully behind this decision – safety has to be the priority on the mountains as well as on board Prolific – and we all send massive support and sympathy to Nathan, who could not have tried any harder. He is still planning to climb the remaining 8 peaks, but sadly it won’t be all 15 on consecutive days. His fundraising page is still open – please share the link and support him.

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* 2023 DRAFT sailing programme

A draft 2023 has gone to all our regular clients and we have had bids from a lot of groups before a deadline which was set for this week, for the initial round of voyage allocations. The next stage is to resolve any clashes and make adjustments to the programme as requested, to meet clients’ needs, and then book the ports accordingly. Once that is done we will publish the rest of the voyage programme with voyage availability for other bookings. If you are still interested in a full-boat group booking for 2023, please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org. We will reserve some voyages for individual bookings and publish those details later on; but for the moment we’ll be looking at options for schools, charities and other organisations which need to get something on next year’s calendar now, as we know some of them find it helpful to have it settled by the end of this term.

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New Annual Report

OYT South’s Annual Report for the financial year November 2020 to October 2021 is now available!

It includes our accounts but also a lot of facts and figures, comments from young people and clients, and much more. It is a true celebration of our return to sailing after such a long period with no voyages due to Covid; and a real tribute to everyone who helped to see us through such a difficult period, and those who ensured that our return to sailing was safe and effective. The report shows just how much our voyages meant to young people last year, after all the experiences they had missed and the opportunities they had lost. Everyone involved with the charity should feel very proud when they read this report.

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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! We weren’t lucky in the June draw but that’s all the more reason to keep on nominating us for the next draw.

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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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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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to the D C R Allen Trust who have once again made an exceptionally generous donation for bursaries, enabling us to offer places to young people who could never afford the full cost of a voyage. Big thanks also to Penny Scott Bayfield and Libby Purves for fantastic contributions; and to Nick White and David Cannell for great donations to Prolific’s maintenance fund.

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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