OYT South bulletin 19th August 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 19th August 2022

by | Aug 19, 2022

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

* Voyage news
The last newsletter left us with our crew from MACS, the charity for young people born without eyes or with under-developed eyes, heading for Fowey.

There they had shore leave and ice-cream, and there was a regatta going on so plenty happening around them as a well as a games night on board.

Leaving Fowey, they anchored in beautiful Lantic Bay and enjoyed the sunshine and the beach before heading back to Cawsand. The final passage from Cawsand back to Brixham was eventful as they picked up a distress message from a vessel whose engine had stopped working and there wasn’t enough wind to sail, so Prolific went and towed them to Brixham entrance.

Young people on bowsprit  Young people grinding winches

The voyage ended in Brixham after 151 nautical miles. Many of the crew had been before and already earned their RYA certificates, but there were four new Start Yachting qualifications awarded. The full voyage track can be seen here. Big thanks to the sea staff Nic Crawford, Josh, Sara, Glyn Collins, Michelle van den Bergh and Hal Strode.

Of the crew members who had sailed with us several times, one commented: I think my most memorable bit is seeing the independence of everyone this year, obviously like from previous voyages, but also from the start of the week. Like seeing how much everyone’s grown not only in sailing knowledge but just like personally as well, and how independent everybody is, and it’s just really nice to compare it to the start of the week but also previous years as well.” Another said: “It’s just been really nice to not feel like different for once because of an eye condition and to be with other people who are similar, it’s been really nice to get involved and meet people like that.”

Among those who were new to sailing, one said: “The best bit would probably be how much I’ve surprised myself by how much I’ve loved sailing and being on the boat. I really feel like I’ve taken to it and I’ve enjoyed the whole week … I have loved my experience on board and I am thrilled that this trip has sparked a passion that I never knew I had. I would love to come back and am keen to potentially sign up as sea staff to make more great memories on this boat.” Another added: “Are there any objections to me taking the crown of being the most blind here? I’ll take that crown and wear it proudly, but obviously that brought many challenges, especially with this being a completely new experience. And so I guess I just wanted to thank you guys, I mean collectively, for making the adaptations that you did, and like trying to explain things differently. Quite frankly, it’s just not something you see every day.” And a third new crew member said: “My favourite part of the voyage was probably going out on the bowsprit, that was amazing, but also I think steering the boat because that’s something I’ve never done before, and the fact I was doing it all by myself at one point was pretty impressive, and I didn’t manage to crash it!”

Smiling young people on deck  People on deck at sunset

That was followed by a mixed group of individual bookings, including a number with bursary funding. The group joined in Brixham on Wednesday and after basic safety briefings, sailed to a nearby anchorage off Torquay on the first night. Next morning they were up at 0600 and full of enthusiasm for dawn sail hoists:

Young people hauling halyard at dawn  Young person on helm gives thumbs-up

This was the view as they came into the harbour, and here’s Prolific on the mooring:

Prolific moored at dusk

They had a full day in Falmouth with time ashore and training for their RYA certificates. It was Falmouth Sailing Week so there were races and other events, plus a firework display in the evening, with Prolific in position for the very best view:

Prolific against a background of fireworks

Next day they headed for Fowey, and our trainee bosun practised a man overboard recovery drill on the way.

Here’s the view as they approached Fowey. They had a movie night on board and the next day were able to explore the town and visit the beach. Then in the afternoon they went round the corner to an anchorage in beautiful Lantic Bay where they went ashore for more beach time.

Prolific in Lantic Bay

An evening departure meant the crew got some night sailing with fabulous skies and a team of young people responsible for the pilotage into Cawsand:

The moon bright above a dark sea

This was the view as they woke up next morning in Cawsand.

More training for RYA certificates followed, with dinghy rowing around the boat, and then they set off again – enjoying the company of friends from the Island Trust:

Girl on helm watches sailing vessel alongside

On passage they saw a minke whale, and by evening they were approaching Brixham again:

Sunseyt view of the approach to Brixham

The voyage ended next morning after 175 nautical miles. You can see the full voyage track here. Seven people earned RYA Competent Crew certificates – the others had the qualification already. Big thanks to sea staff Mark Todd, Brigid Stoney, Josh, Hannah Brown, Michelle van den Bergh, Anna Owen and special congratulations to Robert Lawrence, who was signed off as a third mate on his first voyage with young people and clearly has the potential to go further with the charity.

Crew comments included: The most memorable bit will probably be how well we can sing Bohemian Rhapsody, again and again, and again. And again”; “My favourite bit about this trip has been doing it with everyone here. Couldn’t have asked for a better crew, couldn’t have asked for a better staff team, any of them”; “It was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again. Thank you to all staff and crew for being so amazing and you’ve brought me and everyone out of their shell to an amazing world at sea” and “It was a fantastic week with fantastic people. I made lots of friends & memories. It was also great to do something completely different and have a break from normal life.”

Another crew of mixed individual bookings joined on Wednesday this week and after a night in harbour while strong winds blew through, they got up at 6am yesterday and set off. Within a mile of leaving they had already seen dolphins and a seal.

Young people lined up on Prolific's bow  Boy steering Prolific

They did some man overboard recovery drills and arrived in Plymouth last night in time for the second night of the British Fireworks Championships!

Young people watching fireworks

Today they are heading towards Fowey. Big thanks to sea staff Lee Mosscrop, Josh, Brigid Stoney, Hannah Brown, Anna Owen, Di Roberts and Nathan Kelsall.

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* Volunteer sea staff vacancy – can anyone sail 23-27 Sept?
We now need one more volunteer – watchleader, trainee mate, or bosun – to join the boat on 23rd Sept through to 27th Sept – email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you can help!

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* Fifty years ago
John Glackin recently called our office, to tell us what the charity was doing exactly fifty years ago. In 1972, the Daily Express sponsored an Ocean Youth Club crew on board Falmouth Packet at Cowes Week:

Old newspaper clipping showing young crew on deck

This photo was taken by an Express staff photographer, and the newspaper also paid for the white kit the crew are all wearing.

John thought it might be of interest to us in highlighting how long we’ve been making a lasting difference to young people’s lives. He still remembers the voyage clearly and fondly and said it made a huge difference to him to be picked, taught new skills and then celebrated in this way.

The skipper was Peter Hambly, supported by Jane & Henry Guy. John says: “I’m the 6th one in from the left, facing the camera … I had hair and brawn in those days….”

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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 adult voyages and volunteer training – any over-18s want to sail 12-16 Sept?
We have adult voyages (no specific upper age limit) scheduled as follows:

12-16 Sept 2022, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £425, adult week (Monday to Friday). Up to 5 places left.

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

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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Winter refit volunteers needed
We are planning a slightly different sort of winter refit this year – those of you who have been involved for a while will know that it has often taken a full four months between November and March; but this year we are planning to get the bulk of the work finished in November and December, and then take a break from full-time refit until the time comes to get ready for sea trials and the first voyages in March.

We are therefore looking to recruit a core team of volunteers to come and help us this winter in November and December. This is something we’ve been doing since at least 2002: a small full-time team offers continuity alongside all the other volunteers who come for odd days or weekends. We provide free food and accommodation (mainly on board, this year) for the core team, as well as great experience in boat maintenance and a chance to make a real difference to a good cause while enjoying a sociable couple of months in the team. Many previous core team members are still great friends of the charity – some still sailing with us, others using the experience to help develop their careers. Please see here for details and how to apply.

No particular experience is needed – just a great attitude. We can teach you some skills but we also need people who can sand and paint, shift equipment, assist the skilled team and more. This is ideal if you are on a gap year or otherwise between jobs and other commitments!

We will also be looking for volunteers wanting to help for shorter periods or just the occasional day, but we will sort this out much nearer the time, once the core team is organised.

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Southampton Boat Show – discounted tickets
In memory of the late John Goode, we have once again been offered a discounted ticket offer for our members wishing to visit the Southampton Boat Show. Details are in the email version of this newsletter which goes to members and subscribers.

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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 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.

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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 Mike and Rosemary Martin for a very kind donation; to Richard Powell for a fantastic donation to support this autumn’s voyage for Bay House School in Gosport; and to the Pointer Family Trust which has pledged another exceptionally generous donation for bursaries for young people who need financial help in order to be able to sail.

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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