OYT South bulletin 1st April 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 1st April 2022

by | Apr 1, 2022

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

* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter ended as the girls from Greig City Academy were enjoying time ashore in Totland last Friday. They then sailed to Stokes Bay with opportunities for people to go out on the bowsprit on the way. They had a movie night at anchor – all chose Moana and sang enthusiastically at the start but largely drifted off to sleep before the end! On Saturday it was breezy and they went back to Southampton under just the staysail. You can see the full voyage track here.

Everyone in the group earned an RYA Start Yachting certificate as evidence of real achievement. Skipper Holly said: In all aspects this was the perfect first voyage to kick off a brand-new season. Not only was the weather unseasonably on our side, but also the crew were fantastic. They were all communicative and competent, keen to listen to instructions when required. They showed each other and us a level of respect and politeness that gave us the impression of a strong foundation in such things being laid well at the school, and were collectively surprisingly mature for 12-13-year-olds. They appear used to following a clear structure of: understanding the goal, attempting it, achieving the task, then enjoying the reward or praise – which made leading them in a sailing capacity easy. This group of young people represented themselves and their school very well. Many of them were super keen to return and I would be very happy to welcome any of them back!”

One 13-year-old said: “Really loved the days spent here. Had so much fun and loved everyone” and another added: “I hope to come back, all the staff members were friendly and easy to get on with. We will miss all of them.”

Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Josh, Andrew Wilkes, Cathy Ayres, Dave Dent and Sara Abdur.

A new voyage began on Monday with a crew of young people in care with Southampton City Council. After introductions and safety briefings they had an evening crossing to Cowes, and then next day spent some time on the water learning how to sail Prolific and trying different manoeuvres, before ending at anchor in Stokes Bay. On Wednesday they briefly returned to Ocean Village as a few of the young people needed to leave. The remaining crew sailed to Cowes and had a walk to the beach before fish and chips and a movie night on board.

On Thursday morning they had to wait for a weather window to leave the berth in Cowes so had some time in the park playing with footballs and frisbees, and then watchleader Willoughby arranged for them to have a tour of the local lifeboat station. Back on board they had some training in navigation and chartwork and were eventually able to leave – the skipper wants to give special thanks to the harbourmaster in Cowes for support and help.

The wind was calmer as they set off and all seemed fine until they were in the middle of the Solent where the encountered a couple of 40-knot squalls and horizontal snow! It was the most extraordinary contrast to the previous voyage which was all about the sunshine. The young people this week deserve huge credit for sticking to their roles on this crossing as everyone still took it in turns to steer, and once they were back in Ocean Village were prepared to put effort and energy into securing the boat and getting things tidied away – amazing high spirits under the circumstances. They celebrated with a fantastic fajita feast, and then settled down to watch a Disney film before going happily to bed and then leaving the boat this morning. They had sailed 67 nautical miles this week.

One 14-year-old boy wrote in the comments book: “Very interesting and a good experience” and another said “The staff were really kind and looked after me when I was ill.”

You can see the full voyage track here.

Huge thanks to Andy, Andrew, Allen, Cathy, Willoughby, Sara and Josh for enormous amounts of hard work during this voyage – and extra special congratulations to Willoughby who was signed off as a second mate! He has also been reassured – having been given the good news this morning – that this is not an April Fool …

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* 2022 volunteer sea staff bookings – lots of NEW availability
We are now able to offer extra volunteer berths on quite a number of voyages this season, so if anyone wants another voyage, or perhaps a block of two or three voyages together in order to make a real improvement to your skills, PLEASE do get in touch now. This is a great opportunity to put an extra person on voyages and really invest in building the skills, confidence and experience of our volunteers this year. Please contact caroline.white@oytsouth.org to discuss options.

In addition to general extra berths which may come later in the year, we also have the following specific requirements as well as some voyages coming up soon:

4-8 April – Southampton– one more qualified or trainee member of sea staff (NEXT WEEK)
25 April – 1 May – Southampton – one more qualified or trainee member of sea staff
2-6 May – Southampton – one more qualified or trainee member of sea staff
11-17 June – Southampton – one more qualified watchleader needed
16-22 July – Brixham – one more qualified watchleader needed
24-29 Aug – Brixham to Poole – two qualified watchleaders needed
7-9 Oct – Southampton – one more qualified or trainee member of sea staff

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you can help with any of these or you want to discuss other voyage availability.

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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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South Coast Boat Show 6-8 May – volunteers needed

The South Coast Boat Show will be taking place in Ocean Village over the weekend of 6-8 May. Prolific will once again be at the heart of the show, providing tea, coffee and bacon rolls to the public in exchange for donations to the charity. We also hope to have a reception for exhibitors on board on Saturday evening.

We will need a good team of volunteers on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday, to get the boat ready with the deck awnings up plus flags and bunting, and then working in the galley to make drinks and bacon rolls, or showing people round the boat and talking to them about the work of the charity. It would be good to have some sea staff on board but also at least a couple of under-18s who have sailed with us and are happy to talk to people about what the experience was like.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you would like to be involved.

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* 2022 voyage
availability – individual bookings including possible Easter holiday bursaries
We are taking individual bookings for young people on the following voyages (see following sections for group voyages and adult voyages).

The voyage 9-14 April has at least one spare space and possibly three, and we will consider applications for funded places from young people who genuinely cannot afford to sail, or from people who have sailed with us before and been invited to come again. Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org for more information about this voyage.

9-14 April, Southampton, 5 nights, £525
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 – just ONE place left!
10-16 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625
17-23 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625
24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole, 5 nights, £525
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, £525 – may be full unless we can add extra places – please ask!
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).

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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

Huge thanks this week to Ned’s Fund for another very generous donation to support the annual Vyne School voyage.

Big thanks also for some additional donations in memory of Roger Grimsdick.

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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