OYT South bulletin 29th 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 29th July 2022

by | Aug 2, 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! Others on this voyage so far are aged 15-21.
17-23 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625 – 1 place left
24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole, 5 nights, £525 – 1 place left
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, £525 – 1 place 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. This is also open to people who have sailed already this year and done well and would like to consolidate their skills.

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 – 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). 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 berth available – NEW

There is space for one more watchleader, trainee mate or bosun on the following voyage:

21-25 October, Southampton.

It’s in half-term so might be suitable for a young person who has recently earned a sea staff recommendation – provided you have been getting on with your sea staff paperwork, references, DBS etc!

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

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* Voyage news
There was a maintenance day last Friday – big thanks to Holly, Sara, Mark, Iori, Andy, Lucinda and Caitlin for lots of help – especially repacking all the lifejackets after their regular testing!

A new crew of individual bookings – including a couple of people who had sailed with us before –  joined us last Saturday, and anchored off Babbacombe on the first night. Skipper Holly then gave them a decision to make: did they want to sail across the Channel next day – because it would mean a 5am start? They were keen to do it and were rewarded with a great sail to Alderney, making 8 knots for most of the way and regularly accompanied by dolphins. Eventually the wind started to die and they had a choice between a late arrival and no time ashore, or putting the engine on. They motored into Alderney in order to have time on the beach.Next day it was very windy in harbour and they put the sails up at anchor and then sailed out and all the way to Portland. Holly said this was the first time in ages that she has enjoyed two consecutive long days of fabulous sailing conditions. Because it was warm and not raining, everyone was happy to stay on deck most of the time so despite windy conditions, they largely avoided seasickness on that return passage.

Portland marina was very helpful and moved some boats to make room for us – very welcome after spending the previous two nights at anchor. The crew were able to go ashore for showers and shops, and the next day they fuelled up and headed back to Brixham, with man overboard recovery and fire drills on the way. The voyage ended yesterday after 174 nautical miles and with all the crew earning RYA Start Yachting certificates. You can see the full voyage track here.

Comments from young people on the voyage included:

“I loved sailing, at first I was anxious but by the end of the trip I had made friends and don’t want to leave! Can’t wait to come back again.”

“Thank you so much everyone for the most amazing time even though half of the time I was vomiting, other than that I had the time of my life, this trip has made my 2022. Thank you all, I hope to come again.”

“Thank you very much to all the sea staff for making it a great voyage! I’ve loved the whole trip and really enjoyed being able to get three sails up and travel so far! The crew were also amazing and I’ve made some great friends!”

“Thanks for such great fun, really enjoyed sailing through the English Channel & navigating my way through the TSS [Traffic Separation Scheme in the English Channel] without crashing into other vessels.”

“I think it was very well organised and had lots of fun.”

“It’s really hard to pick just one favourite bit, I really loved exploring Alderney, and I also really enjoyed feeling like I was improving at things, so helming on the first day, I was drastically swinging from side to side quite a lot but I think I got a bit better, and then in terms of understanding which ropes did what, that was also – I felt that I was learning things. And then most memorable would be crossing the Channel the second time, back and sitting on deck in these massive waves, just thinking, ‘we’re right in the middle of the Channel on a sailboat, how cool, this is just amazing.”

Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Martyn Powe, Lucinda Neall, Andy Kitching, Iori Kent, Mark Dent (who made more progress towards his third mate qualification) and special congratulations to Michelle van den Bergh who passed her second mate’s assessment!

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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.

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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 Seven Seas Baxter and Grimshaw Trust and to Andrew Norton for generous donations towards bursaries for young people who couldn’t otherwise afford 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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