OYT South bulletin 2nd September 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 2nd September 2022

by | Sep 2, 2022

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

* Skipper news and a job advertisement
Sadly we have to announce that our lovely Staff Skipper Holly Vint has decided to move on at the end of the year.

There will be plenty of time to show our appreciation to Holly – the first person to go all the way from young crew member to Staff Skipper with OYT South – in due course, and those who want will be able to contribute to a leaving present.

However, the immediate priority is to find someone to follow in the footsteps of Mark, James, Andy, Peta and Holly as OYT South’s next Staff Skipper – to say nothing of all the wonderful OYC skippers before them!

There is a detailed job description and person specification available here, including details of how to apply. But essentially the priority is to find the right person for the role, and that could lead us down one of two distinct paths. We might find an experienced and qualified skipper, able to take over following basic familiarisation and handover; but sometimes in the past we have had success by recruiting someone with immense potential, already at least a commercially-endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore – but not ready to skipper Prolific straight away and needing a training programme lasting up to a year to ensure they can manage such a large vessel while working effectively with young people and volunteers (and looking to stay long enough in the role to make this training programme worthwhile).

We would therefore welcome applications or enquiries from anyone who could reasonably skipper Prolific either straight away or with no more than a season of training.

Staff Skipper Holly Vint

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* Can anyone help at an event in Cowes on 29th September?
OYT South has a stand in the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes for the RYS IW Foundation Marine Careers Fair on Thursday 29th September. Annette Potter from the office team is going to be there but she needs a couple of helpers – ideally an adult member of volunteer sea staff, and a young person aged 16-25 who has sailed as a crew member or a volunteer. Basically we need people who are able to talk about what they do with the charity and why they enjoy it – as well as giving out leaflets and showing videos. The event will have exhibitors from all sorts of different fields within the marine industry, and it attracts a lot of visitors including young people from schools and colleges. It’s a great day and a lot of fun – email caroline.white@oytsouth,org if you are interested in helping.

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* Powerboat level 2 course
Is anyone looking to complete a Powerboat Level 2 qualification? (That’s the certificate that allows you to drive Prolific’s dinghy). Our staff member Sara Abdur is doing hers in Poole on Weds 28th and Thurs 29th Sept, instructed by OYT South volunteer Dom Coleman. 9am-5pm each day. Cost £200 per head if we can get three people – and if they are all active OYT South sailors the course can be tailored specially for us. It’s a great course, highly recommended – if anyone would like to join in, email caroline.white@oytsouth.org and we’ll put you in touch with Dom for more details.

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* Remember a Charity Week
Next week is Remember a Charity Week, when people are asked to remember a charity in their will or by asking for donations in someone’s memory. Gifts like this have made a tremendous difference to OYT South over the years – a number of major legacies were vital to the purchase of Prolific, and more recently we have had bursary funds and other donations in memory of individuals, which have contributed hugely to our charitable work.

We recognise that not everyone is in a position to leave a substantial legacy to charity, but just £500 in a will or collected in someone’s memory can provide a place on a voyage for a young person who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to take part. So if you are writing or amending a will, or talking to a parent, grandparent or other family member about their will or about what they would like to happen at a funeral or in their memory when the time comes, then do please think about whether supporting Ocean Youth Trust South is something that might be appropriate. It can bring a little comfort at a sad and difficult time to know that you are making a real difference in memory of someone you love.

More details here – and we have a printed leaflet on Gifts in Wills and In Memory Giving, if anyone would like copies (please ask the office):

Legacies leaflet

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* Jimmy Dowey
There may be some readers who remember Jimmy Dowey, who sadly died in August after a long illness. He was a Staff Skipper with the Ocean Youth Club in the 1980s, skippering Grania and Master Builder.

A Facebook appreciation of Jimmy read:

And if your paths had ever crossed you would have met an extraordinary man with a sweet singing voice alongside the boom of a Belfast accent.

Had you ever sailed with him on the Ocean Youth Club boats all those years ago, you might remember the little brass plaque he put up on the chart tables of Grania and Master Builder that said:

“Where shall we adventure,
Today that we’re afloat
Wary of the weather
And sailing by a star”. RLS

And if you had been with Jimmy on one such adventure under a starry sky you might well have experienced something that sparked a light inside your heart that holds you to this day.

So dear friend, spread out the charts on the table for all to see. Ease the sheets and bear away.

Jonathan Cheshire adds: “He was wonderful with young people.”

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* Voyage news
The last newsletter ended mid-voyage with a mixed crew of individual bookings heading toward Fowey. On the way they anchored in Lantic Bay, with dinghy runs to the beach. A family they met there suggested our crew could help to bury their son in the sand … not permanently! Prolific moved into Fowey harbour for the night and had a slow start next morning, watching the gig rowing races. Eventually they set off to Gorran Haven and anchored for dinner, ahead of a night sail which some people were keen to do, all the way back to Cawsand.

Sunset at sea

The next day started miserable, with poor visibility and radar watches as they set off; but then it brightened and they had a cracking sail round to Salcombe, ending up with a berth some way up the harbour.

Steering Prolific  On the bowsprit  Steering Prolfiic

Finally on Monday they went and anchored in Hallsands for some swimming, and then the final passage back to Brixham where the voyage ended after 163NM. You can see the full voyage track here. Ten people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates, two earned the more advanced Competent Crew qualification, and the other two had their certificates already.

Big thanks to sea staff Lee Mosscrop, Josh, Brigid Stoney, Hannah Brown, Anna Owen, Di Roberts – and Nathan Kelsall who made great progress towards qualifying as a bosun.

Crew cheering

Crew members commented: “The night sail was nice as we could see the stars and it was relaxing as well as seeing dolphins on the first day”, and “I really enjoyed learning how to do different skills and loved seeing dolphins!!”

The next group joined on Wednesday 24th August – another mixed crew of individual bookings. They stayed in Brixham on the first evening, practising some basic skills:

Learning to use winches

They set off next morning for Cawsand – a very nice sail with good winds and a chance for several sea staff to try driving a man overboard recovery drill on the way.

Chart work

They did anchor watches in Cawsand and next day headed for Gorran Haven. The wind wasn’t so good but they did a fire drill and other exercises on the way, and then helped a small boat whose outboard engine had failed – they were rowing hard but making no progress in the offshore wind, so we towed them as close to the shore as we could safely go.

After spending some time in Gorran Haven, Prolific spent the night in Fowey before a very early start and a long sail to Portland next day. They saw the sun rise outside Fowey:

Dawn at the helm

… and the sun set in Portland:

Sunset in Portland

They spent some time on Chesil Beach, skimming stones, doing a beach clean – clearing up lots of wet wipes and face masks – and also leaving some creative artwork:

Decorated stones - Chesil Beach  Drawing on stones - Chesil Beach

This was a crew involving real artistic talent:

Sketching on the bowsprit  Sketch of Prolific's bow

After that they sailed towards Poole, with the young people planning a night navigation exercise and doing a superb job to take charge of getting Prolific safely into Poole in the dark. The voyage ended after 257 miles. You can see the full voyage track here.

Seven people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates and one earned the more advanced Competent Crew. Four others already had Start Yachting from previous voyages.

Crew comments included:

“The best and probably most memorable bit was the night sail when everyone was singing. Everyone was just really enjoying themselves”; “My favourite bit probably was just seeing how well people got on with each other, like during dinner, breakfast, the amount of conversations that were happening was really wholesome and very nice to see”; “My most memorable bit was probably the 4am set off from Fowey. It was nice to set off quietly at night with a full head of stars above us”; “My most memorable bit was sitting on the bowsprit and watching the waves crash against the boat”; “I’m not that great at making friends but I have made friends with everyone here and I think the trip went really good”; “I’ve really enjoyed my voyage and I can’t express enough that I am really appreciative of the staff that have run this voyage, if I was able to come back again I wouldn’t even think about it, it’s a Yes”; and “I was pretty nervous as I got on the Prolific but after a day I felt at home because of the people and welcoming and kind atmosphere. Thank you sooooo much”.

Crew cheering

Big thanks to sea staff Lee Mosscrop, Sara Abdur, Martyn Powe, Hannah Brown, Jess Collingwood (who made great progress towards her second mate qualification), James Potter, and special congratulations to Sam Playdon who was signed off as a third mate!

Another crew joined on Tuesday this week in Poole, spending the first evening on briefings before setting off in windy and challenging conditions on Wednesday. They hoisted the sails while still in the shelter of the harbour and then sailed round to Worbarrow Bay in big winds and well – there was some seasickness but everyone managed to join in and do their best. They had dinner on deck, enjoying the sunset and then the stars.

Yesterday the conditions were similar but everyone had found their sea legs and coped really well. They did a fire drill and a man overboard recovery drill with second and third mates Patrick and Sara each having a go in the first mate role. Yesterday evening they were in Portland for chicken fajitas, games of Uno, and a walk on Chesil Beach.

Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Sara, Graeme Cole, Patrick Kelly, Phil Loutsis, Rois Smith and Archie Playdon.

Using winches  Crew on deck  Crew on deck

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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). 4 or 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.

Vessel tracking image

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 #WillDoes; the Pointer Family Trust; Chris Lane and Peter Binning for extremely generous donations.

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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