OYT South bulletin 4th March 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 4th March 2022

by | Mar 4, 2022

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

* OYT South Young Volunteer of the Year

Regular readers may remember that we recently mentioned a generous grant from the Gipsy Moth Trust which they have asked us to spend on training and supporting young people who excel on an initial youth voyage and are working towards becoming the bosuns and watchleaders of the future. Along with the grant came a trophy: a mounted section of the mizzen mast from Gipsy Moth IV, which after her epic 1967 voyage held the records for the fastest voyage around the world by any small vessel; the longest non-stop passage that had been made by a small sailing vessel (15,000 miles (24,000 km)); and more than twice the distance of the previous longest passage by a singlehanded sailor. These days we regularly hear of record-breaking single-handed non-stop voyages round the world, but in 1967 to see Francis Chichester circle the globe alone with only one stop was truly remarkable.

So we now have a trophy which we can award annually to someone in line with the purposes of the Gipsy Moth grant supporting young people making the transition from youth crew to volunteer. We have therefore made the first award of the Gipsy Moth Trophy for OYT South’s Young Volunteer of the Year, to Sara Abdur:

Sara is 19 and first sailed with us on a school voyage in 2019 – earning a recommendation to return for volunteer training in 2020 though of course that was cancelled by the pandemic. Nevertheless, Sara stayed in touch and took every opportunity to get involved and support the charity, both on board once voyages resumed and also at refit and training events – she was doing her first aid qualification at the weekend. She became a qualified bosun last year and is aiming to become a third mate this year. She was chosen as the winner for her potential, her enthusiasm and commitment – and even the office team commented that she makes their lives easier by sorting out paperwork and qualifications without needing to be chased!

OYT South’s Chief Executive Mark Todd said: “We are delighted to announce Sara as the winner of the Gipsy Moth Trophy for OYT South’s Young Volunteer of the Year. She has thoroughly deserved it for the effort and energy she has put in since she earned her recommendation to train as a volunteer, and she has shown immense potential for the future. By supporting young people who will be helping to deliver our voyages for years to come, we can ensure that the values of the Gipsy Moth Trust live on. I am very much looking forward to seeing how far Sara can go in sail training!”

Sara said: “Thank you so much for the award, I am truly honoured to be the first winner and can’t wait to see and all the amazing people who will get it after me! Being a part of OYT, getting the chance to sail and meeting so many cool people these past few years has honestly helped me a lot and is something I definitely want to keep being involved with the charity so you’ll see a lot more of me in the coming years :))”

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* Team needed to get Prolific to Gosport and back NEXT WEEK

Prolific’s masts are still in Gosport and – weather permitting – we need to move the boat round next Monday 7th March, with the masts going in on Tuesday and the boat returning to Ocean Village on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. We could do with another couple of people on any of those daysPLEASE call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org. Sea staff who know the boat would be particularly useful!

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* Refit volunteers needed weekend 12-13 March – PLEASE sign up!

We very badly need more people to sign up to come and help at the refit weekend 12-13 March. That’s when all the kit including the sails needs to go back on board and it’s going to be really tough unless we can get a big team of people to help. PLEASE call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you can spare time on one or both days. Accommodation available.

We are also happy to see people on weekdays if anyone can offer some time!

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* Shorebased training –
Huge thanks to everyone involved with our training event last weekend – the people who organised things, ran courses, did the catering and more but also all those who turned up and contributed their enthusiasm and friendship to give the whole event such a good atmosphere! It really was great to see people after so long without being able to get together as a group.

Tony Salmon ran two excellent first aid courses which contained a lot of information even for those who were updating previous qualifications (for example, there is a new approved recovery position – better for spinal injuries). Here are Iori and Tom saving the Annies:

And Tony saving Caz from choking:

Mark and Lee ran the GMDSS training and assessments; Graham Stones and Julie Proudfoot ran an excellent day on radar and electronic navigation:

There was also a fantastic youthwork day in three parts.

First Anjelica Finnegan ran an exceptionally thought-provoking session on how young people are affected by domestic abuse: did you know that the age group most likely to be victims of domestic abuse is 16-25-year olds, and around 12% of young women in this age group have experienced domestic abuse in the last year? This is a real issue for some of the young people who sail with us and it was so useful to hear from Anjelica’s professional expertise about how our sea staff can recognise and support young people who may need help.

Then Holly and Lauren gave us another look at the games designed to raise awareness about environmental issues: we ran this course in February 2020 but because of the pandemic, we haven’t yet put these activities into general use on board. If you are sailing as a volunteer this year, do have a look at the materials which have been put together – it is all designed so that anyone can run an activity with young people, with no training or preparation needed. Everything you need with simple instructions and clear information is all there ready for you to use.

The third part of the youthwork day ensured we ended the session on a high note with lots of laughs: Kerry McMillan got us all thinking about the games we play on board – the sheer range and variety of games we know, and a lot of thought about the right games for different purposes: breaking ice, building bridges, improving teamwork and communication, raising spirits, calming people down …

We finished by playing three games that were new to most people, and generally agreed that King of the Jungle ought to be in the regular boat repertoire as we had such a great time playing it. Though you might want to avoid playing against Patrick Kelly, who became King early on and proved very hard to dislodge!

On Saturday night Mark gave his review of the year and reminded us that despite all the challenges of returning to sailing, last year saw some of the best feedback we have ever had from young people, parents, carers, teachers and youthworkers. A real tribute to all those involved in setting up and running our voyages, and everyone should be very proud.

Huge thanks to Tony, Nix, Jake and the team for all the catering over the weekend, and to Lizzie for the use of her pub!

Finally a special mention for our Staff Cadet, Georgia: she hasn’t quite left us yet but this was the best chance of getting lots of people together to say thank you for all her efforts and good luck for the future. We presented her with a cheque for all the generous donations sent in for her leaving present, which she is thinking about putting towards a laptop; and we also gave her a book containing photos of her time with the charity and comments from many of the people who have sailed with her or worked alongside her.

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* UK Sail Training conference – an award for OYT South, and how you can help!

After our own training event at the weekend, several members of the OYT South team went on to the annual conference of the Association of Sail Training Organisations, bringing together operators of more than 50 vessels who between them take 10,000 people to sea each year. This conference was special for OYT South because our own CEO, Mark Todd, is now Chair of ASTO and this was his first time at the helm of the conference:

As well as some fascinating conference sessions on subjects ranging from mental health and safeguarding through to inclusion and diversity and recognising your own skills as a sail trainer, the conference gives out a number of awards – and OYT South won the Social Media Star trophy! This is designed to reward the UK Sail Training organisation that has had a big impact on social media over the past year or two. We were recognised for regular posts from voyages and refit, including pictures and videos, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, plus the regular voyage track posts, sharing and retweeting things from other members of the sail training community, a real effort to keep connected through social media during lockdowns, and some major campaigns including the fundraising Virtual Voyage, and #SailToWellbeing.

We now have an attractive glass star to add to our trophy cabinet!

But all this is a useful reminder: if we are doing good stuff on social media but not many people see it, we are missing opportunities! PLEASE make an effort to share or retweet posts you see from OYT South. You might simply say “I volunteer with this charity” or “I sail with this charity”, but somewhere in your own network there could be someone who would like to sail with us, volunteer with us, support us or send a young person on a voyage – and your shared post could be the trigger to get them thinking about it. Please do help us to get our social media posts to a wider audience!

And if you are on board this year, do think about how we can use social media in imaginative ways to share a few of the highlights of your voyage. People have been doing a great job on board Prolific – and having set an award-winning standard, we need to keep it up!

The day ended with a social evening in the pub and once again it was great to be able to get together after so long apart:

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* Happy birthday Jo

Another birthday on the staff team this week – many happy returns to Jo!

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* Refit news – help needed – 19 days to go
Big thanks this week to Holly, Josh, Georgia, Iori, Patrick Kelly, John Hicks, Martin Bayfield and Lauren Mackenzie for lots of hard work at refit. Thanks also to BD Marine for their work on the engine and Ocean Engineering for work on the fire system.

The team has been painting whenever the weather allows, and also resealing the heads and sanding and varnishing the saloon floor:

There is plenty more to do in Ocean Village, including lots of sanding and painting, and only 19 days until the first youth  voyage of the year, please do call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you can spare a day or more. We’d love to see people on weekdays as well as the volunteers’ weekend on 12th-13th March – please book yourself in to help if you possibly can!

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* Using a RIB to help berth Prolific – training session

On Tuesday 26th April, Dom Coleman (OYT South volunteer and expert powerboat instructor) has kindly offered to come and run a session on how to use the dinghy to assist in parking Prolific. Sometimes it is really helpful to have a push from the dinghy – as long as the angle, force and timing are right and there is effective communication with Prolific’s helm – and that takes a bit of practice! We’ll have the sea staff team on board who were already booked for that week’s voyage, but there is room for a few more people if you would like to come and learn. You might be very glad of this next time you are on board and Prolific needs to get on to a tight berth in windy conditions! Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you are interested. This day is aimed at active sea staff who will be sailing Prolific this season.

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* 2022 volunteer sea staff bookings – new availability
One more volunteer needed for 9-14 April – ideally a qualified watchleader but that may not be essential – can anyone help?

We need one more qualified watchleader for the voyage 20-24 June (Southampton) – we’ve had one offer but it’s from someone who already has quite a few voyages this year so he would be happy to stand aside for someone who hasn’t had many other opportunities.

We also need an additional experienced watchleader for a day sail on Friday 1st July(Southampton).

Finally, we could use another watchleader for the voyage starting and finishing Brixham 16-21 July (ideally available for the maintenance day on 22 July as well). We have a good team on board for this voyage but one of the watchleaders should be doing first mate training so it would be good to free her up from watchleading duties so she can focus on other things!

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you can help with any of these.

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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
We are taking individual bookings for young people on the following voyages (see following sections for group voyages and adult voyages):

15-19 April, Southampton, 4 nights, £425 – ONE place possibly still available tbc!
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 or TWO places left tbc!
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 voyage voyage availability – group bookings

One voyage currently available for group bookings (usually at least 12 people, which may be all young people but can include adult leaders). Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org a.s.a.p. to discuss the requirements for your group.

10-15 Oct, Southampton, 5 nights, £525 per person.

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2022 adult voyages
and volunteer training
We have adult voyages scheduled as follows:

1-3 April 2022, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £215 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening). Currently full but we can take names for a reserve list in case anyone has to drop out.

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

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

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

Big thanks this week to the family and friends of the late Peter Daniel for some very kind donations in his memory.

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

“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 £900 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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