OYT South bulletin 7th October 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 7th October 2022

by | Oct 6, 2022

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

OYT South AGM 2022 – Saturday 12th November – book NOW for curry and refit weekend!
The formal AGM paperwork will go out to members shortly (if you are not a current paid-up member there is still time to join – non-members are welcome to attend the AGM but only members can vote) – but you can now book for the curry after the meeting!

The AGM will be held on Saturday 12th November at the office of British Marine, 1st Floor, Tagus House, 9 Ocean Way, Ocean Village, Southampton, SO14 3TJ (opposite the Ocean Village multi-storey car park where you can park). You can arrive from 1730 with the AGM starting qt 1800 and lasting only a few minutes, followed by CEO Mark Todd’s review of the year. Then we will go to Kutis Brasserie (walking distance away) for their set menu which they are very kindly making available to us at £25 per head. You must book and pay in advance using the payment form here which allows you to specify vegetarian, vegan etc.

Please note this advance payment is just for food – you will need to pay for any drinks or a tip on the night.

If you are coming to the AGM but not staying for the curry, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

The weekend of 12-13 November will also be a refit volunteers’ weekend on board Prolific; and the team would appreciate plenty of help, starting 0900 on Saturday. Accommodation on board Prolific after the curry may be available for people who are helping with refit work. Please email refit@oytsouth.org to book yourself in.

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Holly’s leaving present
Holly has been with us for two years as Staff Skipper – as well as many years of volunteering and a season as Sailing Support Officer, having first sailed with us as a young crew member in 2012.

She has played a tremendous part in the success of the charity, especially as we returned to work after losing a season and a half to Covid. We have received a great deal of fantastic feedback from voyages which Holly has skippered. She is a great sailor with a fantastic talent for working with young people, and she has contributed so much to OYT South in so many ways since she first became involved as a young crew member.

You can contribute to her leaving present here.

Photo: Paul Blackley

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2023 sailing programme

We are still sorting out some group bookings for our regular clients and confirming our port bookings, and a few dates and ports may still change; but a 2023 voyage programme is now available on the website. Do talk to us if you want to make a group booking (12-15 places); and for individual bookings, have a look at the voyages earmarked for individuals in school / college / uni holidays (shown in yellow on the programme – we may add more individual voyages depending on demand) and contact webmaster1@oytsouth.org to express an interest.

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* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter left a crew from Cowes Enterprise College heading for Poole after an early start to get in ahead of the bad weather. They had a lovely downwind sail followed by quite a challenging park in Poole in heavy rain, but the young people all stuck it out and continued to help in their watches.

In Poole they had shore leave, and showers; did the planning for a pilotage exercise next day; and then had a movie night on board.

Next day started with a fire drill and then the young people took charge of the vessel and one watch planned how they were going to leave the berth and organised the slipping lines and the first stage of the navigation, and then another watch controlled the rest of the navigation out of Poole and another group took charge in the Needles Channel. The day ended in Lymington with training towards their RYA certificates and fajitas for dinner, and they did the end-voyage debriefs and certificate awards so they could get to Cowes next morning and be dropped off, and the staff then moved the boat back to Southampton.

At sea

At sea

Sunset at sea

The young people sailed 136 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here.

Big thanks to sea staff James Boyce, Josh, Cathy Lacey, Martin Bayfield, Rosie Allen – and special congratulations to Clara Theil who completed her third mate assessment.

We have had some great feedback since the voyage. Comments from the young people included: “Thank you for having me, the trip was amazing, the best experience, I loved every single moment, the staff were so lovely, caring, welcoming and funny! The skipper and first mate helped me a lot to understand things about life and to have a laugh, not worry about things and to believe in myself, Thank you so much, I’ve already asked Mr Harding [the teacher who organised the school group] if I can go again next year, I’d 100% do it again.”

“Before the trip I was very nervous and didn’t want to do it. But the staff were lovely and helped me to cope with new challenges, they made it feel like home. I am so grateful for my experience and all the encouragement pep talks.”

“Favourite bit was probably driving into Weymouth, that was quite fun, managed to do it quite easily, was very happy with myself. And my most memorable bit was probably everyone getting along, being really happy, singing – yeah, the people, really, it was great.”

We also had comments from some of their families, including: “He had an amazing time. The experience really did do him the world of good. Since he’s been home he has become more independent and really helpful too. He has been practising the knots he learnt too. … What a wonderful team you all are and once again thank you for giving him this opportunity” and “Thank you all so much, he has really enjoyed his time with you guys, an amazing experience for him and it’s lovely to see him come out of his shell and his comfort zone. He hasn’t stopped talking about his time away which really isn’t like him.”

The school also remarked on one of the students in particular who has already showed signs of improvement in his engagement and overall behaviour since the voyage.

Group photo in the saloon

The next voyage started on Monday and Skipper Andy Brown has provided this account:

“We had a tremendous week in spite of a very windy Tuesday and Wednesday with gale force winds. We have an amazing crew from Bay House School and Brune Park Community School in Gosport. Bay House, in fact, was the school that Josh, our engineer went to a number of years ago. Their teacher Alex has been great fun and is a real asset onboard. He used to work with the Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) racing team before becoming a teacher.

The crew joined on Monday at 4 pm and following an evening of introductions and safety briefings we completed the day with an abandon ship drill. The team managed to calmly get on deck in full oilskins, lifejackets and woolly hats ready to have a look at the life rafts in just under five minutes which was really impressive for their first night on board.

Following an early start and happy hour we had a windy sail in the Western Solent on Tuesday. We shortened sail and had two reefs in the main sail and one reef in the mizzen. We remained in the Western Solent as it was quite breezy. Each of the sea staff had a go at recovering “Bob”, a buoy and bucket that we use for man overboard training. I was really impressed at how each sea staff member managed Prolific to recover “Bob” in quick time safely and efficiently.

We returned to Cowes for the evening and sheltered in a comfortable berth as some very strong gale force winds passed through overnight and for part of Wednesday.

Cooking in Prolific's galley

In the afternoon, in fresh winds, we sailed down towards the Forts in the Eastern Solent, finally anchoring for the night off Wotton Creek.

At sea

At sea

Overnight the crew were split into pairs to each stand an anchor watch changing every hour and a half. It was a beautiful starlit night with some light cloud cover causing the moon to turn yellow for a brief period.

Yesterday morning we completed a rig check with Josh, Prolific’s engineer, up the mast:

Photo from Prolific's mast looking down at crew on deck

After that they weighed anchor and sailed into the eastern Solent and towards the bottom end of the Isle of Wight before returning to Ocean Village in the evening. The crew were split into each watch to take command of the navigation, one team from the Forts to Calshot Spit and the other from Calshot Spit back to Ocean Village.

We were sad to see this crew go. Hopefully they will come back for a longer voyage next year.

My thanks to an amazing team of sea staff, Martyn Powe, Tom Knight, Barry Walker, Sally Brown and of course the permanent staff, Sara and Josh. A very professional team and lots of laughs!”

Special congratulations to Barry Walker who was confirmed as a qualified third mate and had part of his second mate assessment signed off. And Alex Page, the teacher who brought the group, did part of his own third mate assessment and we look forward to seeing him on board again.

Big thanks also to Andy Brown for skippering the voyage! You can see the full voyage track here – they sailed 94 nautical miles and all the young people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

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The Association of Sail Training Organisations needs a Social Media and Marketing Coordinator
Would you like a job working on social media and marketing for the Association of Sail Training Organisations? See here for details. It’s a fantastic way to help spread the word about the great work being done by sail training organisations all across the UK – including OYT South! Please share the job description with anyone who might be interested.

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Current Covid guidelines
We are still getting issues with Covid, including people dropping out voyages at the last minute due to positive tests or symptoms; and we want to remain cautious about infection rates until we see the impact of the schools going back. We are therefore still asking everyone to test before joining a voyage, partly in order to protect people on board, when everyone is living close together in a confined space, but also because we know that some people may be going home to vulnerable family members, or may have important plans in the days immediately following a voyage.

Anyone due to join the boat will be given details of the process and an email address to send an image of their negative test.

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.

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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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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
Big thanks this week to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners for approving a grant application for staff salaries. And thanks also to former OYC sea staff member Rob Hill for a very kind donation towards bursaries.

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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Movement for Good Awards – TPLEASE nominate us for the December draw and share the link!

We weren’t lucky in the September draw – but please nominate us now for the December draw for funding from Movement for Good! Even if you nominated us for a previous draw you can do so again.

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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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 £1,100 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 £1,100 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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