OYT South bulletin 13th October 2023

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 13th October 2023

by | Oct 13, 2023

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

* Maintenance day THIS WEEKEND and refit weekends – please come and help!
Please come to our in-season maintenance days and refit weekends! We can use both skilled and unskilled volunteers, and it all helps to keep the boat in good condition and to try and avoid losing any time on voyages or next season to maintenance issues.

Sunday 15th October – Southampton
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November – Southampton – part of the AGM and curry weekend

Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to come and help. If you would like to stay on board Prolific for the November weekend, please let us know as soon as possible, as the boat may fill up!

There will be other refit weekends as the winter goes on – watch this space!

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Diggory’s leaving present – three weeks to go
Sadly we have just three weeks left with Diggory as our Staff Skipper – please see here for how to contribute to his leaving present. And if you want to come and say goodbye to him, a good opportunity would be to join the refit weekend, AGM and curry night on 4th November – see below.

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* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter saw our Gosport crew of students from Bay House and Brune Park schools heading into Cowes on Friday after a busy day of sail training:

Two young people working at a winch Two young people sweating a rope

In Cowes they were joined by 16 other boats who were all entered in the Cowes Small Ships Race, and they set about making Prolific look smart for the occasion:

Prolific decorated with flags and banners

Saturday was race day and they had sunshine and wind as they first headed east and then had a long beat back westwards. There was plenty to keep everyone busy:

Busy deck full of young people working Two young people working at a winch A row of young people working at a winch or watching

However, there was also time for ice lollies on deck:

Young people on deck with ice lollies

It was also a chance to appreciate some new sails:

View along Prolific's side deck looking forwards - heeling over with white sails in view against a sky of sunshine and dappled cloud Looking upwards to the top of the main mast with white sails and red pennant in view against a blue sky with dappled clouds

John Green of Cowes captured some great photos of the race:

Prolific racing (photo: John Green Cowes)

Back in Cowes, the fleet gathered for the prize-giving and crew party. We didn’t win the race but we did get the prize for Best Dressed Ship in harbour! Our crew also played a big part in the dancing at the party …

The crew woke to a sunrise on Sunday, and having planned the pilotage back to Southampton, they took charge of the navigation and VHF calls on the way:

Golden sunrise in Cowes, seen from Prolific's wheel Crew gathered round a chart in Prolific's saloon Young person in the chart room making a VHF call Crew member looking at a chart

They covered 120 nautical miles – and you can see the full voyage track here. Ten young people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

Comments included:

“This trip helped me feel confident about my skills.”

“Had to work in a team when hoisting the sails.”

“I started to remember how to do things without being told.”

“This trip helped me get out of my comfort zone.”

“I think my best bit was the steering, that was really fun and I loved driving … it felt really cool.”

Probably my most favourite bit is going to the party and doing lots of dancing and having fun.”

“My least favourite bit was definitely the winching because it was so much effort.

“I have had so much fun on the boat. I’ve made new friends and learnt lots of new skills. I will definitely come again if I get the opportunity.”

“Had lots of fun, really want to do this again. Learnt so many new experiences and I’m very grateful.”

“Tacking was a pain but still fun. I’m very glad I’ve met these people and would definitely go again. Learning to tie ropes and steering was fun.”

“I had lots of fun, would recommend for others. The tacking was hard but was great for teamwork in the group!”

“I’m so sad that we are leaving this boat, it feels like a family.”

Finally from one of the teachers who came with the group: “I’m very lucky to say this is my third time on this boat and the best part for me is just being with such an amazing crew, and getting the yacht up to 8.9 knots yesterday in that race, and being at that angle, it was kind of the best and the most memorable thing all in one go. Absolutely amazing.”

Crew gathered at Prolific's stern with arms raised

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Miranda Camping, Glyn Collins, Sara Abdur, Willoughby Matthews, Katie Hamlet and Unity Bowns.

This week we have a new client on board, thirteen students and two staff from The Costello School in Basingstoke. The school ethos is “Enjoy, Respect and Achieve”, so they came primed to fit in well with Prolific! They had the usual introductions and safety briefings on Monday before sailing to Cowes in the dark. They had two alternative plans for Tuesday – Poole or Solent – and when they saw the reality of windy weather, they decided to stay in the Solent. They tacked down to Lymington under ORC and double-reefed main, and then had a good downwind sail back to Haslar.

Two young people and a watchleader on the bowsprit, arms outstretched Young crew member at the helm, supervised by staff A group of young people hanking the ORC sail onto the stay Crew gathered round a man overboard casualty recovery demonstration A team of young people lined up to haul on a halyard

They had showers in the lightship, and extreme washing up. Next morning the weather still wasn’t ideal so they had time alongside, with a knots competition in which the young people did extremely well. Then Diggory went over to Portsmouth and fetched a landing craft, to take the crew on tours of the harbour to see submarines, warships and more.

Crew gathered on a landing craft alongside Prolific Three crew on the front of the landing craft Crew on a landing craft with a banner reading "The Costello School on tour!"

They also did lots of training towards their RYA sailing qualifications:

Drawing on a whiteboard showing the names of sides and corners of a sail Crew on beanbags with their feet up on a bench looking at someone writing on a whiteboard

After lunch they motored to Ryde where they anchored and had a birthday party for one of the school staff.

Crew member carries a cake with lit birthday candles and the number 21 Birthday staff member with her cake

They also played an extreme version of the Banana Game which left everyone lightly coated in banana.

The young people took turns to carry out anchor watches through the night and each team wrote a chapter for a develoiping story through the night.

Yesterday they learned more about points of sail:

Young people aroiund the table learning about points of sail, with coloured models to show heading and sail angles Points of sail labels on coloured boat shapes showing headings and sail angles

Then they hoisted mizzen, staysail and two reefs in the main and sailed down to Yarmouth and back to Cowes, which is where they are this morning. Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Andrew Wilkes, Patrick Kelly, Martin Bayfield, Nige Bush and Rob Jelley. Diggory and Lauren have been ousted from their normal roles this week and Andrew and Patrick have been doing skipper and 1M training respectively.

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AGM and curry night 4th November – please book NOW for curry!
The official Notice of AGM and associated paperwork has now been sent out to members (and to recently lapsed members, with a reminder) – if you think you are a member and haven’t received yours, please let us know.

If you are not a member, it’s not too late – people can still join in time for the AGM.

OYT South’s AGM will be held on Saturday 4th November in Southampton, followed by a curry in the Coriander Lounge (not the same restaurant as last year). More details here, including a link to see the menu and book for the curry.

We are combining this with a refit weekend as we’ll need lots of help moving gear off the boat.

Non-members are very welcome to attend the AGM (and come to the curry) – you just won’t be able to vote!

The payment link for the curry briefly stopped working but it should be fine now – if you have any problems with it, please let us know straight away so we can look into it. Apologies if you tried it while it was down.

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* Donation of handheld radios from Icom and Dorset Marine Training
Huge thanks to Icom and to Dom and Sarah of Dorset Marine Training for a very kind donation of two handheld radios for Prolific. There will be pictures to follow, once they arrive on board!

These radios will be put to very good use in our work with young people. Under supervision, our young crew members can learn about making radio calls and clear communication; and handheld radios are essential safety equipment when people are in Prolific’s dinghy!

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Chris Ellis Award – win £££s off the price of your next voyage!
Now open for 2023 entries.

If you have enjoyed a voyage with OYT South and want to come again (and are aged 11-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £500 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video – anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to webmaster1@oytsouth.org or posted to the office. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity’s founder. You can also see some previous winning entries.

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Shorebased training weekend 10-11 February
Our shorebased training weekend next year will be 10-11 February, where we can run RYA First Aid and a range of other courses. We’ve had some great ideas for courses and we are just in the process of arranging instructors – we’ll let you have details and prices in due course.

If you would be interested in running a course on something that would interest our volunteers, or want to request training in something which we might look into putting on, please let us know. Otherwise, just put the date in your diary for now!

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Winter refit core team and regular helpers needed – including a driver
If you are planning a gap year, or you are between jobs or for any other reason potentially available for several weeks or months this winter, might you be interested in joining our full-time refit team? Or could you come regularly for shorter periods – maybe one day a week? More details here.

At the moment we are particularly keen to attract more help from people who can drive and have a car – we have some refit accommodation which is a drive away from the boat, and there are often errands to run requiring a car!

Prolific will be staying in Ocean Village, Southampton, this winter, and the team is in the process of developing detailed plans and schedules so we will know when we will particularly need extra help.

Plenty of our previous refit volunteers have gone on to great jobs in the marine industry – it really helps to have maintenance experience as well as good sailing skills when applying for sailing jobs! And any refit volunteers who want to sail in Prolific can be offered berths as watchleaders, bosuns, or relief engineers. So it’s a great way of developing useful experience, contributing to a good cause, securing free food and accommodation for a few months, and having a positive experience with a fun group of people! If you’re interested, please read the web page and email us with the details requested at the bottom of the page.

In due course we will also want to hear from casual refit helpers – people offering the odd day or weekend here or there; but for the moment we are mainly interested in sorting out the long-term or regular helpers.

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Vessel tracking – see where Prolific is sailing!
Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.

If you discover that Prolific is in a harbour somewhere near you, please come and say hello. 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.

Tracking map showing Prolific in the Solent

There are also apps like Marine Traffic that you can use to track Prolific on your phone.

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2024 voyages
We now have a sailing programme for 2024 and we have sent it round to our regular clients! If anyone else is interested in a full-boat group booking for next year, please contact caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

Once most of our regular groups have booked, we will designate some voyages for individual rather than group bookings, so there’s no rush to enquire about those just yet!

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* Financial appeal
Big thanks to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners who have agreed another very kind donation towards our Staff Mate position on board!

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 we can claim back tax on your donation.

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Prolific earrings inspired by a crew member – available to buy!
More than a year ago we were approached at MDL’s South Coast Boat Show by someone with an interesting idea. He makes earrings based on drawings by children and young people all over the world: would we like to see if a crew member on board Prolific could do a drawing that would inspire earrings whose sale would help to fund other young people to sail with us?

This seemed like an exciting prospect – and now, thanks to Alex Angel-Benscher and Vurchoo, the earrings exist and you can buy them!

The first stage was to ask crew members to submit their drawings, and this happened on last year’s voyage with Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, for brothers and sisters of children with life-limiting conditions.

The winning drawing came from Joey, whose combination of a boat and an eye made us think of all the new things that young crew members see and experience from the deck of Prolific.

Joey's drawing

Shooting Star Children’s Hospice has supported Joey’s younger brother Nathan and the family over the last 10 years and Joey said: “The voyage meant a lot to me as I met a lot of young people like me who have siblings with life-limiting conditions like Nathan. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this world. Being a part of the crew and being on the voyage allowed me to experience being out of my comfort zone and becoming comfortable with that. I made friends who know what it’s like to be like me, and that’s so important.”

Alex loved Joey’s drawing and used it as the inspiration for an earring shaped like the hull and mast of a boat with a Blue Chalcedony stone representing the eye. Having tested it at trade fairs this summer, it is now part of Alex’s Studs of Hope collection, available in quite a number of shops and also for sale online for £40 – and don’t forget, a share of the profit comes back to OYT South! Buying a pair of earrings for yourself or someone else can rarely have been so meaningful. We hope you like them and will want to buy them! Click the pictures to see how to buy them.

Gold earrings Silver earrings

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Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £1,500 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 over £1,500 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

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OYT South social media – please share as well as liking!
If you look at the top left of any page on our website, you can click on icons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. We are also on TikTok. Please share our social media posts as widely as you can – with the help of all our supporters, this charity is doing some amazing work and we need more people to hear about it. You don’t need to do anything more than share a post, or perhaps add a comment which could be as simple as “I’ve sailed with this charity!” or “I volunteer for this charity!”.

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept personal online connections 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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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 11-25, 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 11-25 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, mate 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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