OYT South bulletin 18th August 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 18th August 2023

by | Aug 18, 2023

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

* Skipper news – and a job advertisement
With enormous sadness we have to announce that our very popular Staff Skipper, Diggory Rose, has to leave us at the end of this season.

Diggory says: “Having had a really enjoyable season, seeing the great works of OYT South, it is unfortunate that, for personal reasons, I will have to relinquish the helm as Staff Skipper, but I look forward to continued involvement as relief skipper and supporter. Looking forward to sailing with you all in the future.”

Sea staff and skipper gathered at Prolific's bow

We’ll be delighted to see Diggory back on board as relief skipper next season and beyond.

In due course there will be a chance to thank Diggory for all his efforts this season and for creating such a happy atmosphere in board, and to contribute to his leaving present. But meanwhile we need to search for the right person to build on his legacy and take the charity forward. There is a detailed job advertisement here including job description, person specification, timescales, salary and more.

As we have done in the past, we are prepared to look at two different options for finding the right person. Sometimes we have recruited an experienced and qualified skipper, able to take over following basic familiarisation and handover, while at other times we have taken on someone with immense potential but who was not ready to skipper the vessel and needed a training programme lasting up to a year (and looking to stay long enough in the role to make this worthwhile).

Please share this widely: somewhere out there is a brilliant future Staff Skipper for Prolific but we need to make sure they hear about this fantastic opportunity!

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* Annual report – a chance for everyone who supports us to reflect on a remarkable year
Ocean Youth Trust South’s annual report and accounts for the last financial year are now available.

The report has plenty of facts and figures but also stories, quotes and pictures. If you sail with us, volunteer for us, support us or work for us in any capacity, do have a look at what a fantastic difference your contribution helps to make for young people.

Thank you to everyone involved in another outstanding year!

Cover of Annual Report showing a girl on the helm supervised by the First Mate

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* Sea staff vacancies – new
Owing to cancellations or possible cancellations, we are looking for people to help with the following:

22-24 September, weekend voyage, Southampton: another member of sea staff definitely needed for a mates’ training weekend. This could either be an experienced mate who is able to help us introduce new people to the charity and show them what to do, or it could be a new young volunteer with recent experience of sailing as a crew member who can help us tell new people all about what our youth voyages are like, from a young person’s point of view!

24-29 September, starting and finishing in Southampton: but we need to move the boat to Cowes at the start to pick up an Isle of Wight crew, and then move it back from Cowes after dropping the crew at the end, so we need to ensure that none of the sea staff has to join at the last minute or rush away at the end! This voyage could work for a qualified or trainee watchleader or bosun: but for the moment we just need someone on stand-by as the watchleader we originally booked still hopes to sail but her dog care provider has cancelled!

Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you could help with either of these voyages.

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* Voyage news
A mixed group of individual bookings joined us on Wednesday last week, and after a chat about options, they were keen to set off on that first evening to cross the Channel. No sooner had that decision been made than fog started to roll into the bay! The plan was delayed until the following morning.

They had an early-morning start, slipping from Brixham at 6am in very little wind. But the fog had gone and the weather was glorious as they settled into watches and had music on deck, arriving in Guernsey and tying up alongside at 7pm, in time for dinner and then some games before bed.

At the helm At the helm Engineer and crew member relaxing in the bowsprit netting

On Friday they went ashore in the dinghy, first for showers and later for time ashore. In the afternoon they got under way again, and had a man overboard recovery drill before arriving and anchoring in Alderney and having a late dinner.

Saturday saw shore leave and then a chance to work toward their RYA sailing qualifications. Bosun Harry ran the weather section and an experienced sailor from among the crew, Greta, taught the others about points of sail.

In the early evening they put the sails up and headed out into the Channel again, and proceeded to do some great tacking in challenging conditions before they got to the traffic separation scheme, and then moved onto a close reach and then a beam reach all the way overnight to Dartmouth.

Young people grinding and tailing a winch, with staff behind them and lots of ropes

They arrived at 4pm on Sunday and had lunch and then time to rest before moving onto another berth.

This photo was sent in after the voyage by crew member Lucy who says: “My friend was in Dartmouth and just happened to take photos of her – she thought Prolific looked v impressive that’s why!!” If anyone would like to suggest a caption, please let us know ….

A cannon points between a gap in a stone wall directly at Prolific, passing under main and mizzen

Monday morning began with another change of berth, with some shore leave after breakfast. Once back on board, the sea staff took a step back and put the young people in charge of the passage back to Brixham. Lucy (15) and Philippa (17) ran the navigation out of Dartmouth; Mustafa (18) was acting skipper; Thomas (15) first mate, and Greta (14) and Charles (15) were sailing officers. With the support of all the others, they had a great sail to Fishcombe Cove for a swim.

That was followed by anchor up, a fire drill, and the final move to Brixham for dinner, games and bed. The voyage ended next morning after 221 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here. Everyone earned an RYA Start Yachting certificate.

End of voyage group photo

Feedback included:

I think my favourite bit was the fact that we got to go across the channel and see Guernsey and Alderney … My most memorable bit is coming back round from Dartmouth and doing some navigation and seeing the dolphins.”

“Really amazing, especially for someone who has never sailed before. I even got to see seven pods of dolphins! Hopefully I can volunteer in the future.”

“I’ve met amazing staff and people. Everyone treated me fair and kindly. I would always come back again despite throwing up. Love everyone and I’ll see you next year!”

“It was an incredible week with great people. It’s so amazing how every time everyone gets along so well. I’ve learnt so much.”

“I really, really loved it (despite being seasick at times). The food was absolutely lovely. The crew are BRILLIANT.”

“It was an experience I will never forget. It was an amazing challenge. I would recommend for anyone looking to have fun, meet inspirational people, friends and great memories held close forever. Thank you endlessly to every person involved.”

And finally:

“I am so tired”!

You can see more voyage feedback here.

Big thanks to sea staff Andy Viney, Miranda Camping, Josh, Dave Dent, Robert Lawrence, Harry Lack, and special congratulations to Mark Dent who completed his third mate assessment!

Another individuals’ voyage started on Wednesday, with a sail round to Dartmouth that evening, and then on to Plymouth yesterday. Diggory says the crew were bonding quickly and were full of good humour and energy:

Young person in sunglasses at Prolific's helm with a reefeed mizzen beind him. A girl stands on his right and a watchleader on his left. Four young people lean on Prolific's capping rail at the bow, while below them one person sits on the bowsprit and another in the netting View from the bowsprit of three young people standing at the bow, with the staysail above them

The goal was to get the best possible spot in Plymouth to watch the second night of the British Firework Championships:

Red firework in the sky and reflected in the sea Assorted white fireworks in the sky and reflected in the sea Assorted white fireworks in the sky and reflected in the sea, with part of Prolific's rigging, deck house and crew members silhouetted in the foreground

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Brigid Stoney, Lucinda Neal, Martyn Powe, Julian Ware, Anna Owen and Caitlin Neall-Johnston.

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Special 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.”

Shooting Star siblings voyage 2022

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 links or pictures to see how to buy them.

Blue Chalcedony Gold Stud:

Gold earrings

Blue Chalcedony Silver Stud:

Silver earrings

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* Ocean Globe race – are you interested in helping us in the race village? Plus a talk from OYT South vice patron Paul Heiney
As we reported in recent issues, our home port of Ocean Village is set for exciting times in September when, thanks to OYT South’s major sponsors MDL Marinas, they will be hosting the fleet ahead of the start of the Ocean Globe race round the world – a race for “ordinary sailors on normal yachts. Racing ocean-going GRP production yachts designed before 1988, there will be no computers, no satellites, no GPS, and no high-tech materials”.

There will be a race village open to the public for a couple of weeks ahead of the race start on 10th September, with free tickets – highly recommended for any interested sailors!

But most excitingly, the race village has picked three charity partners, with Ocean Youth Trust South alongside the Blue Marine Foundation and the Maiden Factor Foundation all set to benefit from fundraising during the event.

OYT South’s dedicated charity day is Saturday 2nd September and we’ll have a stand and leaflets to give out – can anyone help? Or if you were thinking of visiting the event on another day (29 Aug – 10 Sept) could you spare a bit of time to help us? Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you are interested.

Also on Saturday 2nd September, one of OYT South’s vice-patrons, writer and broadcaster Paul Heiney, will be giving a talk from 1pm to 1.30pm in the Events Marquee in the race village on how he sailed the Atlantic single-handed. His message is, “if I can do it, so can you. Your next big adventure starts here!” But he has promised to get in a mention for OYT South so please do come along to hear him and give him your support.

.Paul Heiney

Huge thanks to MDL for involving us in such a fantastic and exciting event!

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Winter refit core team needed
We haven’t yet finalised plans for Prolific’s winter refit 2023-24, but 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? We may well need a couple of full-time volunteers between November and March. More details here. 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.

If you are new to OYT South and wondering whether you would enjoy being a refit volunteer, why not book on a September adult voyage, to see the boat and meet some of the team?

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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.

Vessel tracking

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

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2023 adult voyages and volunteer training
does anyone not eligible for youth voyages want to sail our beautiful boat?
We have adult voyages scheduled as follows:

11-15 Sept 2023, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £475 per person, adult week (Monday to Friday), 6 places left.

22-24 Sept 2023, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £245 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening), up to 7 places left tbc.

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 to reserve a place on an adult voyage.

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2024 draft programme
We now have a DRAFT 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. At this stage it may be possible to amend the programme slightly to meet clients’ needs, though that depends on any impact your preferred changes would have on the groups sailing either side of you.

Once we have a final version of the programme, 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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Maintenance days – please come and help! NEW location for September date
Please come to one of our in-season maintenance days! 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 to maintenance issues.

Monday 4th September – Gosport
Sunday 15th October – Southampton

Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to come and help.

Please note that the maintenance day on 4th Sept was previously advertised as Southampton but it will now be at Victoria Quay, Gosport, close to our office in Royal Clarence.

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Movement for Good Awards – please nominate us to win £1,000

In September, 150 charities will each win £1,000, based on nominations from the public, through Movement for Good – please nominate us! If you follow that link and scroll down the page, you’ll come to a form already set to vote for us – you just have to add a few details and press the button at the bottom. It takes seconds!

We have been lucky enough to win a few times in the past but not recently, so PLEASE send in your nomination this time. £1,000 could provide voyages for two disadvantaged young people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to sail; or it could buy food for everyone on board for days, or a piece of equipment for the boat.

Movement for Good logo

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Financial appeal
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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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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