OYT South bulletin 24th March 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 24th March 2023

by | Mar 24, 2023

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

* Sea staff vacancies
Just a handful of spaces left for volunteer sea staff – can anyone help?

  • 1-6 April, Southampton – first mate or trainee 1M needed URGENTLY: because we are doing some skipper training on this voyage, we already have two senior people so if we can’t added an extra qualified 1M, this voyage might work for a strong second mate wanting to use it for 1M training and prepared to take on a good proportion of the 1M role with appropriate support.
  • 12-16 April, Southampton – qualified first mate needed URGENTLY
  • 26-30 May, Southampton – another qualified watchleader needed.
  • 5-9 June plus maintenance day 10th June, Southampton – another qualified watchleader needed.

Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you can help with one of these.

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* Refit news – the final stages
We are into the final few days of refit! Last week we reported on some technical training sessions for a few skippers and first mates and we had another group doing that last weekend – everyone seemed to enjoy it and learned a lot. Andy Royse, Andrew Wilkes, Miranda Camping, Cathy Lacey, Mark Todd and Graeme Cole also helped out with refit jobs on board – thanks you.

We’ve also had a great team around this week: big thanks to Diggory, Josh, Lauren, Sara, Andy Viney, Steve and Cathy Lacey, Glyn Collins, Rob Jelley, Cathy Ayres and Caz.

There has been more work on the bowsprit netting supplied by South West Play:

Attaching new bowsprit netting

Lots of people helped but Sara put in hours of work and got it finished:

Attaching new bowsprit netting

Glyn ran a CPR and AED refresher for those who hadn’t already been on medical and first aid courses in the last few weeks:

Doing CPR on a dummy First adi trainer speaking to a group of people

We have some very smart new mooring lines (thanks to Robline):

Prolific's stern attached to pontoon with new mooring lines New mooring lines stowed on the rail Damp people using new mooring lines

We actually got to handle the mooring lines on Monday when Robinson’s Compass Adjusters came out to ensure the ship’s compass is accurate for the start of the season. Big thanks to Andy Viney for his help with this. You can see the track for this here.

For non-sailors, the reason we seem to be performing short scribbles on the sea is that the Compass Adjuster has to make sure our compass is accurate on different headings, regardless of other factors such as the location of any metal on the boat. Modern boats have lots of different ways to see where they are and where they are going; but people navigated for centuries before electronics, using just a few things like a compass and a lead line (for measuring depth) – and we can still get Prolific safely to port like that if we had to. As long as we’ve taken the time to get the compass checked!

Sara, Lauren and Josh enjoyed the compass swing despite the damp … they have been working really hard over the winter so it was great to have Prolific moving again!

Sara, Lauren, Josh - damp on deck in oilskins

Josh did some work up the mast:

Josh's selfie up the mast A distant view of the deck from the top of the mast View from below of Josh starting to climb the mast

And the measurement marks on the anchor chain were renewed:

Anchor chain laid out with new paint markings

All of that came alongside countless other jobs and masses of paperwork to get everything ready for the start of the season.

Finally we have a newsletter where we are not appealing for people to come and help with refit next week … but if you are going to miss maintaining the boat, or you are feeling guilty that you might not have done your share over the winter, please put these in-season maintenance days in your diary:

Monday 24th April – Southampton
Saturday 13th May – Southampton
Saturday 10th June – Southampton
Tuesday 11th July – Brixham
Monday 4th September – Southampton
Sunday 15th October – Southampton

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Vessel tracking – see where Prolific is sailing!
Vessel tracking has now been switched on for the start of the season. 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.

Sample map showing Prolific's location

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* Sea staff section of the website
We’ve been adding things to the sea staff section of the website! It’s accessed by password but everyone sailing this season should have been sent the password (check your emails around 21-23 February 2023). If you really don’t have yours then please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

New this week: a few Technical & Safety notices covering incidents on board in recent years – how we dealt with them, and learning lessons for the future.

You can also find three of the presentations from the training weekend (Safeguarding, Online Harm, and Understanding Autistic People), we have links to the handbooks for the new Raymarine kit we have on board – if you are going to be involved in any navigation this season, do have a look. And then we have the 2023 editions of the three main volumes of the Voyage Handbook:

Volume 1: Pre-voyage preparations – covering things like boat familiarisation checklists, sea staff briefings, emergency muster stations and more. Updated for 2023 including colours for lots of new ropes plus some information about fire suppression.

Volume 2: Watchleader training manual – covering everything from the initial briefings you might be asked to deliver to young people; sail hoists and drops; other deck work; watch-keeping and navigation; clean-up; how to teach RYA courses and more. Minor changes for 2023.

Volume 3: Policies – including everything from safeguarding and equal opportunities to garbage management and working aloft. Updated for 2023 including a complete revision of the Safeguarding Policy – please read.

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* 2023 voyages available for young people
Dates open for individual bookings are as follows. Please state your age when applying – we can sail with young people aged 11-25 but we aim to organise compatible groups and not have too wide an age range on any voyage.

1-6 April 2023, Southampton, 5 nights, £575 – only 1 or 2 spaces left
7-11 April 2023, Southampton, 4 nights, £475 – only 6 spaces left
14-19 May 2023, Southampton, 5 nights, £575 per person (this could be an individual OR group voyage depending on demand – please ask)
5-10 July 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Brixham, £575 per person (this could be an individual OR group voyage depending on demand – please ask)
20-26 July 2023, Falmouth to Brixham, 6 nights, £675
9-15 Aug 2023, 6 nights, Brixham, £675
16-22 Aug 2023, 6 nights, Brixham, £675
29 Aug-3 Sept 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Southampton, £575
5-10 Sept 2023, Southampton, 5 nights, £575 – places available for people aged 16-25 to join a voyage with some of our young volunteers – please ask for more details

We’re happy to take smaller groups (e.g. three or four people) on individual voyages to mix with others; but many clients will want to book the whole boat exclusively for their own group (twelve to fifteen people, including any adult leaders who come with the group). Dates available for whole-boat bookings:

14-19 May 2023, 5 nights, Southampton, £575 per person (this could be an individual OR group voyage depending on demand – please ask)
5-10 July 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Brixham, £575 per person (this could be an individual OR group voyage depending on demand – please ask)

Contact webmaster1@oytsouth.org to express an interest.

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Sally Croly leaving! – please contribute to her leaving present
Our Finance Manager Sally Croly is leaving!

Sally has been with OYT South since 2003, moving up from part-time administration assistant to a full-time role running the office. In 2018 she went back down to part-time hours with a greater focus on the finance side.

Sadly she has now decided that it is time to stop working and she will be leaving her job at the end of May. Though she is keen to stress that she will continue to be very much around as a friend and supporter of the charity and of all the people around OYT South!

Sally Croly on board John Laing (OYT South's previous vessel)

Sally has been involved with the charity for twenty years – almost the entire span of OYT South’s existence as an independent charity, and a third of our entire existence since the Ocean Youth Club was founded in 1960. She always gave the most steadfast and reliable support when the charity faced challenges, and she played a huge part in the best of times as well. When OYT South won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2011, Sally was the obvious choice to represent us at a Buckingham Palace garden party.

Sally might not have been the most high-profile member of our staff and she never wanted the limelight, but the smooth running of the office for so many years was down to her: paying bills on time, managing bookings efficiently and always there to support the rest of the team. She has been an absolutely fundamental part of everything the charity has done for two decades – which means that more than 8,000 young people have benefitted from her efforts.

Everyone has loved working with Sally and we all depended on her support, help, guidance, honesty, and good humour.

She will be missed more than we can say, and we really want to send her off with a nice leaving present, so please give generously!

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* Volunteer quotes on website
We’ve started a new page on the website where volunteers can explain why they enjoy volunteering for OYT South and what they get out of it. The idea is to encourage more people to think about volunteering for us in various different ways. At the moment the page only has examples from sea staff and refit volunteers (and we are happy to have more of those) but we would also like to add people who help in the office; people who raise funds or help us with events; volunteer Trustees; and anyone else who gives their time to support us. Please send your contributions to webmaster1@oytsouth.org. We’re happy to add photos too, if you have a good one of yourself in a volunteering capacity.

When anyone new enquires about volunteering with us, it would be great to send them a link to this page to show them that we have a wide variety of volunteers who have all sorts of reasons for being involved and get a lot out of it.

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Special voyage for young volunteers – could this be you?
Thanks to a generous donation from the Gipsy Moth Trust, OYT South has an annual training voyage funded specifically for young people aged 16-25 who are starting to sail as volunteer watchleaders or bosuns, or who have been newly recommended to join our volunteers.

This year’s young volunteers’ training voyage will be 5-10 Sept, starting and finishing in Southampton. If you have sailed with us in the last year or two and have been invited back for volunteer training, or have recently started sailing as a trainee mate, third mate or bosun and you want to develop your skills and are aged 16-25, let us know if you would be interested in joining this voyage.

If you have not yet been told by one of our skippers that you are ready for volunteer training but you are hoping to earn a recommendation this year, you can contact us about going on the waiting list for the September voyage. Then if you come on another voyage before then and do well enough to earn your recommendation, you might get a place on the September voyage as well.

The September voyage is designed to get people thinking not just as another crew member but as someone who can start stepping up to leading, teaching, supervising and encouraging other young people. Around one in three of our volunteers on board is aged under 25 and started out as crew members on an ordinary voyage before coming back for more training and working their way up the ladder. It’s a lot of fun and it’s also great for your own personal development and providing evidence to future employers that you can stand out from the crowd and take on responsibility.

Here’s what people said about last year’s Gipsy Moth voyage:

“My favourite bit has just been really watching everyone throw themselves into leading stuff, it’s been really really impressive. But also how everyone else supported them when they were doing leading, that was really really good.”

“My memorable bit was when I was told I had to take down the mizzen and I had to lead it and I stressed myself out and I knocked my confidence by doubting myself and I was going like, ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do it,’ and then I done it and then Andy [first mate] took me to the side and he said, ‘you just did it, you can do it,’ and I think that was just like a really nice, just a really nice little chat”.

“My favourite bit this trip was probably how confident I became learning how all the sailing procedures work, and all the different ropes, whereas previous trips I’ve not been that familiar with how it all works, but I’m definitely a lot more confident with it all now.”

Young volunteers voyage 2022

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2023 adult voyages and volunteer training

We have adult voyages scheduled as follows:

5-7 May 2023, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £245 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening).- only 5 places left.

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

22-24 Sept 2023, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £245 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 to reserve a place on an adult voyage.

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* Financial appeal
Special thanks this week to the Ellis Campbell Foundation who have confirmed continued funding for the staff first mate post.

Big thanks also to Rafiki for a fantastic contribution to our new winch handles, and to the Royal Thames Yacht Club Charitable Trust who have pledged another great donation to support a voyage for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail, and to the Baxter and Grimshaw Trust who have kindly agreed to consider some additional bursary applications on a case-by-case basis. And thank you also for a very kind donation in memory of Stephen Scott which has been used to replace some navigational charts.

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 £1,200 through Easyfundraising! – but Amazon Smile closed
“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 £1,200 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

OYT South has also received funds from Amazon Smile – but very sadly Amazon has closed the scheme and now donates to charities chosen by the company rather than by you when you shop.

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OYT South social media – please get involved
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. 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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Website – Raise and Sail – help needed
Although we have a brand-new website, one section that still needs work is to update Raise and Sail, which was designed many years ago by volunteers Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows as a stand-alone area of the site full of ideas and resources for young people who want to raise money in order to come sailing. We have a volunteer doing some work on this but others may be able to help too, if you have good ideas or experience of raising money. Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you would like to help.

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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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