OYT South bulletin 8th September 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 8th September 2023

by | Sep 8, 2023

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

Staff Skipper – job advertisement
We announced a couple of weeks ago that our highly popular Staff Skipper, Diggory Rose, very sadly 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 on board, and you can contribute to his leaving present here. 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).

We have two adult voyages before the closing date – five days or a weekend in September – if someone wants to come and find out more about us before applying. We can offer funded places to genuine skipper candidates if needed.

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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* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter left a crew of individual bookings in Portland but thinking of heading for Bournemouth Air Show. They had a wonderful sail back east towards Bournemouth beach:

Crew members ready at the winches Crew members on the bowsprit Crew member at the winch

Due to some excellent gybing and tacking skills from everybody, they managed to cruise along the beach several times, being treated to magnificent views of the planes all afternoon. Plane enthusiast or not – everyone enjoyed the perfect mix of sailing, sunshine and overhead flying fun. Thanks to the Red Arrows for one of the photos of the season:

Red Arrows jet overtaking Prolific

After the Red Arrows had given us a final flypast, Prolific continued sailing towards Yarmouth to pick up a buoy for the night. They decided to navigate via the north channel to add a level of challenge which particular crew members relished, having shown a keen interest in navigation and buoyage.

Crew me,mber laughs as he plays guitar on the foredeck, watched by others Sunset behind Prolific's mizzen boom and ensign

On Saturday the young people ran the foredeck and led multiple tacks up the Solent. Resting at Stokes Bay for dinner, they planned night pilotage and took control of the boat to navigate safely into Portsmouth Harbour for a midnight arrival to Gosport. A long but rewarding day.

Young people studying a chart

The crew departed on Sunday morning having earned three RYA Start Yachting qualifications and nine of the more advanced Competent Crew qualifications, with four DoE Gold residentials completed and at least two new sea staff recommendations in addition to those already working towards bosun or watchleader.

They covered 133 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here.

Feedback showed just how this group was full of people keen to step up and take responsibility:

“My best bit was probably the night nav last night because I think it really showed how we all became a team and we could overcome that and plus it was really cool and exciting.

My most favourite bit probably would have been just getting to know everyone on board and working so well as a team with sail hoists and us going sailing really well.”

“Best bit was probably just sitting out on the bowsprit, especially yesterday when it was nice and warm, nice and sunny. Worst bit was probably space in the bunk … I’m 6 foot 5…”

“It’s so good I’m staying for another week!”

“Very thankful for this trip – loved it.”

“Can’t wait for my next adventure with OYT.”

“Incredibly fun trip, made lots of friends.”

You can see more voyage feedback here.

Big thanks to the sea staff: Diggory, Adam Lane, Lauren, Iori Kent, Susanna Paynter, Frederik Ferner, Aoife Harrington and Richard White.

This week we have on board a crew aged 16-25, almost all of whom are training as volunteer bosuns or watchleaders. Some were already making great progress on that path before this voyage; others have only sailed with us once but impressed the skipper enough to be invited back.

That makes it a very different kind of week, with lots of skills and drills and opportunities for people to step up and run different exercises. It’s also about creating a supportive environment where people encourage those who may be leading something for the very first time!

They joined on Monday which was a maintenance day and gave them all a chance to get involved in the basics of looking after the boat, preparing for the voyage and helping with the list of daily and weekly safety checks.

Young people helping at a maintenance day - a row of people sitting on the pontoon, working on the hull, while others work on the capping rail above them. Blue sky and lots of flags. Studying the chart plotter View along the capping rail with three people in the dinghy alongside

They also looked at a “dry” version of man overboard recovery techniques:

One person hangs in the twin helicopter strops while another gives a victory sign

And they made a plan of what everyone wanted to achieve during the week – things like “lead a staysail hoist”, “drop the anchor”, “drive the tender” or “understand buoys”:

Whiteboard on which people have written individual goals for the voyage

They had a big sail on Tuesday afternoon, starting from Gosport and heading out of the eastern Solent, all the way south of the isle of Wight to end up anchored in Compton Bay. Some of the crew ran the pilotage out of Portsmouth; they saw dolphins, had dinner under way and anchored in the dark before settling in to anchor watches for the night.

View along Prolific's side deck with low hazy sun reflected on the sea

Next morning they split into two groups, with one working on RYA Competent Crew skills while the other team looked at all the things to think about when leading a sail hoist and putting in a reef:

First mate sits on deck with a whiteboard, pointing out things to an audience Whiteboard on which a description has been written for hoisting the mainsail Whiteboard on which a description has been written for reefing a sail, with a diagram

One watch looked at the passage panning and the other watch, the pilotage to take them to Poole:

Young people study a chart Young people study a chart, while a watchleader points something out

The sails were hoisted and some of the crew took charge of bringing up the anchor.

Young people gathered round thge mainmast, studying ropes and lines Young people gathered round thge mainmast, studying ropes and lines

This September heatwave reminded us of how lucky we are to have sponsorship from Saltee sunscreen:

Girl in glasses and hat at the helm with a boy beside her and Saltee sunscreen in the foreground

They also did some more work on man overboard recovery:

Young people on the foredeck pointing out the location of a casualty in the water (drill) Engineer in full safety gear being lowered over the side to recover a casualty in ther water (drill)

They learned how to do a beautiful stow on the mizzen, and then first mate Lauren achieved a park in Poole which drove watchers on the quay to our Facebook page to comment on how impressed they were:

Triumphant first mate!

Yesterday some of the young people led happy hour cleaning, and there was a rig check, before they departed Poole bound for Swanage:

Line of smiling young people ready to haul on the mizzen halyard

People were learning how to record weather forecasts and fill in the logbook. They also did some gybing practice plus a jib drop and stowage lesson, before anchoring in Swanage for rowing practice, fun and a BBQ.

This is proving to be a great group of young people, with lots of them able to step up, take responsibility, develop their skills and lead different exercises.

Big thanks to sea staff Lee Mosscrop, Lauren, Josh, Susanna Paynter, Andy Royse, Niamh Lamin and Jack Ould.

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2023 adult voyages – last few spaces – including 3 berths NEXT WEEK!

Just a few berths on adult voyages this year (18+, no upper limit)

11-15 Sept 2023, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £475 per person, adult week (Monday to Friday), 3 places left.

22-24 Sept 2023, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £245 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening), 4 places left

These are open to anyone aged 18+ and we welcome anyone who just wants to come and sail our beautiful boat. But if you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the charity, you can also aim to use the voyage to earn a recommendation for volunteer training and voyages next year. Places are also open to 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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* Ocean Globe race – thanks to all those who came along last weekend
Big thanks to all those who came along to support us last weekend in Ocean Village – where funds are being raised for us at the events surrounding 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” – coinciding with the 50th anniversary of our major sponsors MDL Marinas.

On Friday, OYT South’s CEO Mark Todd was one of the guest speakers at the Captains’ Dinner, alongside sailing legend Tracy Edwards MBE. An auction run by OYT South’s own vice patron Nick Bonham raised nearly £11,000 to be shared between Ocean Youth Trust South, Blue Marine Foundation and The Maiden Factor Foundation:

Mark Todd in black tie with microphone at OGR Captains' Dinner, in front of a screen with pictures of young people on board Prolific Mark Todd in black tie with microphone at OGR Captains' Dinner, in front of a screen with OYT South logo  Audience at OGR Captains' Dinner Tracy Edwards speaks at OGR Captains' Dinner

On Saturday we had a stand in the race village – huge thanks to Lynne Robbins, Annette, Colin and James Potter, Graeme Findlay, Patrick Kelly, the Heaton family, Lindy Chamberlain and everyone else who came along to talk to people about our work or play the After Eight game, or to hear our vice patron Paul Heiney give a highly entertaining talk on how to race single-handed across the Atlantic, with asides on an environment where the sea temperature is 15 degrees higher at your bow than your stern; why not to order Polish dried ready meals; how to retire from a race without anyone noticing; and whether you can cross an ocean in carpet slippers. All wrapped up with a profound understanding of the sense of achievement and personal growth which young people completing a sail training voyage with OYT South can share with transatlantic or round-the-world sailors!

Paul Heiney with a microphone in front of a screen with logos for the Ocean Globe race, MDL Marinas 50yth anniversary, and the three sponsored charities

Huge thanks to Paul for coming along, and to MDL for involving us in such a fantastic and exciting event!

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* AGM and curry night 4th November
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). We will aim to combine this with a refit weekend as we’ll need lots of help moving gear off the boat. More details here.

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* Shorebased training weekend 10-11 February
We’re looking at 10-11 February for our shorebased training weekend next year, where we can run RYA First Aid and a range of other courses. 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 pencil the date in your diary for now!

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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.

Screengrab from vessel tracking page, showing Prolific in Portland

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

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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!
Please come to 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. There is one left this year:

Sunday 15th October – Southampton

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

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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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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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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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