OYT South bulletin 19th January 2024

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 19th January 2024

by | Jan 19, 2024

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


* Refit – please come and help – including March volunteers’ weekend
Big thanks to all the people who have helped at refit this week: Gotch (Constantinos), Lauren, Josh, Susanna, Lynne, Caitlin Neall-Johnston, Juliette Draper, Matt Boreham and Willoughby Matthews (who didn’t stay for long but is marked in the refit log as “Willoughby + chocolate arrives” so it was evidently a worthwhile visit).

As you can imagine, it’s been pretty cold on the boat this week – there is ice in the marina but not quite enough to skate to work:

Prolific at sunrise with ice in the water Prolific in Ocean Village at sunrise

(See below for tales of sailing in truly icy conditions!)

The team has been correcting charts, servicing winches, working on batteries, doing lots of indoor sanding, priming and painting, including painting the benches in the saloon and anti-mould paint for the aft cabins.

Matt working on deck

Dave “Tigger” Heffer came to help us with some woodwork; we had a visit from Liam from Marine Gas Safety; IMP came to look at some of the winches; and a team from Xylem – Sarah, Rachel; Daniel, Haken, Sean, Bidemi and Tijo came and did lots of work on the plumbing – huge thanks to everyone!

Xylem team in Prolific's saloon, plus winch servicing Team photo on deck

The deck fittings for the mizzen mast have come off and that area has been tented above and below so the deck can be dried:

Removing fittings from the mizzen mast The mizzen mast at deck level

There’s plenty more to do at refit so please come and help!

Prolific is in Ocean Village but not on our usual berth – we are tucked in for the winter on a sheltered berth by the hotel. We also have some lovely refit accommodation a short drive away by the Hamble.

Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to come and help us. At the moment we are looking for help on weekdays: do let us know if you can help any time from now until March, either for just one day or for a longer period or some sort of regular commitment such as a day each week.

If you want to come and help for longer than a day and you need accommodation, just ask – it all depends what we have available.

Please note that there will be a volunteers’ refit weekend 2-3 March to get the sails and other gear back on board – as well as a social event on the Saturday night. Email refit@oytsouth.org to book yourself in.

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 next season to maintenance issues.

Sea staff who want to sail next season: remember that if lots of volunteers all apply for the same dates, priority will go to people who have helped us in other ways – coming to refit, raising money, introducing new clients etc!

You can read more about how refit works here.

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Shorebased training weekend 10-11 February
BOOK NOW! First Aid, safety at sea, diversity, wellbeing, GMDSS and more!
Book now
for our training weekend in Gosport 10-11 February!

Tony Salmon will be running the RYA one day First Aid course – price £80. There will be 12 places on Saturday 10th Feb and we have now added a second course on the Sunday. This qualification needs to be renewed every three years and is compulsory for second mates and above, and strongly recommended for all other volunteers, as well as giving you a valuable skill and confidence in everyday life, not just when you are sailing. Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org to reserve a place – let us know which day you prefer or if you are flexible and can do either. Please don’t just book without checking whether the day you want is full!

For anyone not doing first aid, or doing first aid on one day and wanting to join sessions on the other day, we have the following at just £30 per day to cover both morning and afternoon sessions:

Saturday morning: an Introduction to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, covering awareness and leverage of privilege; inclusion to sustain diversity; cultural awareness and belonging; and supporting asylum seekers and refugees. The speaker is Shamila Dhana, a volunteer community activist for women, migrants & the BAME community and a Trustee and Founding member of Portsmouth City of Sanctuary. In 2019, Shamila was the recipient of the Inspirational Women of Portsmouth Awards, category Community Activism. In the same year she won the IFRC Female Innovation Award for her work with Migrant women in Portsmouth, chosen from over 300 worldwide Red Cross Female Volunteers. In 2022 she was awarded the HM Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Champion award for her community service in Portsmouth. Shamila is an inspirational speaker who empowers others with her own story of resilience and her mission to lift others up.

Saturday afternoon: Mental Wellbeing with Hannah from Engendering Change. Hannah will be talking to us about how we can best look after our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others, including looking at how we can spot signs of mental health distress and what we can do to help.

Sunday morning: A session run by James Stevens, our newest Trustee and former Training Manager and Chief Examiner of the RYA. He introduced the RYA Sea Survival course and was chairman of the National Watersports Safety Committee and has attended numerous MAIB accident enquiries, so there’s no-one better to talk to us about safety at sea. His session will be on Accident and Incident Avoidance and Management for Watchleaders and Bosuns (though of course skippers and 1Ms and trainee volunteers are welcome too). In an interactive session, James will look at the role of watchleaders and bosuns in preventing accidents and incidents. In the event of an accident or incident we will consider how to assist the skipper and work as a team in managing the aftermath. Good sea staff are regularly considering “What if….?” and reflecting on how they would handle difficult situations. This will be a fascinating session and we’ll keep the price as affordable as possible.

Sunday afternoon: This will be broken into a number of short sessions. It will start with an hour from Ocean Safety on the care and packing of lifejackets, with a short look at liferafts. We really need as many volunteers as possible to be familiar with re-packing lifejackets as it’s a lot of work after our regular inflation tests, designed to ensure that no-one is wearing a lifejacket which has any damage – even a pin-prick – which would cause it to deflate when someone needs it to work. Knowing how to check all the component parts and repack them properly is a vital skill. There will also be a short refresher session with our safeguarding team, and a short session run by Lauren on chart corrections.

We can also run GMDSS assessments (for your radio licence) which involves an online course which must be done in advance, and then a short practical session and assessment at the training weekend, fitted in around other courses. You’ll need to pay £40 to OYT South plus a £70 fee to the RYA.

There will be the usual supper and social gathering on the Saturday night, in Gosport – all welcome!

We can provide lunch on Saturday and Sunday (£5 each); breakfast on Sunday (£5) and dinner on Saturday (£15).

We’ve had a couple of very kind offers of some accommodation on Saturday night for a few volunteers who really couldn’t attend the training weekend otherwise – please ask; and if anyone else living locally can offer a bed for the night, or even a sofa if someone brings a sleeping bag, do let us know.

Booking form, details, timings and locations here: https://www.oytsouth.org/training-weekend/

Please BOOK NOW!

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* Andrew Wilkes awarded prestigious Tilman Medal
We’re delighted to report that Andrew Wilkes, one of OYT South’s longstanding volunteers, has been awarded the Tilman Medal by the Royal Cruising Club. This is a remarkable honour, given for exploration in high latitudes.

Bill Tilman was twice awarded the Military Cross for bravery in the First World War, and in 1929 began climbing with Eric Shipton, becoming one of the most famous mountaineering partnerships in history. In 1936 he made the first ascent of Nanda Devi, at 25,634 feet, which remained the highest summit climbed by anyone until 1950. Two years later he reached 27,200 feet without oxygen on Mount Everest. In the Second World War he was at Dunkirk before serving in North Africa, Iraq and Iran, and was then dropped by parachute into Albania behind enemy lines to fight with Albanian and Italian partisans, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. After WW2 he took up sailing, owning a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter called Mischief, and began sailing to Arctic and Antarctic waters in search of new and uncharted mountains to climb. You can see a list of all his expeditions from the 1930s to the 1970s on Wikipedia. Bill Tilman was a member of the Royal Cruising Club – members of which helped to found the Ocean Youth Club.

When not sailing with OYT South on board Prolific, Andrew Wilkes and his wife Máire can often be found adventuring in their own replica Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Annabel J, during which Andrew researched his pilot book for the Arctic and Northern Waters and the Polar Yacht Guide

The list of previous winners of the Tilman medal contains some famous names! Apparently one of the awarding committee told Andrew: “A few names were suggested, none of whom had undertaken anything of the magnitude of your voyages, not to mention the Pilot and Polar Code. I pointed this out and it was not surprisingly unanimous.”

A few years ago, Andrew gave a spellbinding talk to an OYT South training weekend on his voyage through the North West Passage.

OYT South is very proud of Andrew’s achievements and delighted that he will be sailing with us both as skipper and first mate this season!

Andrew Wilkes at sea in icy conditions Andrew Wilkes on board his own boat Andrew Wilkes's boat, Annabel J, sailing past glorious high-latitude scenery

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2024 voyages available for individuals, group bookings and adults
Please see here for this year’s voyage availability – we have some voyages designated for group bookings (such as a school or youth group, or another charity); some voyages for individual bookings; and some which could be either for groups or individuals, depending on demand. A couple of individual voyages are shown as “UK only” which makes them suitable for younger crew members and people without passports. (Other individual voyages MAY go to France if we are lucky with the weather so passports will be needed; passport requirements for group bookings will be agreed with the group organiser).

For individual bookings on youth voyages, please contact VoyageAdmin@oytsouth.org.

To discuss group bookings, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

For adult bookings and volunteer training / selection voyages, please contact SeaStaffAdmin@oytsouth.org.

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* South Coast Boat Show – help needed
Prolific will once again be at the heart of the South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village, which this year runs from 19th – 21st April. We will need lots of volunteers on board to show visitors around, talk about the charity, collect money and sell bacon rolls! Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you’d like to come and help.

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* 2024 AGM – a date for your diary
Advance notice that OYT South’s 2024 AGM date has been set for 9th November.

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Pointer Family Trust who have offered an extremely generous grant toward the costs of this winter’s refit!

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
Don’t forget these very special earrings, designed by Vurchoo based on a drawing by a Prolific crew member and with part of the proceeds coming to us to support our charitable work! You can read the full story here.

£40 in either gold or silver – 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 £1,600 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 £1,600 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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