OYT South bulletin 28th June 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 28th June 2024

by | Jun 28, 2024

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


* Sea staff vacancies – for new and trainee volunteers as well as well as experienced and qualified people – including URGENT July vacancy
Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you can help with any of the remaining vacancies.

People who have been newly-recommended to join the volunteers’ team: please do contact us if you are interested in suitable voyages from this list – we can advise you if a particular vacancy needs someone with more Prolific experience, but where possible this list is for you as much as it is for established volunteers. We will need to make sure your DBS, references and other paperwork is in place before you can sail. And do keep checking the list in each edition of the newsletter as people do occasionally drop out and leave other vacancies!

Dates given are when crew are on board so volunteers are generally needed the day before:

URGENT 7-13 July, Brixham – one more qualified watchleader and possibly someone else as well, ideally able to help with maintenance day 6th July as well. This is a mixed individuals’ voyage.
16-20 Sept, Southampton – qualified watchleader. School group (new client)
14-19 Oct, Southampton – one qualified or trainee watchleader, ideally able to stay for the maintenance day on 20th Oct. Cowes Enterprise College.
TBC 25-29 Oct, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader. Swindon Scouts group.

Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you would like to sail!

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* 2024 voyages available for people aged 11-25 – PLEASE SHARE – including discount offer
If all our members, volunteers, Trustees and other supporters shared our voyage availability with young people, parents, friends and colleagues, we could easily fill the rest of this year’s voyages. Don’t forget we can often find bursary funding for genuinely disadvantaged young people who couldn’t otherwise afford to sail; but we also welcome those who can afford an amazing adventure holiday!

Please share this with anyone you can think of who might be interested:

3-9 Aug, Brixham to Guernsey, 6 nights, £710 per person (not including travel)
10-17 Aug, Guernsey to Poole, 7 nights, £815 per person (not including travel) – race against other sail training vessels – ideal for age 14+ – see here for more details about this exciting event.
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Brixham to Southampton, 5 nights, £605 per person

There’s a PDF flyer here – please share it!

Flyer about summer 2024 voyages

There’s also a YouTube playlist with a number of very short videos about standard youth voyages or DofE Gold residentials, originally made for TikTok – there might be something there you can share!

Owing to the additional costs of travel to and from Guernsey, we are looking at offering discounts to anyone who books on a Guernsey voyage and persuades a friend to book too. Contact the office for more information on “bring a friend discounts”. We would also discuss discounts for anyone who booked on two back-to-back voyages, out to Guernsey and back again.

Passports will be needed for the voyages starting or ending in Guernsey, which may also visit a French port; and other voyages MAY go to France if we are lucky with the weather, so passports will be needed there too.

No previous sailing experience needed – all we ask is that you come prepared to join in and make friends!

RYA sailing qualifications and DofE Gold Residential voyages available.

More information here on sailing with us.

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

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* Voyage news
Last weekend’s newsletter came out just as the Harris Merton voyage was finishing. Some of the boys had hardly left London and never seen the sea or been to a beach. Predictably the beach came up a lot in their feedback:

“My most memorable bit was when I went to that beach, played rugby with everyone and saw a beautiful sunset.”

An evening on the beach for Prolific's crew

Other feedback included:

“The best bit was being on the bowsprit ‘cos I got to see a nice sunset.”

“My best bit was the pilotage exercise we did yesterday. It was really fun steering the ship and navigating quite a lot.”

“The most memorable bit was Night Watch when we were dancing a bit and we were talking to each other a lot.”

 “One of the best trips I’ve ever had and would definitely want to go again.”

 “Helped me learn new skills and the food was awesome and we created iconic moments with friends.”

 “Amazing trip, never lost interest or gained boredom. Always something to look forward to. Kindest people and most marvellous experience.”

Finally an original accolade: “Better conditions than I expected – food AND toilets (would poop here again). Also, SO MUCH FUN”.

The two school staff who came with the boys said:

“Excellent trip, great experience for teachers and students! Would definitely be the teacher doing this again. Great way to dip your toes into sailing :-) !”

 “Phenomenal trip!! All the boys enjoyed the experience and would love to come back! I thoroughly enjoyed it – thank you!”

After their voyage ended, some of the team found a vantage point which shows off Prolific’s berth on the new pontoons:

Panomamic shot of Ocean Village marina with an arrow showing Prolific on her berth

That was followed by two more day sails with sponsors, donors and supporters of the charity.

Guests around Prolific's helm with skipper Gotch pointing the way

On Saturday we had some major donors, plus friends who knew the charity’s founders and have been involved since the 1960s. We also had people from Aeoliki who provide our vessel tracking and from the 2024 Solent Crabber Rally who picked us as their charity to support, as well as potential new volunteers, and Constantinos’s dad who came to find out what the job was all about!

Saturday was gusty and busy with a lot of other vessels around; but we still managed some good sailing, and Andy Amor kindly sent these fantastic shots taken while he was flying over the Solent:

Aerial shot of Prolific on a gusty day (photo: Andy Amor) Aerial shot of Prolific on a gusty day (photo: Andy Amor) Aerial shot of Prolific on a gusty day (photo: Andy Amor)

Sunday was almost the perfect day sail: plenty of sunshine, enough wind to show off the boat, but not so much as to knock the lunch off the table. We had more friends from the early days, including Peter Tracey whose highly entertaining account of the first voyage for what became the Ocean Youth Club is on our website.

Peter Tracey

Peter’s wife Ruth took the lovely images below. We also had guests from the Royal Yachting Association; from ePropulsion who donated our new electric outboard; from Marine Fire Safety who do so much to help keep us safe; and from Oysterband who have helped to keep our Chief Operating Officer going for the last couple of decades.

Two, six, heave! Guests chat on deck on a sunny day Team of guests and sea staff hauling on a halyard Boy and watchleader grind a winch together Boy and watchleader both in sunglasses at the helm

Comments included:

“Great ship, great crew, great charity.”

“Lovely experience, with a great team. Keep up the good work.”

“A wonderful experience – almost as if I had walked on the water!”

“A super day on the water and a fantastic and worthy charity.”

“Thanks so much for your infinite patience, guidance and good humour. Learning so much on such a short sail was empowering and special – thank you!”

“Super people, great cause, wonderful day!”

“Thank you for a wonderful day out, everything was perfect. Brilliant organisation.”

“What a great day out on the water. Thank you for taking care of my son who really came into himself over the day.”

“Perfect day out on the water … we will talk about it for a long time. Many thanks, it was fun to join in.”

Watchleader Patrick was passing in another vessel and sent this shot:

Prolific on a perfect clear sailing day, under mizzen, main and staysail

Big thanks to sea staff who sailed on one or both days: Constantinos, Lauren, Mark, Caz, Sara Abdur, Glyn Collins, Jack Thompson, Aaron Arnold and Michelle van den Bergh.

This week’s voyage is with The Amber Foundation, a great project which provides accommodation and support for young adults who have been homeless. It’s been a glorious week of sunsets and dolphin-spotting, with a crew who were very interested in learning about the boat and grateful for the opportunity. With a group like this we try hard to use the voyage to show people how they can use the boat to build skills as they move into independent living and employment – ideally with a certificate as evidence. A key part of our role is showing them that that the week is not just about learning to sail – which may have limited relevance going forward – but also the skills that employers need, like teamworking, communication, following safety instructions, tackling new challenges and not giving up.

They joined on Monday and sailed to Yarmouth that evening with training, dinner and a glorious sunset on the way. They picked up a buoy and had some downtime for a few hours but set off again at 2330 for an overnight passage. A beautiful moon was followed by a gorgeous sunrise: as watchleader Sara said: “the whole word was beautiful”.

Watchleader Sara is happy to be in the West Country, gesturing at the coastline from Prolific's deck Two crew looking for dolphins from Prolific's bowsprit netting on a hot calm day

They arrived in Brixham where some had a nap and others went to explore, or visit the open-air swimming pool, followed by showers, dinner and another amazing sunset.

Sunset from Prolific's deck in harbour

Next day they worked on their RYA qualifications and walked to the lighthouse before setting off for Dartmouth. They had reefing practice and a man overboard recovery drill and saw dolphins on the way.

Two Amber Foundation crew members in harbour Sitting on the jib flaked in the bowsprit netting above a blue-green sea Relaxing in Prolific's bowsprit netting above a perfectly calm sea Beach visit for Prolific's crew

They had shore time in Dartmouth and a 6am start next day to avoid strong winds which never actually materialised – unlike the dolphins, who turned up again!

Crew members looking for dolphins from Prolific's bowsprit in a calm

They sailed to Portland where they worked on a pilotage plan into Poole and then had a BBQ on a beach.

Their voyage ends tomorrow so we will include their feedback in the next issue.

Big thanks to sea staff Constantinos, Lauren, Michelle van den Bergh, Sara Abdur, Mark Dent, Keri Hammond, Rob Jelley and Bayleigh Funnell-Edmunds.

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* Safeguarding – new team member needed
OYT South’s Safeguarding Officer is Steve Lacey, ably assisted by Cathy Lacey and until recently by Anjelica Finnegan. However, thanks to the arrival of baby Hraefn (big congratulations!), Anjelica has decided it is time to stand aside. We could really do with someone else in the safeguarding team, if only so that we don’t have to disturb Steve and Cathy when they are on holiday! Is there anyone with safeguarding experience who would like a chat with us about what the role involves, or can anyone suggest someone we might approach, or a good way of finding someone who would be ideal for the role? Safeguarding lies at the heart of everything we do so it is really important to find the right person. Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org. Meanwhile thanks to Anjelica for all her support in recent years and the very best of luck for the future!

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2025 DRAFT programme
We’ve been working on a draft programme for 2025 and have sent it to our regular clients for their comments. If you are interested in booking full group voyage for young people, do let us know and we can send you a copy of the current draft showing possible dates, ports, durations and prices.

We will reserve some school holiday voyages for individual bookings and some weekends, day sails etc for adults, so any interest in those (as well as volunteer bookings) can come later!

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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
Big thanks this week to the Charles Burnett Memorial Fund for a very generous grant towards three years of voyages for a local school; to Cowes Harbour and Hugh Morrison for a very kind contribution; and to the Charities Trust which processes donations from e.g. businesses and employee giving – we’ve just had a great donation via them but it didn’t say who it was from – can anyone tell us?

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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Maintenance days – please help – next one is 6th July
We have several planned maintenance days during the season – these are essential to keep Prolific in working order and avoid losing voyage time to maintenance issues. We need all the help we can get, both skilled and unskilled – there are easy jobs for people not used to boat maintenance, or maybe we can teach you a useful new skill!

Please put these dates in your diary:

Saturday 6th July – Brixham
Thursday 5th September – Southampton
Sunday 20th October – Southampton

If you call the boat on 07990 518915, or email refit@oytsouth.org, we can get you booked in for maintenance days. We can feed you on board and probably offer accommodation the night before or after if needed. Generally we need over-18s, or 16 and 17-year olds who are sailing as bosuns or trainee bosuns.

Sea staff on the voyages immediately before and after these days should plan to include the maintenance day as part of your booking unless specifically agreed. If we don’t have enough people at a maintenance day and there are significant jobs to do, it might even affect the start of the next voyage, so please do make sure you are available to help!

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Prolific earrings inspired by a crew member and now NEW necklaces as well!
Exciting news – sales of the earrings based on a drawing by a young crew member have been strong enough that our friends at Vurchoo have been inspired to add necklaces to the range!

£68 in silver or £85 in gold – click the pictures to go to the website and see how to buy them:

Silver necklace and earrings based on a drawing by a Prolific crew member 

You can read the full story here of how the design was based on an idea from a Prolific crew member, with part of the proceeds coming to us to support our charitable work! The original earrings are still available for £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 £2,100 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 £2,100 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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