OYT South bulletin 5th July 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 5th July 2024

by | Jul 5, 2024

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

Maintenance days – please help – next one TOMORROW 6th July in Brixham
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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* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter was written shortly before the end of our voyage with The Amber Foundation, for young adults who have been homeless. They turned out to be a superb and really rewarding group to work with. Skipper Gotch said:

“As a group they were apprehensive and guarded when they first joined but the change we have seen in them from the beginning to the end of the voyage has been huge. Towards the end of the trip they were all laughing and felt safe to be themselves. A lot of them came up to us to say thank you for such a good trip and we don’t want to leave. Quite a few of the crew have also expressed an interest in volunteering with us. A few of the comments we got from them: ‘’My communication was not great on the first day but I am working on it and it is getting better’’; ‘’Thank you for the trip of a lifetime, I have found this truly life changing and I would never had had these experiences if it were not for you’’; and ‘’I never thought I would do this, I am proud of myself’’.

Once in a space where they felt safe to be themselves, we have found them to be a fantastic group of people who have shown great care for each other, and were all very polite and supportive.

 Towards the end of the trip, they were given the opportunity to navigate the boat themselves and they organised themselves into teams and showed good leadership and communication skills during this exercise. Many of them did things they never thought they would do and realised how capable they are. We believe that this trip has helped some of them feel more confident about themselves and we could not be happier with the result.

They also got to enjoy lots of beautiful nature including a sunrise and a sunset at sea, the stars with no light pollution and dolphins playing around the boat, as well as seeing lots of jellyfish and the odd puffin.”

You can see their complete voyage track here – they sailed 177 nautical miles. Everyone earned a Start Yachting certificate and it was sad that there really wasn’t enough wind to complete all the elements of the more advanced Competent Crew syllabus – they certainly weren’t lacking in effort and enthusiasm.

Crew feedback included:

“What a great opportunity this voyage was, I have learned so many new skills and met some wonderful people, sea staff were exceptional in teaching us and had the patience of saints. Thank you so much. I will miss you all!!”

 “This has given me a chance to experience one of my dreams (sailing) and appreciate it from my heart!”

 “The voyage was very exhausting but you can make life-long friends during the experience so I would 100% recommend to anyone who wants to try it.”

  “Thank you for this trip it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, I had a great time :)

 “The voyage on Prolific was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience, would love to do it again. Thank you OYT!”

 “I’ve had so much fun and learnt so much, thank you to everyone – I have made friends for life and will come back.”

 “I had a WONDERFUL voyage, everyone’s super. My favourite part was navigating and shouting at everyone – yeah that was quite fun.”

 “My most memorable bit would be seeing the dolphins, and the new towns when you would think they wouldn’t be in England, and seeing the night sky and the moon on the first night.”

Big thanks to sea staff Constantinos, Lauren, Michelle van den Bergh, Sara Abdur, Mark Dent, Bayleigh Funnell-Edmunds and Rob Jelley, and special congratulations to Keri Hammond who passed her third mate’s assessment and had this effect on one of her watch members:

“On the boat with rough water was stressful but the people were all welcoming and accommodating to needs. Our team were the best, and our watch leader is an icon.”

This week’s voyage has been with students from Dartmouth Academy. They did boat familiarisation on the first afternoon, learning to use lifejackets:

Crew on deck learning how to fit their lifejackets

They didn’t set off that night – which pleased some of the students who really hadn’t wanted to miss the England football match! Next morning they had a peaceful time on the way out of Poole and got the sails up:

Crew on deck learning how to use the winches Two six heave on the halyard - with cliffs visible across the water behind them On deck with bright sun shining through the clouds

After that, things got a big choppy and challenging for some of them on the way to Weymouth, but they soon perked up and enjoyed time ashore and a visit to the beach.

Next day they had a 6am start and passed very close to Portland Bill to see the amazing rock formations. Then they got the sails up and had the best sail of the week – 8 knots all the way across Lyme Bay. Skipper Gotch said his best moment of the week was being up in the bow with the young people and finding that the water colour below the bow was pure turquoise.

They anchored for dinner and some of the young people were quite apprehensive about a night away from shore, but then they found how peaceful it was – they sat on the beanbags on deck with hot chocolate and looked at the stars.

Next morning they had some sessions on weather, knots and points of sail, and then went out had a busy day putting everything they had learned about points of sail into practice, learning how to work as a team to tack, gybe and adjust the sails.

Crew in "Titanic" pose on the bowsprit Crew and sea staff chatting on the bowsprit A group of people working with the staysail on the bow

They anchored for dinner and enjoyed the sunset and then set off for a short night sail under the stars. With light winds and no engine it was an amazing night, seeing the stars and shore lights, and looking out for lobster pots, before anchoring again at 1am.

Next day they had a later start and did a man overboard recovery drill before sailing into Brixham.

Engineer Josh being lowered over the side with safety gear for a man overboard recovery drill Engineer Josh explaining the man overboard recovery procedure

Then they went to the lido and had ice-creams.

The voyage ended this morning after 92 nautical miles. Twelve people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates and one got the more advanced Competent Crew qualification. You can see their voyage track here, and their feedback will be in the next issue.

Big thanks to sea staff Gotch, Josh, Steve Lacey, Lucinda Neall, Sara Abdur, Ed Gordon-Thomson and Aoife Harrington.

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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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* 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 last few spaces on 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) (between 3 and 5 places left depending on whether enquiries are confirmed)
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 (between 3 and 5 places left depending on whether enquiries are confirmed)
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Brixham to Southampton, 5 nights, £605 per person (between 2 and 6 places left depending on whether enquiries are confirmed)

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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* 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:

16-20 Sept, Southampton – qualified watchleader. School group (new client)
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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* 2025 DRAFT programme
Thanks to all our clients who have been sending requests for group bookings next year. We need to make some small adjustments to the programme to meet clients’ needs and then we’ll be able to publish it and you will be able to see which group voyages are still available, and we will earmark some voyages for individual bookings. But let’s fill the last few individual places for this summer’s voyage before thinking about next summer!

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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 Ben Martin for a very generous donation, and to ASTO for the latest Hammond Innes bursaries grant. Also thanks to Gordon Pennie for a kind contribution, and a reminder to thank all the many people who make small monthly donations!

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 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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