At sea


OYT South bulletin 13th September 2013

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Southampton Boat Show
- fabulous charity auction - volunteers needed
We could still do with a few more people to support us at one of the two OYT South-related events at this year's Southampton Boat Show. On Friday 20th September at 1.30pm, our sponsors Marina Developments Limited are running a fabulous charity auction in aid of OYT South (plenty more lots added since last week’s bulletin, so do take a look). It will be run by Nick Bonham, one of the UK’s finest auctioneers and also a longstanding OYT South supporter. Some exceptional lots have been very kindly donated and more are being added all the time. We hope this will raise the charity’s profile as well as bringing in some much-need funds. We need some volunteers to hand out leaflets, encourage Boat Show attenders to join the auction, and generally support MDL staff on the day - email us if you can help.

If you are planning to go to the Boat Show but can’t be there on the Friday, then on Tuesday 17th September there is another MDL event - the presentation to the six young MDL Award Winners who sailed with us a few weeks ago. Anyone interested in coming along to support them and watch the presentation, please email us now.

.John Goode has once again very kindly arranged for discounted tickets to the Southampton Boat Show for OYT South members. The Boat Show runs from 13-22 September, and the details of the discounted offer are in the email version of this newsletter so it goes to members rather than appearing on a public website. If you aren't receiving this email but are an active OYT South supporter, please email

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* Voyage news

We had a great mates’ training voyage last weekend with lots of new potential volunteers - plenty of people with the skills and personality which should make them assets to the charity in future and fun, safe watchleaders with whom young people will enjoy sailing. We hope lots of them will keep in touch and get involved as the opportunities arise (advertised in this newsletter, for those of you receiving this email for the first time). It was a weekend of mixed weather - anything from sunshine and light winds to blustery squalls. But that gave us plenty of chances to practise sail changes as well as lots of tacking and gybing, drills and briefings, with a night in Lymington and a couple of anchorages for lunch. Many thanks to sea staff Nic, Andy, Dave, Chris, Caz and Laura, who normally sails with our sister ship James Cook and OYT North, and who managed to adapt brilliantly to a boat that is identical in some ways but then produces something different just when you least expect it!

This week’s crew came from the siblings programme at CHASE Children’s Hospice in Guildford - all brothers and sisters of life-limited children. They had an evening sail to Cowes on Monday under just staysail and mizzen, and then some shore leave next morning before heading down the western Solent in a flat sea for a combination of sailing and motoring all the way to Poole. A very early start next day and a route round the outside of Lulworth range to avoid firing exercises, finishing the day in Weymouth where a planned trip to the beach was sadly cut short by rain. Next day there was no wind but they motored back to the Isle of Wight, catching the tide up the Needles Channel and encountering the entire Little Britain Challenge racing fleet! Heading away from them into quieter and less congested waters, they anchored in Osborne Bay where the crew took charge of passage planning so that, in two groups, they could take charge of the vessel for a night passage back up to Ocean Village. A few of the group had sailed with us before and already had their certificates, but the other 9 all completed the Start Yachting qualification. Many thanks to sea staff Nic, Andy, John, Tigger, Laura and Amy.

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Volunteer berths in 2013
We have provisional bookings for almost all sea staff berths in 2013, but can anyone help with the following:

23-27 Sept, Southampton - trainee mate or additional 3M needed (sea staff join on the 22nd).

Please email me now if you can help!
Thanks to lots of people who have expressed an interest in helping with a couple of November voyages if they go ahead – we’ll keep you posted but it really does depend on the potential client getting enough crew members together.

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NEW 2014 voyage programme - DRAFT
A new draft voyage programme for 2014 is now available. Very little of this programme is set in stone so do tell us if you would like something with a different duration or dates. Please also tell us if you spot any mistakes! We won’t take confirmed bookings just yet, to give us a chance to correct or amend the programme as needed. We have given all our regular clients and some new group bookings a chance to tell us what they need, so if you have requested something specific we have tried to include it in the programme for you, and we will be in touch shortly to discuss details.

The summer period leading up to the Tall Ships race from Falmouth to Greenwich is currently very flexible indeed: we have pencilled in some voyage dates between 24 July and 30 Aug but the ports are still to be confirmed and if you want anything specific, do please discuss it with us. We don’t want to be in the Solent at that time of year but could look at crew changes in different West Country ports, or the Channel Islands, or Brittany - just ask! Voyage durations are also open: we just want to be able to divide the summer up into decent voyages with no wasted days in between, so please talk to us about what’s possible for your group! Email to get in touch.

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OYT South celebration lunch and AGM, 13th October - book now!
The 2013 celebration lunch and review of the year (plus a short AGM) will take place on Sunday 13th October at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble. Details and a booking link here.

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Core refit team - winter volunteer positions available
If you are taking a gap year, not working over the winter, looking to build your skills, maybe hoping to move into a career in the marine industry - why not think about applying to join our full-time refit team next winter? Details here, including how to apply.

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* 2013 sailing programme - voyages available!
We have a great programme for the rest of 2013 and not many berths left, so do have a look and think about when you would like to sail this year.

The full list of vacancies for the season is:

23-27 Sept 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £335pp - at least 2 places available. Age 12-25.
14-18 Oct 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £335pp - 6 places available. Age 12-25.
25-29 Oct 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £340pp - 4 places available. Age 12-25.

Plus two possible voyages if we have enough demand to extend the season - we have had some enquiries and may be looking for people to fill spare spaces on these dates if the voyages go ahead:

4-8 November 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £335pp - possibly 6 places available. Age 15-25.
8-10 November 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £200pp - adult weekend voyage. Age 18+.

Updated voyage availability can also be found here.

Email me to reserve your berth!

Don’t forget our website full of fundraising ideas for your voyage.

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John Laing maintenance days
The remaining maintenance day for this year is:

Mon 7th October - Royal Clarence, Gosport

We are using this day for shortlisted applicants for the Staff Bosun’s job to come and work on the boat, so there may not be much space for other volunteers, but if you are available, just call the boat (07990 518915) a few days beforehand when the skipper should have an idea of what jobs are on the list and how many people are needed.

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OYT South clothing range
The new range of OYT South clothing - hoodies, t-shirts, polo shirts, fleeces, caps, ties and more - is all available through this webpage. A donation will be made to OYT South for every item they sell. The Slam jackets (which you may have seen sea staff wearing) are also available but there needs to be a minimum order of ten, so they aren’t on the webpage just now - if you wanted to order one (£121.50), email and once he has ten people he can open the ordering process.

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Recycle print cartridges and mobile phones for OYT South!
OYT South has signed up to a recycling scheme that means money is donated to us for any printer cartridges (excepting Epson in general) or mobile phones which are recycled.

You can bring small numbers of cartridges to the boat or the office; but if you know of a company that may be willing to recycle for OYT South then please get in touch! It's really very low effort on your / the company's behalf: Essentially, all we need is an address and an approximate amount of recycling per month and a recycling box will be delivered directly to the company. Once the recycling bin is full, call the number on the box and it's collected for you. More details here.

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Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
OYT South has recently launched Raise And Sail, a new website full of ideas, information and support for young people who would like to raise money in order to come sailing with us. Huge thanks to Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows for putting Raise And Sail together. We hope you will find it useful - let us know how you get on as we can add success stories and new ideas to the site in due course.

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Child Protection training - compulsory for all our volunteers

OYT South wants all our volunteers to sign up for Child Protection training. This really is VITAL - there are some donors who will not support us unless all our volunteers are trained, so it will become compulsory during 2013 for all sea staff to have done some formal Child Protection training. If you haven't yet done any, we recommend NSPCC Child Protection Awareness in Sport and Active Leisure which you can do very cheaply online and in your own time. It's not complicated or time-consuming - you should be able to complete it in a couple of hours and some people are getting through it much faster.

The online training page not only gives OYT South members access to child protection training at the bargain price of £10: that single one-off payment gives you access to a range of recommended courses. We would very much like all sea staff to do the food hygiene course; and there are several other courses you will find interesting and relevant. The system is very straightforward - each course is broken into a number of short modules and you just have to read each module and then answer some questions about it. You can save a course at any point and come back later to where you left off. They are all recognised courses and you will get a certificate for each one you complete successfully. We can see at a glance who has signed up and who has completed a course.

If you have done alternative child protection training in the last three years, please email us with the name of the course, the awarding body, and the date of the training, and we'll add that to your records.

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Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
For some time now OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course. Now for those of you who want something a little more advanced, one of our relief skippers, Simon Jinks, is offering online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. Simon is a great sailor and a top instructor so this is very highly recommended. He is very generously offering a 15% discount for OYT South members and volunteers, so do mention your role with us if you get in touch. Details here. He is also offering a one-day Weather for Sailors course. Please note that Simon's website also includes Essential Navigation and the PPI course, both of which OYT South can offer in-house.

Simon has also very kindly offered one course a year as a prize for a promising member of sea staff who genuinely can't afford to get their next qualification. If you are really keen to climb the sea staff ladder and hoping to do lots of sailing with us, email us or talk to the skipper on your next voyage to see if you can enter for this prize.

With our own courses and Simon's we now have navigation courses to suit everyone from total beginners right up to the most advanced level - please give it a go and do ask for advice if you are not sure which course is right for you.

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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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Keep in touch with other John Laing people
We have tried a number of social networking websites to allow crew members to keep in touch with the boat and with each other - Facebook is by far the most active and popular, so that’s the one that now gets updated regularly. People can swap stories, post photos and more. For some overseas voyages, we will even set up online groups well in advance, restricted only to people who will actually be sailing on that particular voyage, so that people can compare travel plans and arrange to travel together. See here for how to join.

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18. Young crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual adults.

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Survey - tell us what you think
If you have recently completed a voyage, please help us by filling in our web-based survey. It really helps - we use the data to keep improving our voyages, and to help us raise funds!

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New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our e-newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday. It 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. The 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 12-25, 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 - including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 12-25 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 and bosun, 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, or with maintenance days spread throughout the year, 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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“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte