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Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 17th October 2014

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  


* Voyage news
Last week’s bulletin left the crew from Vyne School in Cowes and poised for a good day’s sailing...they headed out towards the Nab and back, ending in Cowes once more. On Saturday they sailed to Gosport. It was a great group of lively and enthusiastic young people and they had a lot of fun on the voyage with plenty of games and a huge amount of laughter. Thanks once again to sea staff Andy, Andrew, Martyn, Dean, Aga, special congratulations to Val Hague for completing her third mate’s assessment, and big thanks also to Mary and Penny, the staff from the school who came on the voyage and helped to make it all go so well. The school’s feedback was: “The trip was an amazing success. The staff on board were truly inspirational...Our students really excelled in everything they did, gained confidence and learned to deal with adversity. We cannot express how beneficial this trip was. The new found confidence in some of our students is so clear to see now that they have returned to school.”

On Sunday we ran two half-day sails out of Gosport for adults organised through the Wheatsheaf Trust - out to the forts and back twice! Thanks to sea staff Andy, Andrew, Tigger, Aga, Miranda, Matt, Dean and a return visit from Sparky!

This week’s voyage was a mixed group - four from Surrey young carers plus individuals mainly from three local schools. They started in Gosport on Monday and had a very wet and windy sail to the Hamble that evening and a late finish. On Tuesday they did lots of sail training exercises before ending up in Cowes. Wednesday saw some man overboard recovery exercises and then a sail out towards the forts and then back to the west and a night in Yarmouth. Then there were lots of games - the chocolate mousse game, the crème caramel game...One of the Vice Patrons of our New Boat Appeal, Jamie Sheldon, lives locally, so he and his wife Susie came on board to meet the crew and very generously gave everyone vouchers to buy souvenirs in a local shop. The group sailed back to Southampton yesterday, and the voyage ended today with 8 Start Yachting certificates and 4 Competent Crew certificates. Big thanks to sea staff Mark, Andrew, Tigger, Amy, Aga and Matt - as well as crew member Shayne who has sailed with us several times, started taking on real responsibility and acting as an extra member of staff, and will hopefully be coming back as a relief bosun!

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* Refit news
Andy is hard at work finalising details for this winter’s refit. See here for information about John Laing’s winter refit and how you can get involved. The 2014-15 refit runs from Monday 3rd November 2014 through to Friday 20th March 2015.

We have some volunteer weekends arranged so that people who are busy on weekdays can get involved:

8/9 November (see below for further information on this weekend)
13/14 December
17/18 January
7/8 March.
(NB There is no volunteer refit weekend in February because there will be a shorebased training weekend instead).

On other weekends the refit is normally closed so that our staff can have time with family and friends! But we can also use volunteers during the working week, Monday-Friday, through most of the winter (Christmas break to be confirmed). Most people come and help for a day or two, but it is possible to come for longer and we can usually offer accommodation.

We need as many volunteers as possible, skilled or unskilled - email refit@oytsouth.org to get yourself booked in!

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* OYT South 2014 AGM and supper, Saturday 8th November - BOOK NOW for curry afterwards!
The formal mailing for the AGM has now gone out to members by email. If you think you should be a member and you haven't had your copy, let us know now!

There will be a refit volunteers' weekend 8th and 9th November in Ocean Village and we'd love to see as many people as possible helping on the boat. Then from 6pm on the Saturday we have a room booked for the AGM at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club (that's the one in Ocean Village, NOT the Royal Southern Yacht Club in the Hamble where we have held AGMs over the last few years). All welcome - whether or not you can help at the refit! Non-members and guests are welcome to attend the AGM but only members can vote.

After the AGM we hope people will join us to go out for a curry - please let me know as we'll be a big group (23 booked already) and we need to give the restaurant an idea of numbers.

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* Maintenance day NEXT Monday - please help!
Help needed on the final maintenance day on board John Laing this season:

20 Oct - Southampton

With John Laing in constant use, it's vital that we make the best possible use of every maintenance day in order to ensure that everything stays in good condition and that no-one has their voyage spoiled by defects or maintenance problems. So we really appreciate anyone who turns up to help on maintenance days! Both skilled and unskilled jobs available. Just call the boat (07990 518915) to book yourself in, so the skipper can plan jobs and make sure there is food for everyone who is coming.

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* Shorebased training weekend 21-22 Feb 2015 - replies needed urgently!
We urgently need a rough idea of the level of interest in various courses which we could offer on 21-22 February 2015, in the Sea Cadet Unit in Gosport, so that we know which instructors to confirm and which courses to put on each date to minimise clashes. As things stand, only the first aid course already looks as though there will definitely be enough people for us to go ahead (though it is far from full), so if you want to do the GMDSS radio licence, Radar, Diesel Engines, Chart Corrections or possibly a Disability Awareness course, please let us know NOW. You don’t need to commit until after we have confirmed the price, but we don’t have up-to-date prices until we have a rough idea of the demand. Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and let us know what you would like.

There will also be the usual social evening and meal, and cheap basic accommodation on the Saturday. Details to follow for those of you who have never been to one of those weekends - for now, just put the date in your diary!

We won't be offering RYA Sea Survival over that weekend but we do recommend this course for all OYT South sea staff. KTY Yachts runs the course regularly and will offer good rates to our volunteers - you can book direct with them: http://www.ktyyachts.com/.

If you're not sure what course(s) would be best for you, here's the list of recommended / compulsory courses for volunteers:

Bosun: Recommended - diesel engine, first aid, sea survival.
Third mate: Recommended - first aid, GMDSS, sea survival.
Second mate: Compulsory - first aid, GMDSS. Recommended - sea survival, diesel engine, radar.
First mate: Compulsory - first aid, GMDSS. Recommended - sea survival, diesel engine, radar, (though in practice it would be rare for first mates not to have the recommended qualifications as well as the compulsory ones).

Don’t forget that a Child Protection course (updated every three years) is compulsory for all sea staff and can be done quickly and cheaply online (though we can accept alternative recognised child protection training if you send us the details). The online course page also offers other courses including Food Hygiene which is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for all sea staff.

We also recommend Powerboat Level 2 for everyone, which we won't be running at the February weekend - however, let me know if you would like to do it and if we can get a group together we will look for some possible dates.

Remember that first aid certificates need to be updated every three years - do check when yours expires!

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2015 sailing programme now available!
The 2015 programme is now available. There's still time to try and change it if your group needs something which is not currently on offer.

Please also do look through the programme for any mistakes and let us know! If we have one voyage starting before the previous one ends, or a voyage marked as 4 nights when it is really 5, or a price that doesn't seem to make sense compared with other voyages, do let us know before we start taking confirmed bookings!

Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org to ask about bookings or with any comments on the programme.

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* RYA practical qualifications for OYT South volunteers

Our Chief Executive Mark Todd (who is also an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, and a Yachtmaster Examiner) will be running some small-boat courses over the winter: After previous bulletins, the December Day Skipper course was oversubscribed and Mark will be getting in touch with those applicants shortly to see what can be sorted out. There may still be space in January. The Coastal/Offshore course in February is now provisionally full.

RYA Day Skipper - 18-23 January
Learn to sail and skipper small yachts in familiar waters by day. Pre-course knowledge required for Day Skipper: basic knowledge of navigation to the level of the Day Skipper Theory Course and basic sailing ability including at least 5 days' sailing, 100 miles and 4 night hours. Courses generally run from 1830 on the start date and finish c.1700 on the end date. Special price for OYT South volunteers: 18-23 Jan £340 per person.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org to apply.

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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 this winter? Details here including how to apply. Food and accommodation provided.

All of last year’s full-time refit volunteers have gone on to other sailing or boat-related activities. Amy has spent a lot of the season with us, working her way up as bosun, third mate and now second mate. Jack is also still in sail training, with a job on board Ocean Spirit, Gordonstoun school’s boat. George has been all over the world working in yacht delivery. And Dan is currently out in Greece, fitting teak decks.

We have been offering core refit team places for years, and we are still in touch with dozens of past volunteers - both those working in sailing, and those who have gone on to university or other work, many of whom are still sailing with us as volunteers and would say that the refit is a hugely valuable experience, a lot of work but also a lot of fun!

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Voyage funding available for members of the Reserve Forces and Cadets
OYT South has been approved as a provider by the Connaught Trust, which can help with voyage funding for members of the Reserve Forces and Cadets in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and adjoining counties. If you are eligible and would like to sail with us, please contact us for details.

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Financial appeal
Don’t forget that volunteer watchleader David Price is aiming to raise some money for us by tackling the Great South Run  - please sponsor him!

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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Chris Ellis Award - win £££s off sailing

If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again next year (and are aged 12-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £200 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video - anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to webmaster1@oytsouth.org or posted to the office to arrive by Christmas. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity's founder.

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Child Protection training

All sailing volunteers must have done some Child Protection training before booking any voyage.

If you have done a course 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.

If you still need training, we recommend Child Protection 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.

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Food hygiene course
Owing to new regulations, it is now important that every voyage should have one or more people on board who has done a food hygiene course. Any sea staff who haven’t done this: please note that we offer a cheap and straightforward online food hygiene course via the same provider as the Child Protection training - in fact, if you paid for the child protection training in the current licence period, all the other courses on the list, including food hygiene, are already paid for! If not, then it’s still only £10 – so please can we encourage all sea staff to get on and do it. If you already have a food hygiene certificate that we don’t know about, please email a copy to the office and we will add it to your records.

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OYT South clothing range
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 they are cheaper in bulk, so they aren't on the webpage just now - if you wanted to order one, email webmaster1@oytsouth.org. If we only order one or two, they will cost £110 plus postage, but this will be cheaper if we can order five or more at the same time.

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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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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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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

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