Ardingly and New Beacon voyages


OYT South bulletin 31st July 2015

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

* Prolific news - OYT South's new boat!
If you saw last week’s bulletin you will have heard all about OYT South’s new boat - if not, see here for a new webpage with PHOTOS, VIDEOS and MORE INFORMATION about Prolific. We keep adding more information to this page as we get it - since last week there’s a new section on the vessel’s history.

A delivery team will be going to Norway soon to bring Prolific home, and we’ll keep you posted on when you might be able to see her!

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* Prolific appeal
OYT South would like to extend huge thanks to all the donors and sponsors who have made this purchase possible and who have been contributing since the announcement last week to ensure that we can do all the work we want to carry out over the winter on Prolific! We have had a great initial response to the Prolific Appeal but if you haven’t yet contributed, please read on...

If you were thinking of donating to OYT South's New Boat Appeal but thought that your contribution couldn't make enough difference to the overall total, or you planned to donate as we came closer to completing, NOW is the moment when we need you to help us complete the work on Prolific. Your contribution, however large or small, is really needed so PLEASE give us whatever you can afford! Prolific needs items ranging from sails at a few thousand pounds each, down to small things costing under a hundred pounds. If you are ever going to make a donation, NOW is the time to do so. If you'd like to see Prolific sailing with an Ocean Youth Trust South crew and be able to feel that you were part of the project, please do give something, however large or small. £1,000, £100, £50 or even £10 will mean that you had a hand in making this work, and even young crew members can be involved! The Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust has 55 years' history as a charity to which hundreds and even thousands of individuals have a lasting commitment and an emotional connection. Prolific will be joining this fine tradition so please become a part of it, take your share in the project and welcome Prolific to the OYT family by contributing to the appeal. If you are part of OYT South, Prolific will be YOUR boat so please help us to get her ready! Anything you can give really will make a difference. See here for how to donate, or click below to donate online:

Please donate NOW while you are thinking about it - don’t be left regretting that you weren’t involved in getting this lovely boat working with us!

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* Voyage news
We left last week’s voyage in St Malo, from where they had a very eventful passage back to Jersey - at one stage they had the mizzen staysail and cruising chute up and were doing 12 knots; at another stage they had rain, thunder and lightning! But overall it was an excellent week, the young people did really well and got really involved in everything on board; all eight individuals who didn’t already have it earned their RYA Competent Crew certificates and we hope to see lots of them again. Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Emma, Matt, Juan and Harri.

This week’s crew included several from Nigel Christopher’s Dorset youth group plus two young Jersey locals and one crew member, Will Parker, who had been on the previous voyage and stayed on for an extra week when there was an unexpected space. The start of their voyage saw some very bad weather. They left St Helier and went to Guernsey in challenging conditions, and then had to spend a whole day in port. They did lots of training towards their RYA certificates and also had time ashore. Next day conditions had improved a bit and they went to Sark, doing sail training exercises on the way and learning about different points of sail and various manoeuvres. After a night in Sark they sailed to St-Quay-Portrieux - a cracking sail averaging 8.5 knots - and found it was a nice place with a big marina where they had time ashore for ice-cream and croissants. Next day they headed back to St Helier, this time averaging 7.5 knots, and have been working hard to finish their RYA training before leaving the voyage - hopefully all those who don’t already have them will get Competent Crew certificates. They also have a lot of work to do because the voyage used every headsail we own so there is lots of flaking and tidying to be done! Big thanks to sea staff Graeme, Martyn, Halima (doing a great job on her first trip as relief bosun), Josh Caudrey and group leader Nigel Christopher, who have both made good progress towards third mate assessments, and a special mention for crew member Will Parker, who had stayed on from the previous voyage and really stepped up into a trainee sea staff role, doing a great job in the bad weather: he will also get parts of his third mate assessment signed off!

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* John Laing - farewell adult voyage?
We have one remaining completely unsold John Laing voyage this year and if there is sufficient interest, we could run 19-23 October as an adult voyage aimed at people who would like one last sail in John Laing. If you'd like to do this, do let us know by 1st September. as we will only make it an adult voyage if we are confident there is sufficient interest. The basic voyage price is £350 per person but anyone who can pay more and contribute to the Prolific Appeal fund will be especially welcome. Please email if you would like to be part of a farewell adult cruise for John Laing.

For those who want to say goodbye to John Laing but can’t manage a full voyage, we'll be arranging another sort of farewell for John Laing, which has been a fantastic boat for the charity over the last 25 years, possibly on the day of our AGM, which should be Saturday 7th November - details to be confirmed as soon as possible.

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* 2016 sailing programme - Prolific
Many of our regular clients have already bid for specific voyage dates in 2016, and we are just about to write to them all and confirm their details - and make sure that everyone knows they will be sailing in Prolific rather than John Laing! As soon as that’s done, we’ll publish a draft sailing programme with dates, prices and details for the rest of 2016, and you will have the opportunity to talk to us about bookings.

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* Duke of Edinburgh’s Award - Approved Activity Provider
dofeWe are very happy to announce that Ocean Youth Trust South has become an Approved Activity Provider for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, to run Gold Residential activities. We have run a relatively small number of Gold Residentials in the past but having met all the criteria to become an AAP, we will have far more opportunities to do this in future. If you are working towards your Gold Award, or you know anyone who runs a local DofE group, why not think about a voyage in 2016?

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Sea staff bookings 2015 - vacancies
Email NOW if you are interested in any of these:

8 Sept, Southampton - one more watchleader possibly needed for client day sail
9-12 Sept, Southampton - one more qualified watchleader, ideally a 2M or experienced 3M
13 Sept, Southampton - one more experienced watchleader for day sail with donors, clients etc.
14-18 Sept, Southampton - 2M or additional 3M (NB the second mate originally booked for this voyage would like to swap to a different date if possible, owing to his daughter visiting from the Far East this week! - Is there someone booked for a different voyage who would like to do a swap?)
5-10 Oct, Southampton - 2M
19-23 Oct, Southampton - 1M and 2M

If you are interested in any of these dates please email me now.

If you are aged 25 or under, please also look at the berths available for young people - we have just a few spaces still available and young volunteers can be treated as an extra member of staff and get training and experience by sailing in a crew berth. Funding help is often available for young people who have been recommended as volunteers and would benefit from the experience so a crew berth may not cost you anything.

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Berths available in 2015 for young people
Please spread the word and help us find people who might like to come sailing this year! Bursary funding MAY be available on application for people who can't afford the full voyage fee.

13-20 August - Poole to London - 7 nights - 1 berth possibly available tbc - age 12-25 - £575pp. Sail up the Thames and moor near Tower Bridge! Passports required.
9-12 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 3 nights - 6 berths available - £265pp. The bookings already taken for this voyage are for individuals aged 16-20 so we are looking for others who will fit in with them.
5-10 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 5 nights - 11 berths possibly available tbc - age 12-25 - £435pp
19-23 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available -age 12-25 OR possible adult voyage tbc - £350pp for young people, best offers above that price for adults who want to contribute to the Prolific appeal..
28 Oct - 1 Nov -Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - up to 4 berths available - age 12-25 - £350pp - half-term voyage.

For the full updated voyage programme, see here or here.

Email with bookings or enquiries.

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John Laing in London (August)
John Laing is going to be in London and available for visits on

Friday 21st August 1000-1900
Saturday 22nd August 1400-1700

Friends, volunteers and supporters are all welcome to come and see us; but please also let us know of anyone else based in or around London who might like to come and find out what we do - especially potential donors, or anyone (such as teachers, youth workers etc) who might like to organise a group booking in future.

John Laing will be moored by HMS President but it is important to note that there are two HMS Presidents on the Thames: one is a ship on the Embankment (we won’t be there) and the other is a shore establishment which is where we will be: just downstream of Tower Bridge, overlooking the entrance to St Katharine Docks.

Visits will need to be arranged in advance - not least to ensure we don’t have everyone turning up at once - but please email to arrange a visit, or to suggest other people whom we ought to invite.

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Core refit team for next winter

Are you planning a gap year, or not working over the autumn and winter for any other reason? Would you like to join our core refit team between November and March (ideally the full four and half months, but otherwise for at least a month during that time)? There is also the possibility of some Prolific refit work available in September and October for core refit volunteers able to start sooner. Food and accommodation provided as well as valuable experience in boat maintenance which in previous years has helped many people move into paid sailing work. If you think you might be interested, details and an “expression of interest” form to complete are available here. At this stage, we’re really thinking about the full-time team - if you want to come for a few days or the odd weekend then we’d love to see you but we will sort this out nearer the time, after we have the core team in place.

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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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Tigger’s haircut - please give generously!
TiggerMany of you will know one of our volunteers Dave “Tigger” Heffer - and may have noticed that in recent years his hair has been growing is rumoured there may even be a nest of avocets living somewhere at the back...Anyway, the time has come and Tigger is going to have a haircut, to raise money for OYT South. Depending on how much money is donated, he could have a number two cut, a number one, or a complete shave. Full details here. The big day will be 13th August in Poole when John Laing is alongside...

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* Swim2Bestival
Regular readers will remember that OYT South is the nominated charity for Swim2Bestival in 2015 - a lovely group of people are going to raise money for us by swimming across the Solent. They are training hard for the swim in September and we thought you might like to hear some of the partcipants’ tales.This week, Mary McKeogh says:“My training has been going very well, I've just started going to an Olympic swimming pool each week to train. It's an amazing building and the pool is heavenly, the lanes are so long you can really focus on your technique, rhythm and endurance. The pool is so deep and clear too, it's so pretty to swim through.

I've been making sure to swim in open water too, I'm very lucky that I have an open water swimming club near my home and last weekend I swam my first open water mile. That was a big achievement for me, five weeks ago when I first came to the lake I was terrified! I couldn't swim further than 40m from the beach before I got too scared and had to come back. But the next week I came back and pushed myself a little bit and each weekend after I pushed myself out of my comfort zone just that bit more and now I've swum my first mile! This weekend was the first time I felt like I could do it AND enjoy myself too. Bring on September! To support me please visit:”

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John Laing maintenance days - please help
We haven't always had as much help as we needed at recent maintenance days - PLEASE put these dates in your diary and come and help on any of them if you possibly can! Maintenance days generally run from 9am to 5pm and it is usually possible to offer accommodation on board for the night before or after.

John Laing's planned maintenance days for 2015 are as follows:
Monday 7 Sept - Southampton (Ocean Village)
Sunday 11 October - Southampton (Ocean Village).

Call the boat phone 07990 518915 a few days beforehand so the skipper can plan jobs and buy food for everyone who is coming. All over-18s welcome - skilled and unskilled, there are jobs for everyone. If you are aged 16 or 17, then check with the skipper - we'll generally have you at maintenance days if we can but it slightly depends on who is there and what needs doing.

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Powerboat Level 2 course
Does anyone want a Powerboat Level 2 qualification (needed to drive John Laing’s dinghy with an outboard engine)? One of our volunteers who is a Powerboat instructor has offered to put together a course just for us but it needs three participants available for a 2-day course. Let me know if you might be interested and I will put you in contact with each other in the hope that you can sort out suitable dates between you.

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OYT South branded clothing

T-shirts, hoodies and more are always available here - do have a look!

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Child Protection and Food Hygiene ttraining

All sailing volunteers must have done some Child Protection training (updated every three years) 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. This includes Food Hygiene: we are moving towards making this a compulsory qualification for all sea staff so we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that people get on and do it NOW! 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.

The system for these online courses 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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Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
Raise And Sail is a section of this 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
OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - do have a look and sign up if you want the qualification.

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. 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.

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 - sometimes 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. And there is a video here, made by a crew from the Prince's Trust, to give you an idea of what a voyage might be like!

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