* 2016 voyage availability for young people
Big thanks to everyone who has already booked voyages or organised groups to sail this year. We've filled a lot of voyages and part-filled others, and here's what's left - if you are aged 12-25 and would like to sail with us, do have a think about whether any of these dates would suit you; and if you are over 25, please think about any young people you know - or any teachers, youth workers, social workers, outdoor activity instructors, parents, grandparents, carers or anyone else who might like to know that these opportunities exist.
25 June - 1 July - Southampton to Poole - 5 nights - £440 - 1 berth available. Others booked on this voyage are aged 16+ (including young adults - mainly medical students) and they are looking for someone friendly and enthusiastic to join them!
19-24 July - Plymouth - 5 nights - age 12-25 - £440 - up to 8 berths available
25-29 July - Plymouth - 4 nights - age 12-25 - £360 - 3 berths available
8-13 August - Plymouth - 5 nights - age 12-25 - £445 - up to 2 berths available
26 August - 2 September - Gosport to Southampton - 7 nights - age 12-25 - £610 - 1 berth available
4-8 September - Southampton - 4 nights - age 15-25 - £355 - 1 berth available. Others booked on this voyage are aged around 16-21 and will have significant sailing experience so they are looking for someone friendly and enthusiastic to join them!
7-9 October (8pm Fri to 5pm Sun) - Southampton - 2 nights - age 12-25 - £195 - 1 berth available. 17-21 October - Southampton - 4 nights - age 12-25 - £355 - 8 berths available
26-30 October - HALF TERM - Southampton - 4 nights - age 12-25 - £365 - 6 berths available.
There is a sailing programme for 2016 and an updated availability list. If you are thinking of making a booking for 2016, or you would like to discuss ideas and options, please contact email@example.com.
* Boat maintenance days - including NEXT weekend 19th June
Our full list of planned boat maintenance days for 2016 are as follows - PLEASE put these dates in your diary and come and help on any of them if you possibly can!
Sunday 19th June - Southampton
Saturday 2nd July - Poole
Saturday 3rd September - Southampton
Monday 10th October - Southampton
Call Andy on 07990 518915 a few days beforehand so he 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.
* Volunteers’ Week
This is Volunteers’ Week so it’s a good time to say thank you to all the volunteers without whom the charity couldn’t function - we really appreciate you all and we hope that you find volunteering with OYT South interesting, fun and rewarding. One of our volunteers, Jack Dignan, submitted his story to The Guardian for Volunteers’ Week - - do have a look and please click the “Recommend” button for Jack - or even send them a story of your own!
* Voyage news
One bit of news left over from the previous week: Marion Heming from OYT South’s Isle of Wight Support Group says: “John Laing provided an excellent moment for Yarmouth Sailing Club last week as the Oppie Training Week had been cancelled due to too strong winds. OYT South sea staff made the YSC children and the support group most welcome!”
This week's crew joined last Saturday - three groups of four young people, organised by Applemore College, Portsmouth Academy for Girls, and Hampshire’s children in care team. Skipper Dougie says it was a really lovely group - everyone worked well together and bonded into a fun and sociable group. They left Southampton on Saturday evening and had a short trip down to Stanswood Bay where they anchored for a beautiful, peaceful night. Next day there wasn’t much wind - and a bit of fog - when they headed for Weymouth - a little sailing and quite a lot of motoring. They had a good evening in Weymouth where the crew entertained each other. On Monday they had a sail to St Albans and then motored into Poole to tie up behind another sail training vessel, Queen Galadriel. Finally on Tuesday they had a proper sail - south westerly Force 4 and sunshine as they headed into the Solent. By this stage the crew were working really well - lots of good helming and Dougie says the day was “sail training at its best”. They arrived in Ocean Village at 10pm and the voyage ended on Wednesday with ten young people earning RYA Start Yachting certificates. Big thanks to sea staff Dougie, Conall, Lucinda, Nick, Steve and Harry.
Yesterday was a day sail for one of our major sponsors, the Graham High Group. They help us to pay for some vessel equipment and bursaries for young people who cannot otherwise afford to sail; they sponsor our crew handbooks; and they also sponsor our vessel tracking system which allows you to check John Laing's position, course, speed and more on our website – much appreciated by friends and families of our young crew members!
Fortunately the day we had chosen to entertain the Graham High Group on board and take them for a sail enjoyed glorious weather - it was a really lovely day which started with excellent bacon sandwiches and only got better from then on. It was particularly nice to be able to thank Graham for all his support at this time, because next week he will be setting off to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for us. We wish him all the very best for his journey - a fantastic effort which will make a big difference to our charitable work!
Big thanks also to the sea staff on the day sail: Mark, Martyn, Jack, Carrie, James, Harry, Amy and Ben.
* Sea staff bookings 2016
Can anyone help with any of the following? (NB dates given are when young people are on board - we normally need staff and volunteers the afternoon or evening before). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can do any of these voyages.
16-18 Sept, Southampton - one more watchleader possibly needed. Must have enough experience to help us teach new potential volunteers.
19-23 Sept, Southampton - qualified second mate. Ideally we need a female 2M but this is a CHASE Children's Hospice siblings voyage and they generally come with female staff so any available male 2Ms please let me know!
10-14 Oct (including 10 Oct maintenance day) and 14-16 Oct, Southampton - bosun. Priority will be given to someone who can do the full week 10-16 Oct.
21-25 Oct, Southampton - 2M plus one other qualified or trainee watchleader - one of these must be female.
26-30 Oct, Southampton - 2M
Do keep an eye on future editions of this bulletin as there may be additional vacancies as the year goes on.
* Sara Turnbull does Swim2Bestival for OYT South
You may remember that last year, OYT was the nominated charity for Swim2Bestival - a fantastic team of people raised a great sum of money for us by swimming across the Solent. We were delighted to learn that they have chosen to support us again this year during the swim on September 8th! And just to make things even better than last year, one of our volunteer watchleaders, Sara Turnbull, will be among the swimmers. Sara has now started her training and set up her fundraising page – please support her if you can!
* Prolific refit news - help still needed!
The engineering team has been hard at work this week - big thanks to Chris and Josh. This week they have been concentrating on the main engine, which is nearly finished; the generator is done; and the electrical system is being worked on. But we still need more help over the coming weeks! At this stage we are really looking for support from competent, fit, responsible adults, ideally with some technical skills. If you would be interested in helping out from time to time, please email email@example.com and we can tell you more. Volunteer help on Prolific by arrangement only - please don't just turn up! We don't have the same facilities and supervision that we have during the full refit when we have lots of volunteer help, so only authorised individuals are allowed on site for the moment.
* Baltic Adventure 2017
We are seriously looking at the possibility of sailing to the Baltic in 2017 to take part in some Tall Ships festivals and races, with independent cruises on the way there and back. This should be a really exciting programme, visiting Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland. To make this financially viable, we would want to secure advance commitments for a full group bookings of 12 on a few of these legs, and then the remaining voyages will be opened to individual bookings. We already have two schools which have provisionally reserved voyages, so we are making real progress! If you or anyone you know might be interested in a GROUP BOOKING on one of these voyages, please email firstname.lastname@example.org now to discuss options. Please note that we have already had provisional interest from some of our regular clients in a couple of these voyages, but nothing is yet set in stone, so the full list of voyages looks something like this:
14-20 June: Southampton to London cruise - ages 12-25 - £525. We have a provisional reservation for this voyage already but not yet confirmed and no deposit has yet been paid so if this is your group's first-choice voyage, do talk to us NOW in case the other client's plans change.
23 June - 1 July: London to Cuxhaven cruise - ages 12-25, or possible adult voyage? - £645
2-8 July: Cuxhaven to Copenhagen cruise - ages 12-25 - £525.
9-15 July: Copenhagen to Stockholm cruise - ages 11-25 - £525. We have a provisional reservation for this voyage already but not yet confirmed and no deposit has yet been paid so if this is your group's first-choice voyage, do talk to us NOW in case the other client's plans change.
16-22 July: Stockholm to Turku cruise including time at Turku Tall Ships festival - ages 15-25 - £525. We have a provisional reservation for this voyage already but not yet confirmed and no deposit has yet been paid so if this is your group's first-choice voyage, do talk to us NOW in case the other client's plans change.
22-31 July: Turku to Klaipeda Tall Ships Race - ages 15-25 - £785
31 July - 7 Aug: Klaipeda to Szczecin Tall Ships Race - ages 15-25 - £625.
7-14 Aug: Szczecin to Cuxhaven cruise including time at Szczecin Tall Ships festival - ages 15-25 - £625
15-22 Aug: Cuxhaven to Ipswich cruise - ages 12-25 - £625
24-30 Aug: Ipswich to Southampton cruise - ages 12-25 - £525.
Even the race legs often allow time to visit at least one additional port on the way; the cruise legs will include stops in as many interesting places as we can manage, given the weather and the time available.
Tall Ships festivals run over three days and we have arranged the dates above so that both outgoing and incoming crews get some time at the festivals in Turku, Klaipeda and Szczecin. These are amazing events with vessels crewed by young people from all over the world, thousands of visitors, lots of activities, crew parties and more. But please note that the minimum age for these events is 15.
Please note that prices do not include travel to and from the boat and crew members / group organisers will be responsible for their own travel arrangements.
We may yet make changes to this outline - dates, ports and prices - but at this stage we just want to get some discussions started!
We are considering making one of these an adult voyage (age range 18+) so that no-one needs to miss out on this adventure. London-Cuxhaven looks like a strong contender for an adult trip - it's during term-time so it might be hard to fill it with young people, and it would make a great mile-builder, as well as (weather permitting) a fascinating cruise which could include stops in the Frisian Islands or the Dutch inland waterways.
Please email us NOW if you have any ideas for filling these voyages. We'll aim to confirm the programme once we are confident that we'll have sufficient interest; but if it doesn't work out then we'll need time to plan an alternative programme closer to home - without causing too much inconvenience to any groups which would have been ready to commit to a Baltic Adventure voyage but who may have to rethink if there aren't enough others to fill the rest of the legs!
There is a flyer here which you can download and email to others, or print and give to people, or stick on a noticeboard. Please help ensure we can make this adventure work!
Other 2017 plans
We have been working on a draft programme for 2017 and have just sent it round to our regular clients for consultation. If you haven’t received a copy but would like one - especially if you are thinking of organising a group booking (up to 12 people) in 2017, please let us know - email email@example.com. At this stage it might still be possible to alter some dates, ports and voyage durations to suit our clients; but once we have started selling voyages, most of the programme is fixed and it becomes very difficult to change anything. (NB we can’t generally make changes to the programme for individual bookings - at this stage we are mainly looking at groups - e.g. a school which can only sail in a particular week).
A copy of our Annual Report is now available. Do have a look - it contains much more than just the financial statements and it’s a great summary of everything that happened within OYT South in the last financial year. We will shortly be printing hard copies so let us know if you would like some.
* 2016 adult voyage
There is one remaining scheduled adult weekend which can be used for sea staff training, selecting new volunteers - and any other over-18s (no upper limit) who want to find out more about OYT South, or just come for a great sail and some valuable training:
16-18 Sept (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp (up to 5 places left)
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Day skipper training next winter
Andy is thinking of running an RYA Day Skipper course for sea staff next winter. This has to take place in a boat smaller than John Laing (or Prolific!) and it’s a great step for people who are wanting boat handling experience and a chance to try some of the command and decision-making which is hard to start learning in a large sail training vessel. If you might be interested, please email email@example.com and we’ll create a list of names and keep you all informed once Andy has an idea of dates and prices.
2016 adult day sails - including Plymouth vacancies
We have the following day sails set aside for donors and potential future donors, clients and potential clients (e.g. a teacher who is considering booking places for students and wants to know more), sponsors and suppliers, shore volunteers who rarely get a chance to sail, and any other over-18s with an interest in OYT South's work. If you would like to come along or you can think of anyone we ought to invite, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are particularly keen to use the two Plymouth dates to meet anyone in the west country who might like to sail with us, organise a group of young people to sail, or help us in other ways. If you know anyone in the south west who might be interested, please do pass this on, or send us their contact details so we can invite them!
Sat 30 July - Plymouth
Sun 31 July - Plymouth
NEW: Fri 9 Sept - Southampton - suitable for a group booking rather than individuals. Ideal for corporate or team-building day?
Sat 10 Sept - Southampton
Sun 11 Sept - Southampton
Places on adult day sails are usually free for people who are already supporting the charity in various ways, and for potential donors and clients. Other adults are welcome on these day sails if there is space, in exchange for a suitable donation which will help us to keep offering places to more young people!
Huge thanks once again to everyone who has been contributing to the Prolific Appeal to ensure that we can do all the work needed to bring our new boat Prolific into service. It has been incredibly heartwarming to see so many people giving what they can afford - some really generous donors making very significant contributions but also some people who genuinely don't have much money putting in £5, £10 or £20 just so they can feel part of the project. If you haven't yet contributed, PLEASE help us now! The new boat project has been going for so long but the end is really in sight, we are so nearly there, and your contribution could just get us over the line.
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!
* OYT South branded clothing - temporary website problem
T-shirts, hoodies and more are normally available here: http://www.spyprints.com/shop/oyt-south.html - but the company involved (which is not part of OYT South) has encountered a major problem with their web hosting and it may take a few weeks to fix it. Do try the link but if it’s not working, you can call Spyprints on 01983 299314 and they can still take an order over the phone.
Youth Trustee - speaking up for young people
OYT South has a rule that at least one member of the Board of Trustees - which runs the charity - should be in the same age range as the young people who sail with us. The current Youth Trustee is 19-year old student Jack Dignan, who did his first voyage with us a couple of years ago. Jack is in a position to speak up for young crew members, suggest changes in the way the charity operates or to do anything else which will improve the experience of the young people who sail with us. If you are a young person and you have ideas or suggestions for how we can do better, and you want to talk to someone close to your own age, you can contact Jack. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Jack. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Jack can point you in the right direction. You can email him at email@example.com.
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.
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.
Keep in touch with other OYT South people
Many of you are already friends with John Laing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing) but we now have a new page: https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth - please do give us a Like! At the moment we are mainly putting posts on both pages but in the long run we will be using the OYT South page more so it would be great if more people started using that page.
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.
We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!
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!
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 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, 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.