* Voyage news
The final bit of news from the crew who were finishing their voyage shortly after last week’s bulletin went out is that nine young people earned RYA Competent Crew certificates (the other three had the qualification already) and several earned recommendations to join our volunteer sea staff - we hope to see them for winter Prolific training if they want to get involved next season! Big thanks to current sea staff Ed, Martyn, Steve, Mollie, Josh and Sue.
On Sunday we started the first voyage for a brand-new charity: Ambition, Aspire, Achieve works in Newham and East London, supporting young people with multiple needs. The charity was only officially registered in June though plans - including for this voyage - had been in train for some months. They sent us a group of young people including several with conditions such as ADHD and autism, plus two adult leaders, and they joined the boat in Plymouth and stayed there for the first night. On Monday they sailed to Salcombe, beating to windward in a force 6 - quite challenging for a lot of the participants! Next morning they went ashore in Salcombe and enjoyed pasties and ice cream, then sailed to Dartmouth on a beautiful sunny day with everyone feeling much better. They spent the night at anchor in Dartmouth, where the crew particularly enjoyed extreme washing up and playing Mafia. On Wednesday they sailed to Brixham with everyone in the crew showing how much they had learnt and even starting to lead some sail hoists themselves. Skipper Ed also tried to eat his own body weight in fish fingers. Shore leave in Brixham was followed by more games after dinner, and the crew left the boat yesterday in high spirits. The group organiser back in London told us: “Many thanks - as it was one of AAA’s first projects I was nervous! The feedback I have received has been brilliant, please pass on my sincere thanks for all that they have given to make a great experience for everyone. I look forward to working together again in 2017.” Big thanks to sea staff Ed, Brigid, Colin, Dave, Josh and Rosalie.
Don ’t forget that you can always see where John Laing is sailing using our vessel tracking page, generously sponsored by the Graham High Charity.
* Dartmouth to Gosport Small Ships Race - this week
This week, John Laing will be taking part in the Dartmouth to Gosport Small Ships Race with a crew of partially-sighted young people from the MACS charity. At the last count, 23 vessels had entered - race rules require at least half the crew to be aged 12-25 and it is estimated that around 200 young people will be taking part. Obviously all activities are weather dependent but the initial plan is to have a short practice race on Sunday before returning to Dartmouth for the night; then a parade of sail and the main race starts on Monday, aiming for a crew parade and prizegiving in Gosport in Wednesday before the voyage ends on Thursday. You can find updates during the week here.
* Sea staff bookings 2016 - NEW vacancies
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.
28 Sept – 2 Oct, Southampton - qualified 2M. We have someone who can do this voyage or the next one but there is scope here for someone else to do whichever they prefer.
3-7 October, Southampton - qualified 2M. We have someone who can do this voyage or the previous one but there is scope here for someone else to do whichever they prefer.
7-9 October weekend plus 10 Oct maintenance day, Southampton - qualified 2M. We have an offer from someone who can do the weekend but not the maintenance day so we are still open to offers from anyone who can do the whole thing.
10-14 Oct (including 10 Oct maintenance day) AND 14-16 Oct, Southampton - bosun. This has been offered to one of our junior bosuns but it may be a while before he can get permission from college so we could usefully have a name in reserve in case he can't make it.
Mon 31st Oct and Tues 1st Nov - we want to offer our usual day sails for RYA instructors (a great way of recruiting highly-qualified sea staff), but before we can advertise the days we need to book a first mate and some experienced watchleaders!
Do keep an eye on future editions of this bulletin as there may be additional vacancies if anyone's plans have to change!
* Boat maintenance days - next one only TWO WEEKS AWAY - please help!
Our remaining 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!
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.
* 2016 adult day sails - September vacancies in Southampton
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 email@example.com.
Sat 10 Sept - Southampton - up to 3 places left depending on whether provisional bookings are confirmed or not
Sun 11 Sept - Southampton - up to 5 places left depending on whether provisional bookings are confirmed or not
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!
* 2016 voyage availability for young people - LAST few places available!
We have now filled almost all of our voyages for the remainder of the year - please help us to get them ALL filled! Spaces are as follows:
4-8 September - Southampton - 4 nights - age 15-25 - £355 - this voyage should be full but we are still waiting for booking details so can put names on a reserve list if anyone really wants to sail. Others booked on this voyage are aged around 16-21 and will have significant sailing experience.
7-9 October - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - age 12-25 - £195pp. There is potentially one berth available but it has been offered to one of our young trainee bosuns on condition that he sails as bosun on the following voyage, and it may be a while before he gets permission from college to do this. We can put a name on the reserve list for this weekend just in case he can't make it
17-21 October - Southampton - 4 nights - age 12-25 - £355 - 2 berths available
26-30 October - HALF TERM - Southampton - 4 nights - age 12-25 - £365 - up to 5 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A DRAFT 2017 programme is also available.
Prolific launch - help needed
We are looking to launch Prolific on around 15th September and we need a team of people in the Southampton area to help during the period 12th - 15th September so we can get her safely in the water - please email email@example.com if you can help on any of those days.
* OYT South AGM and volunteers’ weekend
OYT South’s AGM will take place on Saturday 12th November - this is normally a VERY short meeting combined with a lively social evening and a weekend of work on the boat for volunteers. More details to come in due course, but for now, please just put the date in your diary. Only paid-up members can vote at the AGM (you can join now here) but all OYT South supporters are very welcome to take part in everything else over the weekend.
Prolific refit news
Prolific's refit is closed now but we will be looking for more help from around the week beginning 29th August so do let us know if you can get involved. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Winter core team and 2017 volunteers needed - if you have just had exam results and are looking for an exciting gap year, please read!
Regular readers will know that for many years, OYT South has taken on a small team of full-time volunteers over the winter to work on vessel refits in exchange for food, accommodation and the chance to develop their boat maintenance skills and experience. Winter 2016-17 will be different as we’ll be moving over to our new boat Prolific. Prolific has been in refit for some time while our current vessel, John Laing, completes the 2016 sailing season. Once the 2016 season is over, attention turns to Prolific: completing any outstanding refit tasks, conducting sea trials and dealing with any issues that arise, establishing new standard operating procedures and then running training voyages and weekends so that all our staff and volunteers can get used to a different boat before we start sailing with young people.
We are hoping to recruit a small team of young people aged 18-25 for full-time volunteer positions over the winter (November to March and possibly beyond). The core team will be involved in maintenance and practical tasks, including helping to keep the vessel clean and tidy, and in all the sea trials and training, in order to provide continuity on board alongside other volunteers who may only be available to sail for a few days at a time. We are looking for people who can quickly become familiar with the boat and her routines and can offer reliable, enthusiastic and hard-working support to our professional skipper and engineer.
The hope is that one or two members of the winter team will excel enough to be invited by the skipper to stay on board for significant periods during the 2017 season and take part in our programme of voyages. This will mean that as our regular volunteers get used to running a very different boat, there will be one or two extra people who are familiar with everything. This will be a great opportunity for young people who wish to develop their sailing skills, qualifying as watchleaders or bosuns and learning from our engineer.
A place on the core team is worth considering if you are between jobs or on a gap year or have recently left school, college or university. It could be ideal for someone considering a career in the marine industry, but is also suitable for anyone who likes the idea of contributing to a good charitable cause.
If you are interested in applying for the core team for the winter, or you just want us to contact you for a chat about what's involved, please complete the form on the website here..
Winter Prolific training for volunteers - dates
Most of our volunteers will know that we are planning opportunities for you to become familiar with Prolific before we start running youth voyages in 2017. The plan is to spend the first part of the winter with a team of the more experienced staff and volunteers on board, establishing new routines and re-writing the voyage handbook, and after that we want to run training voyages for as many volunteers as possible - open to all current qualified volunteers and anyone who has been recommended by the skipper to join our volunteers’ team as a watchleader, bosun or relief engineer.
We are looking at four-day training voyages, Thursday to Sunday, to minimise the amount of time people need to take off work; but if you really can’t manage that then it will also be possible for some people to join from Friday night to Sunday. Please look at the draft list of dates below and email email@example.com to tell us which of these dates you can manage, in order of preference if you like. Please give us as many options as you possibly can as we’ll want to arrange things so that the maximum number of people get a chance to do some training before the season starts.
Please note that we will have to give priority to people who have arranged some training when we start taking sea staff bookings for the 2017 season - especially if you want to be involved in the Baltic Adventure voyages!
2017 DRAFT voyage programme
A DRAFT sailing programme for 2017 is now available. It is not too late to try and alter some of the dates, durations and ports to suit you, as long as it doesn't clash with the needs of other clients. If you are thinking of making a booking for 2017, or you would like to discuss ideas and options, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also let us know if you spot any mistakes on the draft programme!
See below for more details on our plans for a Baltic Adventure in 2017.
Baltic Adventure 2017
We are planning to sail 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 are aiming 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. If you or anyone you know might be interested in a booking on one of these voyages, please email email@example.com now to discuss options. Please note that we have already had provisional interest in a few 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 - adult voyage, ages 18+, £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 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. We have a school interested in booking this one and they are aiming to have numbers and deposits by the end of September, so if they can't fill the voyage, places will be released then.
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. We have a provisional reservation for this voyage already but 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.
24-30 Aug: Ipswich to Southampton 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.
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. 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!
* Adult voyages 2017
We’re now fully-booked for 2016's remaining adult voyage for training and familiarisation for potential volunteers. But apart from winter training for current volunteers, there will be several adult voyages next year:
28-30 April 2017 - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights (weekend voyage, 8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - 11 berths available - age 18+ (adult voyage, also suitable for training new potential volunteers) - £200pp.
23 June - 1 July 2017 - London to Cuxhaven - 8 nights - at least 4 berths available - age 18+ (adult voyage, also suitable for training new potential volunteers) - £645pp. North Sea crossing with cruising options in Holland and the Frisian islands.
8-10 Sept 2017- Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights (weekend voyage, 8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - 12 berths available - age 18+ (adult voyage, also suitable for training new potential volunteers) - £200pp.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Day skipper training ovder the 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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!
Southampton Boat Show special offer
The Southampton Boat Show will run from 16th to 25th September 2016. John Goode has again kindly arranged for discounted Boat Show tickets for OYT South members, families and friends. If you receive the email version of this newsletter, you can see the discount details, which we can't put on a public website.
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.