* Voyage news
Last weekend saw the start of our annual voyage with Parkside School, with a crew who all arrived on board brim-full of enthusiasm! They went to East Cowes on the first night and had an early start on Sunday, with breakfast under way and man overboard drills in the western Solent before heading out via the North Channel as the Needles Channel would have been significantly uncomfortable! They had a choppy beat to Studland bay where they anchored for lunch and then did a great pilotage exercise into Poole harbour, with the crew doing an excellent job of finding all the navigation marks along the winding channel. In Poole they had shore leave and games, including the crème caramel game. On Monday morning they did training for their RYA qualifications, with everyone tying knots, and then went and filled the boat with fuel before a lovely sail back across Poole bay and in through the Needles Channel and back to Cowes for a fantastic chicken curry. On Tuesday morning they made their way back to Ocean Village where all 12 crew members were awarded their RYA Start Yachting certificates. It was a week of very changeable weather but all the crew got stuck in really well. Big thanks to sea staff Andy B, Andrew, Di, Hamish, Georgia and Josh.
The next group was sponsored by HMS President, London’s Royal Naval Reserve Unit, and involved young people from the London Nautical School; George Green’s School in Tower Hamlets; and St Matthew Academy, Blackheath. They sailed to East Cowes on Wednesday and then spent yesterday afternoon doing lots of tacking, man overboard recovery drills under sail and other training. Last night they did extreme washing up and games, and today they are doing various training exercises before tomorrow’s ASTO Small Ships Solent Race, competing against other sail training vessels with crews of young people. Big thanks to sea staff Andy V, Andrew, Di, Lou, Ben and Andy M. [You can never have too many sea staff called Andy or Andrew … given the need for female sea staff on every voyage, we just need to recruit someone called Andrea to our volunteer team and then we could aim for an all-Andy voyage…].
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.
* Website changes
OYT South’s website was moved to a different server this week and there have been some technical changes. We think that almost everything is now working as it should though we are aware that the members’-only section login isn’t up and running yet. But it’s possible there may still be a few broken links or other small glitches, so if you spot anything, please help us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – we can usually fix things straight away but only if we know where there is a problem!
* Marine Careers Fair on the Isle of Wight
Yesterday we attended a very successful Marine Careers Fair in the Royal Yacht Squadron Pavilion in Cowes, organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron Foundation. Big thanks to the OYT South team of Mark, Mollie and Jake plus Brian Mead and Marion Heming from the Isle of Wight Support group and many other local friends such as Jamie and Susie Sheldon. They made lots of great contacts on the Island including meeting the Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White. The photo at the top of the web version of this newsletter shows Brian Mead, Susie Sheldon, Mark Todd, Jake Clark, Marion Heming and Mollie Crawford, and the one here is Brian Mead, Martin White and Mark Todd..
* Prolific refit
Big thanks this week to Chris, Steve, Phil and John for work on Prolific’s refit. They have been working on the skin fittings; the black water tank is piped and finished; the starboard heads piping is done and work continues on the other heads; and they have done another modification to the main engine exhaust.
We still need lots of support over the coming weeks, both before and after the launch. 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.
OYT South AGM - curry night bookings now OPEN, plus information on Trustee elections 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.
The AGM itself will take place at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, 1 Channel Way, Ocean Village, Southampton, SO14 3QF - drinks at the bar from 1730, with the meeting itself at 1800. There will then be a review of the year before a curry night. As in previous years, we’ll be going to Kuti’s, Oxford Street (a short walk from the Royal Southampton Yacht Club) for their excellent all-you-can-eat hot buffet. As we need to give numbers to the restaurant in advance, the curry night is ONLY available to those who book and pay in advance: £15.95 per head. Booking and payment link here (you can may using PayPal or a credit card).. Please note this advance payment is just for food - you will need to pay for any drinks or a tip on the night.
Please note that 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.
If anyone might be interested in standing for election to the Board of Trustees, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange for an informal chat about what might be required.
Please also email email@example.com if you can help with work on the boat on the Saturday and/or Sunday. We need lots of people - this could be a big weekend for clearing kit off John Laing. Priority for accommodation on board after the curry night will go to people who are also there to help!
2016 voyage availability for young people
We have a few places where final payments haven’t yet been made or booking forms completed, but if all comes through as expected then we are potentially FULLY BOOKED until the end of the 2016 sailing season! However, it is always possible that someone may have to drop out, so if you would still like to sail, please contact the office and we can put your name on the reserve list.
There is a sailing programme for 2016 and an updated availability list.
Our 2017 programme is here.
Baltic Adventure 2017 - bookings OPEN
We are now able to confirm our plans for sailing to the Baltic in 2017: As we’ve said all along, we needed some confirmed group bookings to be sure the whole project could be viable; but we now have some groups confirmed plus a few further provisional group bookings where organisations are still working out how many places they can fill. In order to ensure that we still have space for individuals as well as the organised groups, we have reserved three of these voyages for individual bookings only - one for adults (18+) - the London to Cuxhaven cruise; and two for age range 15-25 (the minimum age of 15 is to fit in with the rules for Tall Ships events): the Tall Ships race from Turku to Klaipeda, and the cruise from Szczecin to Cuxhaven (which includes time at the Szczecin Tall Ships festival). Bookings for these three voyages are now OPEN - please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
In due course there may also be spaces on additional voyages if group booking aren't confirmed or if they can't fill all their spaces and need others to join them. The latest status of the full range of voyages for the whole period away from our home port of Southampton is as follows:
14-20 June: Southampton to London cruise - ages 12-25 - £525. Reserved for group booking (deposit paid)
23 June - 1 July: London to Cuxhaven cruise - adult voyage, aged 18+, £645. 9 berths available.
2-8 July: Cuxhaven to Copenhagen cruise - ages 12-25 - £525. We have some interest in this voyage for a small group booking but they are unlikely to fill the boat and are looking for others to join them. Please contact us for more information.
9-15 July: Copenhagen to Stockholm cruise - ages 12-25 - £525 - provisionally reserved for a group booking but no deposit paid, so if this is your first-choice voyage, do please discuss it with us.
16-22 July: Stockholm to Turku cruise including time at Turku Tall Ships festival - ages 15-25 - £525 - Reserved for group booking (deposit paid)
22-31 July: Turku to Klaipeda Tall Ships Race - ages 15-25 - £785. Open for individual bookings. 10 berths available.
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 during October, 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. Open for individual bookings.11 berths available.
15-22 Aug: Cuxhaven to Ipswich cruise - ages 12-25 - £625 - provisionally reserved for a group booking but no deposit paid, so if this is your first-choice voyage, do please discuss it with us.
24-30 Aug: Ipswich to Southampton cruise -ages 12-25 - £525 - provisionally reserved for a group booking but not confirmed and no deposit paid, so if this is your first-choice voyage, do please discuss it with us.
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.
2017 voyage programme
The full sailing programme for 2017 is available here. If you are thinking of making a booking for 2017, or you would like to discuss ideas and options, please contact email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
Winter core team and 2017 volunteers needed
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..
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.
Any of these voyages would be ideal for people aged 18+ who might be interested in volunteering with us and want to come and see how it all works; or for current volunteers wanting more training; or for anyone who just wants to come for a good sail and to find out a bit about the charity.
Please email email@example.com to book.
Boat maintenance days - NEW dates - 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!
Monday 10th October - Southampton
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November - Southampton - volunteers’ weekend including short AGM and a social event on the Saturday night.
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.
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!
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.