Adult voyage


OYT South bulletin 14th September 2018

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

maintenance days - help needed next Monday and the following Sunday
Prolific has in-season maintenance days scheduled as follows - please come along if you can.

Monday 17th September - Southampton
Sunday 23rd September - Southampton

Help always welcome - skilled or unskilled! Food provided on board; and we can sometimes offer accommodation for the night before or after a maintenance day. Email or phone 07990 518915 if you can help with either of these dates.

Maintenance helpers should normally be aged 18+ though it may sometimes be possible to include 16 and 17 year olds - especially those who are training as bosuns - with the skipper's permission. Please ask!

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* Voyage news

Last Saturday and Sunday was a mates' training weekend to allow current sea staff to develop their skills but also including a few young people who had earned volunteer recommendations on voyages earlier this season and others who had volunteered for the charity some years ago and are thinking of coming back to us:

adult crew

Saturday was a busy day with lots of sail hoists, reefs, tacks and gybes while everyone got much more comfortable and familiar with all Prolific's routines. We also did some man overboard recovery drills which gave different people a chance to be involved, either driving the vessel through the manouevre or having a go at being lowered in a climbing harness to recover a casualty from the water.

We were very pleased to have on board for the weekend Tom Mansell who was an Ocean Youth Club skipper more than twenty-five years ago and now works as RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager. Tom very kindly offered to come and run a session on the latest RNLI thinking on recovering a casualty from the water and especially on search patterns should we ever lose sight of someone in the water or be called on to help with a search for a casualty from another vessel.

Tom Mansell

Sunday started with a really useful explanation of the theory of how best to maximise the chances of finding someone in the water. Tom did a great job of pitching this so that it was fascinating and engaging not just for our professional staff and some of our most experienced volunteers but also for 17-year olds who are brand-new to volunteering with us. We then went out into the Solent to try it out, following a search pattern which involved steering a certain course for a set time before turning onto a precise new course. The team were kept busy calculating the courses, noting the times, recording each leg and of course steering and looking out. We are delighted to report that we successfully found our bucket and helmet in the water and we all learned a great deal in the process - huge thanks to Tom. The session is certainly something we could look at offering for other volunteers in future.

Search patterns

The weekend ended in Ocean Village on Sunday evening. Normally at this stage we would thank all the sea staff but as this would include virtually everyone on board we will just say a big thank you to everyone, but especially Peta and Holly for running such a  great weekend!

Monday saw the start of another voyage - one of only two adult voyages in the season longer than just a day or a weekend. We had a great bunch of people on board - some with an interest in volunteering for us but others just coming along for the experience, to enjoy the boat, to learn more, and hopefully to get some great sailing.

Unfortunately the forecast for the week wasn't good. They had a bit of a sail down to Cowes on Monday but couldn't go anywhere on Tuesday morning owing to horrible weather - instead they spent time on some skills and drills in harbour, including a session on reefing which was bound to be needed during the week. That afternoon they went out to try a sail but it really was very windy and after a couple of hours it was clear that the sensible option was to go back in to Cowes.

By Wednesday things were easier and they set off in time to be in position for the afternoon tide out of the Needles. Adam Lane has been doing some first mate training and he drove a great man overboard drill. After that they sailed to Weymouth, making a really quick passage with the wind and tide and enjoying a cracking sail. In Weymouth they played the creme caramel game, and had some shore leave on Thursday morning before setting off again. The wind had eased considerably by this time and they were able to get out the mizzen staysail and fly round to Swanage.

Mizzen staysail

Today crew members Sarah and Andy did some excellent navigation back through the Needles and everyone has been getting stuck in with navigation and gybing as they make their way back up the Solent to Ocean Village, where the voyage will finish tomorrow. Most people on board already have some sailing qualifications but Peta hopes to be awarding one RYA Start Yachting certificate. Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Holly, Charles Kingston, Cathy Ayres, Susanna Paynter, Niamh Lamin, and Adam Lane who has had a really good week of first mate training.

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* 2018 voyage availability for young people

It looks as though the following voyage MAY be open for bookings as a client which had hoped to bring a group may have to cancel - please let us know if you might be interested:

15-19 Oct - 4 nights - Southampton - £385 per person.

Bursary funding may be available on application for young people aged 12-25 who genuinely cannot afford the full price. Contact for more information.

Other than that, all vioyages for the remainder of the season are fully-booked; but please keep watching this space as we can get cancellations, or groups which don't quite fill all their spaces and are happy to open their voyage up to others. Other than that, and unless we get any cancellations, anyone wanting to sail needs to be looking at our 2019 programme.

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2019 sailing programme
A draft of our 2019 sailing programme is available here. It shows where clients have already been in touch to request specific dates, and voyages that have been reserved for them, but otherwise the rest of the programme is still available - but not by any means set in stone: we are still happy to discuss changes of dates, ports and durations to suit clients, if we can do so without causing major problems for anyone else or leaving too many unused, wasted days between voyages, which would cost us money.

We are now looking at doing a second summer largely based in Brixham - thanks to MDL marinas and Brixham marina in particular. We have been having such a good time in the area this summer that we are delighted to be going back next year. It's a fantastic area for sailing and, depending on the weather, voyages around Devon and Cornwall or to France, the Channel Islands and the Scillies are all possible.

If you would like to make a booking or discuss programme alterations at any point in the 2019 season, please email

Please note that we are NOT looking for volunteer sea staff bids yet!

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* Volunteer bookings for 2018 voyages

Sea staff berths not currently filled are as follows - please note that dates are when young people are on board, and volunteers will generally be expected to join the day before (except forn weekend voyages). Some of these places could ideally use another qualified watchleader or bosun; others may be suitable for trainee sea staff - please ask.
Please email if you are available.

29 Sept - 2 Oct - Southampton - space for one more watchleader, trainee watchleader or bosun
8-12 Oct - Southampton - pupil referral unit - possibly space for a trainee watchleader or bosun
12-14 Oct (weekend voyage) Southampton - school group - possibly space for a trainee watchleader or bosun
15-19 Oct- Southampton - client tbc - one more qualified watchleader needed
24-28 Oct - Southampton - East London charity - tbc - we have had some interest from trainee bosuns and hope to be able to let people know shortly.

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* teamArchie and the Clipper Bursary 

Earlier this summer, OYT South was contacted by a great charity called teamArchie which was set up in 2015 in memory of Archie Lloyd, a young man who tragically died in 2015, aged 18, whilst travelling with friends. The charity awards bursaries to create opportunities for young people to make the most of their lives and of themselves, aiming to swing the pendulum of opportunity in favour of those who deserve a helping hand, in part because they really want to be the best that they can be, but also because they have proven that they have the desire but cannot get the necessary support they need to make it happen.


There is clearly plenty of scope for OYT South and teamArchie to enjoy a really constructive partnership and we are looking forward to seeing what we might be able to do together.

Just today, teamArchie has announced a very exciting new project, the teamArchie Clipper Bursary, and they have asked us to help spread the word among young people interested in sailing. The teamArchie Clipper bursary will enable a deserving young person to take part in one leg of the 2019/2020 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Their website will tell you all about the project, who might be eligible, and how to apply - do have a look!

teamArchie Clipper

If you decide to apply for this, do tell them about your involvement with Ocean Youth Trust South, so they know how you heard about the opportunity.

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Fire systems - very useful video

Prolific has a hi-fog fire system - big thanks to Mike Bunton for drawing our attention to a very useful video comparing engine room fires in two cruise ships, the first without hi-fog and the second using the system. We strongly recommend that all sea staff and volunteers should watch this as it offers a very clear and easy to understand explanation of how our system works and why it is so good. Crew members, parents, group leaders and donors might also like to see what an enormous contribution having this system makes to keeping everyone safe on board and looking after the vessel herself if we ever should have a fire.

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Day sail on Saturday 22nd September - places possibly available

We may have some places available on a day sail on Saturday 22nd September, 0930-1700,  starting and finishing in Southampton. These days are ideal for current or potential sponsors, donors and clients, but they are also open to others - e.g. family members of volunteers and crew members, or anyone else interested in learning more about the charity and seeing Prolific under sail. Day sails are primarily designed for adults (18+) but we can consider including 11-17 year olds if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please email if you are interested.     

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Mollie Crawford leaving present
As already announced, our fantastic Operations Assistant Mollie Crawford has decided to move on at the end of the 2018 sailing season after four years in the office, providing invaluable support to Sally as well as to our clients and volunteers, while helping to keep Caz and Mark sane. Everyone who has been involved with the charity will know how reliable, efficient and effective Mollie is, and how utterly committed she has been to the charity.

Mollie's grandfather and uncle have both skippered OYC / OYT South vessels, and Mollie sailed as a young crew member before becoming a volunteer watchleader. She did a work placement with OYT South as part of her degree and later returned full-time after graduating in business management in France.

She will be hugely missed, and we really want to send her off with a nice leaving present, so please give generously! Details of how to contribute to Mollie's leaving present can be found here.

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* Winter refit dates and refit weekends

Peta is deep into planning Prolific's winter refit, including some weekends when we will need loads of volunteer help. Please make a note of these dates in your diary and there will be more details in this newsletter nearer the time:

3-4 November - a chance to get masses of kit moved off the boat (as well as attending the AGM and curry night on Saturday). Anyone wanting to stay on board after the curry night please note that priority will be given to those who are also helping on board during the weekend!
8-9 December
19-20 January
9-10 March

There won't be a refit weekend in February as we hope to arrange the usual weekend of training courses - more details in the newsletter as soon as we have them.

Apart from the refit weekends, we will want as much volunteer help as possible on weekdays.

Refit volunteers should normally be aged 18+ but it is sometimes possible to include 16 and 17 year olds who have had volunteer recommendations and hope to be sailing as trainee bosuns next year. It depends on what jobs are available and whether we have people to supervise under-18s.

It's not yet clear what accommodation we will be able to offer to occasional refit volunteers - it won't be possible to sleep on board Prolific as we are fitting a new electrical system this winter. We are still looking for accommodation November to March for the staff and core volunteer team (see below and please do keep sending in any suggestions but in the meantime huge thanks to Fred Cole who has been working hard on this for us). But if anyone living in the Southampton area is able to offer a bed or two, or even a sofa or floor space for camping mattresses during any of the refit weekends, please please email

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Winter refit core team needed

If you are planning a gap year, or you are between jobs or for any other reason potentially available for several weeks or months this winter, might you be interested in joining our full-time refit team? We will need a couple of full-time volunteers between November and March. More details here. Plenty of our previous refit volunteers have gone on to great jobs in the marine industry - it really helps to have maintenance experience as well as good sailing skills when applying for sailing jobs! And any refit volunteers who want to sail in Prolific can be offered berths as watchleaders, bosuns, or relief engineers. So it's a great way of developing useful experience, contributing to a good cause, securing free food and accommodation for a few months, and having a positive experience with a fun group of people! So if you're interested, please read the web page and email us with the details requested at the bottom of the page.

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Winter refit accommodation needed in the Southampton area
Prolific will be based in Southampton this winter and one of the major jobs this year is the complete replacement of the electrical system. This will be a long job and as it won’t be possible for our staff and volunteers to live on board while the boat has no power, we are looking for a house to rent or other ideas for nearby accommodation. Ideally we’d like to have at least three bedrooms and room for at least four people between November and March. It can be very difficult to find anything suitable through local letting agents, so if anyone has ideas or can help us through a private arrangement, please email

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Southampton Boat Show tickets - special offer
The Southampton Boat Show will run from 14th to 23rd September 2018. 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.

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Leaflets about OYT South
We have done some updates to some of our publicity material and there are leaflets here which you can print - please do use them to spread the word among anyone who might be tempted to sail with us, volunteer for us or support us in any way.

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Online fundraising - Amazon Smile, and one volunteer’s story about Easyfundraising - raise money with minimal effort! 

OYT South is now registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop - Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, do have a look - once you pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity and start using, you don’t need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

We also receive donations through Easyfundraising - this one works for all sorts of online shopping, not just a single site like Amazon. One of our volunteers says “I booked a Citybreak weekend away on Expedia and car parking on Holiday Extras through Easyfundraising and that produced £18.28 for OYT South at zero cost to me.” Easyfundraising says: "It doesn't cost you a penny extra. When you shop the easyfundraising way with one of our 3,241 shops and sites they give us a commission for your purchase. We turn that into a donation and give it to your good cause. Easy!"

If all our supporters got into the habit of raising money for us when shopping online, it would soon mount up. If you can persuade your friends and family to do it, even better. And if you work for a business which spends significant sums online, who knows how much you could raise?

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Vessel tracking
Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.

If you discover she is in a harbour somewhere near you, please go and say hello. If we’re not too busy with activities with young people, then visitors are generally welcome. You can always call the boat beforehand (07990 518915) to see if there is time for a visit - and sometimes you may be just what we need if you have local information or a bit of time to spare to help with something, or a car for running a quick errand!

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Chris Ellis Award - win up to £500
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 £500 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  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. You can also see some previous winning entries.

The 2018 Chris Ellis Award is now open for entries.

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* Financial appeal
Big thinks this week to Martin Thomas for a very kind donation.

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 (pdf) we can claim back tax on your donation.

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RYA courses with SeaRegs

Occasional OYT South relief skipper Simon Jinks's company SeaRegs is now offering RYA practical coursers on a regular basis. This year they have a monthly programme of both Sail and Power Yachtmaster weeks and Day Skipper weeks, as well as both classroom based and online theory courses. A 10% discount is available for booking both a theory course and a practical course.

Contact Vicky Jinks if you are interested - please DON'T reply to the OYT South staff via the bulletin for this one!

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2018 AGM - a date for your diary
Our 2018 AGM will be on Saturday 3rd November - it will probably involve the usual curry night and we are also encouraging people to come that weekend to unload masses of kit from Prolific. More details very soon.

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Colin Baxter prints and postcard of Prolific for sale
We have a limited number of A4 prints and postcards of Prolific by the renowned marine artist Colin Baxter for sale - postcards cost £1 each and prints £6 each, including postage and packaging. Email to order.

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Branded clothing
OYT South branded clothing available - please see here. You can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, drill shirts, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South's logo!

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From youth crew to volunteer
Have you recently done a voyage as a young crew member, enjoyed it, and been told by the skipper or any of the other sea staff to think about coming back as a volunteer on board? This is how many of our watchleaders and bosuns started, and it’s a great opportunity for getting years of very cheap sailing, plus something impressive to add to your CV, college or job applications. If you start volunteering with us and do well, you could gain invaluable experience in leading and motivating teams, looking after safety issues, taking responsibility and more - especially if you end up volunteering on some of our voyages with highly disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

If you’ve had a recommendation from the skipper, it’s still really up to you to decide whether you are keen and ready to take this step - moving from being a young crew member who can be looked after and supported by the sea staff, into a position of responsibility where you will be looking after other people and responsible for helping to deliver a successful voyage to others, and accepting that this can involve hard work - though we hope our volunteers also have plenty of fun! Junior volunteers will still get support and advice from more experienced sea staff, but you really have to be ready to get stuck in when there are things to do and your effort can help make the difference to keeping the boat working smoothly and ensuring that another group of young people has the best possible experience!

But the next stage is really up to you. There are plenty of young people who impress us on voyages each year, but the ones who get to come back for more voyages, training and qualifications are the ones who show a real interest and make the effort to keep in touch - we simply don’t have the time to chase all of you individually if we don’t hear from you. Reading this weekly newsletter is vital - you will see when we are advertising for trainee mates or bosuns, or offering courses, or asking for help with maintenance or other events. You may also sometimes see that we have a short-notice vacancy for a crew berth - if we can’t fill the place with a paying customer, offering it as a cut-price or even free place to a new potential volunteer whom we know will be an asset to the team is much better than sailing with an empty berth. So if you are keen, PLEASE read the bulletin and don’t be afraid to reply and ask questions - if you’re not sure whether an opportunity is suitable for you or not, or if there might be age restrictions, just ask. We really do want to hear from you!

If you read this newsletter regularly, you will see that the key period for sending in bids for volunteer berths tends to be November to early January. Every year we get a few people who haven't read the newsletter and don't start thinking about summer sailing until the new year is well underway - only to find that volunteer berths in school and college holidays are already booked up.

And one more thing ... if you are mature enough to be thinking about making the step up into volunteering, then you should really be contacting us yourself. It doesn't quite create the same impression if you get your mum to do it ...!

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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 21-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

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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 OYT South people
We are on Facebook at - please do give us a Like! if you were friends with John Laing on our old page ( please do move to the new page now.

We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

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 newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday, and is also copied onto the website.

If you have just started receiving this newsletter by email, it is because we believe you have signed up and consented to receive it - perhaps by emailing us to ask for it, completing a form on our website, or adding your email address to the book on board where people can sign up to receive news, as well as leaving comments. If this was a mistake or you simply decide you want to stop receiving the newsletter, just press “reply” to the email and write UNSUBSCRIBE at the top, or email webmaster1@oytsouth asking to unsubscribe.

Each week the newsletter 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. 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.

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, 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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Receiving this newsletter by email
Many thanks to all those who have given consent to receiving this newsletter by email. If you are not currently getting it by email and would like to, please just click here Newsletter Subscribe and press "send", or email

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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