Dinghy work


OYT South bulletin 28th June 2019

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

* Voyage news

Last week was our annual voyage for children in care in Hampshire, organised by the Virtual School and supported by staff from Releasing Potential.

The group joined on Saturday and sailed down to Yarmouth that day where they spent a night on a buoy. Next day it was really windy, not a day for leaving the Solent, so they headed back to Cowes, doing sailing exercises on the way, and had a good time ashore. On Monday the weather improved and they were able to go all the way to Studland Bay where they anchored and went to the beach. Everyone enjoyed being in the dinghy, and paddling. They stayed overnight in the anchorage and next day had a great sail, initially back to the buoy outside Yarmouth where they worked hard towards their sailing qualifications and planned the pilotage back through the Solent. Then in three teams the young people took charge of the navigation and sailed back through the Solent to an anchorage in Stokes Bay. The final morning was a short passage back to Southampton after sailing a total of 102 nautical miles.

It wasn't the easiest of voyages and several of the young people had some low moments but they all did enough to earn an RYA Start Yachting certificate. Huge thanks to sea staff Peta, Georgia, Steve, Cathy, Danny; special congratulations to Yasmin (cadet on exchange from OYT Scotland) who clearly reached third mate standard even though she can't be fully signed off until she turns 18; and extra special congratulations to Lee Mosscrop who successfully completed the first stage of a two-part skipper assessment!


On Thursday we enjoyed a day we look forward to every year. The Graham High Charity very generously sponsors Prolific's lifejackets and waterproof clothing, alongside helping with crew logbooks, vessel tracking, paying for part of our deck tent and funding bursaries for disadvantaged young people. Every year Graham brings some of his staff and clients for a day sail in Prolific - always a lovely group of people and very interested to hear all about our work. It was a fun and sociable day and the weather was generally kinder than this VERY ominous sky might suggest:


Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Lee, Georgia, Yasmin, Susanna, Danny and Caz.

Friday was a maintenance day and we got through loads of hard work, including deep cleaning several areas of the boat; stowing lots of dry stores ready for the summer, servicing winches, varnishing deck boxes, correcting charts and more. Ben Whinnett very kindly came and finished fitting our new AIS aerial (which as well as being invaluable to the team on board, also allows the rest of us to track the boat). Big thanks also to Peta, Georgia, Josh, Danny, Lee, Yasmin, Caz, Roy, Barry and Susanna, and special thanks to Ocean Village marina manager Scott for a well-timed delivery of chocolate biscuits!

We then had a weekend of two adult day sails which are our chance to thank just a few of the people who have supported us in various ways but who don't often get to sail - from donors to the office staff and volunteers - as well as introducing new people - potential supporters and clients - to the boat. We had two excellent days with some really lovely people, cementing old friendships and making new ones. Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Georgia, Andy, Rooby, Ollie, Susanna, Miranda, Annant, Barry, Jo, Caz and everyone else who helped out with the washing-up!

This week's voyage has been for a mixed crew of individuals rather than an organised group (although four of them are Aston Martin apprentices, part of a programme that is bringing lots of people sailing on different voyages this season). Aged 15+, this is a slightly older group than many other voyages but sadly the weather hasn't made it easy to take them further than usual - it's very sunny but also extremely windy at times, and with winds from a direction that makes some of our usual anchorages impossible. They left Southampton on Monday and after a brief stop in Cowes for fuel, they went on to spend the night on a buoy outside Yarmouth. Next day was the only light wind day of the week and they went all the way to Weymouth where there was a chance of an ice cream and a nice time ashore.

Wednesday was a fantastic day as they had a long beat against the wind all the way back to Cowes in gorgeous sunshine, with everyone getting thoroughly involved in tacking, and also plenty of singing and dancing around on deck as the crew bonded and everyone made friends. Yesterday they had an early start to catch the tide and headed west again, with an emergency steering drill in the Solent and then a downwind sail to Poole with everyone getting the hang of gybing, and three different teams taking charge of the navigation for different sections of the passage. They got into harbour before the wind really started building in the afternoon.

Last night they had a pool party on board, featuring a paddling pool on the foredeck, before fajitas and a movie night. Today everyone has been working hard towards their RYA Competent Crew qualifications.

Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Graeme, Georgia, Tom, Susanna and Hal.

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* Eddystone Charity Pursuit report
One of our volunteers, Sandy Garrity, entered his own boat Aphrodite in the Eddystone Charity Pursuit on 15th June to raise money for Ocean Youth Trust South.

Sandy says: "Originally I had a crew of four but two dropped out due to health reasons. Stuart Hall and myself sailed as a double hander. On Friday night the weather blew up and when I woke at 0600 on Saturday morning the rain was horizontal and the visibility about a mile (we could just see the breakwater). By 0730 when Stuart arrived the sun came out and the day set fair. We had a 0925 start time and arrived at the line for 0922! More by luck than judgement. After faffing about round the first mark we set off out of the eastern entrance at a snail's pace, fluky winds and Plymouth's version of Kew Gardens hanging onto the keel for dear life. Wind was a high end F4 low F5 and an interesting beat up to Eddystone followed with the fleet disappearing in front of us, but we were having fun and the amount of weed on the bottom was reducing as we went along. At 1500 we rounded the Eddystone and had a brilliant run wing on wing back. The cut-off time is 1700 and at one minute past we sent a text to control advising them that we were just the seaward side of the breakwater but determined to finish. We crossed the line at 1745 to a long blast on their hooter. :)

As a result of the text and finishing we were given a special prize of £250, one of three that the committee decide to offer on the day. We really enjoyed the day, for me it was a very different type of sailing as I don't race and the "tactics" were interesting. I am planning to do it again next year - with a bigger crew as there was a distinct lack of tea made and drunk during the day!"

Sandy had already raised a significant amount of money for us and the special prize makes it even better - enough to pay for voyages for two disadvantaged young people next year!

Huge thanks and well done to Sandy, Stuart and Aphrodite!

Sandy at Eddystone

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* Calling all supporters who work in the marine sector!
Whether you work at sea, or you are based ashore doing something with maritime connections, can you help us with some information about how you got into your job and what you actually do?

OYT South sails with hundreds of young people each year and most of them are not aware of the huge range of jobs available in the marine sector. But we know there are jobs at every level of qualifications, skills and experience, from professional seafarers, sailing instructors, marina managers and dockmasters, riggers, surveyors, sailmakers, yacht designers, to specialists in paint or electronics or water systems or engineering. There are people working as managers or admin assistants in the offices of marine companies; there are those who clean or repair boats; there are chefs on cruise ships; there are staff in chandleries; there are coastguards and lifeboat crews; there are lawyers and accountants and insurers specialising in the marine sector; there are marine photographers and artists ... a broader range of careers than we could possibly list.

Our idea is to put together a folder to keep on the boat containing a page each from as many of our friends and supporters as possible, briefly describing any job you currently hold or have previously held, connected to the maritime sector in some way - so that young people who sail with us can leaf through it and get some ideas. It would be left handy for people to browse when off-watch. We're not looking for lots of detail - a page from each person would be fine. Just enough that it might spark some interest and lead a young person to look into things more thoroughly!

If you can help, what we are looking for is:

1) Your job title (and your name if you like, though we are happy to leave this out if you want)
2) A photo of you at work (or of something work-related if you prefer not to appear)
3) How did you get into your current job? What qualifications and experience did you need?
4) What sorts of things might you do in a typical week?
5) What's the best thing about your job?
6) One piece of advice for a young person who might one day like a job like yours?

The target audience might not be anywhere near applying for real jobs - they may just be wondering what GCSE options to take, or what college course to apply for ... and if we can inspire them by showing them some different career options, they can start making choices that set them on the right path.

Email it to caroline.white@oytsouth.org and we'll start putting the folder together.

Please help us to inspire young people. You never know, you might change someone's life!

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2020 Brixham to A Coruna adventure voyage - experience of a lifetime!
For next year we have earmarked one very special voyage for individuals rather than a group booking. We're aware that organised group bookings, such as schools, taking the whole boat are often in a position to make earlier commitments than clients for mixed individual voyages and we want to make sure that individuals have a chance of doing some of the more exciting voyages rather than finding they have already been filled by groups!

We are looking at sailing from Brixham to A Coruna 15th - 26th July 2020. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to cross Biscay and join in with a fabulous Tall Ships festival in Spain. Age range 15-25 and because we'll be a long way from land and it could be a particularly demanding voyage, we'll need to look very carefully at any medical issues and any other concerns before determining whether someone can safely take part.

At 11 nights long, this is one of our more expensive voyages at £999 per person (and you will need to arrange your own travel back from Spain on top of that), so we wanted to mention the idea early so that you have a chance to save up or think of other ways of raising the money. If we hear of any funding programmes or bursary schemes that might be suitable, we will announce it in future issues of this newsletter.

If you are interested in being considered for this voyage, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

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Vessel maintenance days - help needed

Please make a note of the list of maintenance days during the season when we would really appreciate lots of help:

Tuesday 13th August - Brixham
Friday 20th September - Southampton (Ocean Village)

Skilled and unskilled help needed. Over-18s welcome. 16 and 17-year olds may be allowed to help at the skipper's discretion and depending on what work needs to be done, but trainee bosuns and young people who have had sea staff recommendations should certainly ask if they can help at a maintenance day. We normally need people on board from around 9am to 5pm, and lunch is provided on board.

Email refit@oytsouth.org so the skipper knows you are coming and can plan jobs and meals for you, or call the boat on 07990 518915.

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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!

Big thanks to the Graham High Charity who sponsor our vessel tracking.


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Online fundraising - 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 https://smile.amazon.co.uk, 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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Financial appeal
We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries - please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, large or small.

See here for how to make a donation - you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can. Don't forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form (pdf) we can claim back tax on your donation.

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2019 AGM date

The 2019 AGM has been set for Saturday 9th November - more details to follow, but do save the date! It will probably include the usual Curry Night...

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Chris Ellis Award - win up to £500
off the price of your next voyage
Now open for 2019 entries.

If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again (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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org  or posted to the office. 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.

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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 Lauren Mackenzie, aged 18. Lauren first sailed with us for her gold DofE and quickly started volunteering with us, qualifying as a watchleader as soon as she was old enough and then being upgraded to second mate last September. She is currently in her first year at university, studying maths at Oxford.

Lauren 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 Lauren. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Lauren. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Lauren can point you in the right direction. You can email her at laurenmackenzie@oytsouth.org.

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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 admin@searegs.co.uk if you are interested - please DON'T reply to the OYT South staff via the bulletin for this one!

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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, 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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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 https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth - please do give us a Like! If you were friends with John Laing on our old page (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing 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, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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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