These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 11th September 2020

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

* COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Current government guidance states:

For the time being, holiday providers should not be offering overnight or residential provision for children. The Government will keep this position under review and continue to be guided by the best scientific and medical advice to ensure that the right decisions are taken at the right time."

We will keep the situation under continual review; and of course no-one can predict when and how the guidelines might change again in ways that could affect our ability to sail.

There are three earlier statements about COVID-19 on our website from Ocean Youth Trust South’s Chief Executive, Mark Todd: an initial statement from 18th March; an update issued on 15th April; and a response on 11th May to a Parliamentary committee report on the crisis - which quoted OYT South

One key message, particularly as evidence grows of the lasting effect that the pandemic is set to have on young people, is about the role we believe we can play in the longer term, using our voyages to help young people recover from the social and psychological impact of COVID-19. We are determined to do all we can to get through this period, when we are enduring the complete loss of all our trading income, in the best possible state so that we can start offering voyages again and helping young people as soon as it is safe to do so.

Back to index

OYT South AGM – a virtual date for your diary
, and a call for education expertise
OYT South’s AGM will take place on Saturday 7th November, but this year it will be via video conference. We will send full details nearer the time, including instructions for anyone who isn’t used to video conferences; and of course we will ensure that anyone who really can’t manage a video call will have a chance to submit questions in advance, and members can vote by proxy. We’re hoping that the event will include Mark’s usual update on the state of the charity and plans for next year, and if we can manage it, we’ll end with something fun and social which people can join in. For now, please just put the date in your diary!

In the meantime, we would be interested to hear from anyone with a background in education who might be interested in standing for election to our Board of Trustees. This might be a teacher, or someone who has worked in a school, or for a local education authority, or in education policy. We'd be keen to involve someone who has their finger on the pulse of what schools need and what pressures they are under, and can help us to ensure that we are delivering the best possible experience for clients in ways that will fit with the goals and targets of schools which are sending young people to sail with us. Please spread the word if you know anyone who might be interested, and email us to discuss it further. Trustee meetings are increasingly held by video conference, so finding someone with the right skills and knowledge is more important than location.

Back to index

* Why we care about sail training - send in your stories!
With no voyage reports for a while, it will be good to keep reminding ourselves about the value of our charitable work, the life-changing experiences and fantastic fun and friendship on our voyages. If you have a treasured memory of sailing with us, or a tale of a voyage you will never forget, or a funny story, please send it to and we'll publish the best in future editions of this newsletter.

In this week’s newsletter in 2004 we reported on a short two-day trip for a number of people with links to CHASE Children’s Hospice and their friends and families. That was followed by a more ambitious voyage with a mixed crew of individuals: Poole to Cherbourg to Honfleur to Le Havre to Southampton. They enjoyed a BBQ in Honfleur in excellent weather; but while the sunshine stayed with them, the winds got up to Force 8 accompanied by rough seas when they left. Wolf’s tactful comment was “Some loved it….and some didn’t.”

In 2005, we were sailing with the Roundwood Club from London again. Relief skipper Dave Carnson had endured terrible weather over the previous two voyages: this time he got glorious sunshine – and no wind!  They went from Ipswich to Ramsgate and across to Dieppe before returning to the Solent, doing their best to sail whenever there was the ghost of a breeze, even getting the cruising chute up twice – for about five minutes each time. On one occasion they hoisted it and immediately got a 180-degree wind shift. The voyage ended in Southampton with the group booking their dates for the following year before they had even left the boat, as they had had such a good time!

In those days we occasionally had funding for overseas crew members so our next trip took us to sea with crew from France, Germany, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Latvia, Wales and England. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, with the perfect combination of glorious weather, interesting places to visit, a top-quality crew and a laugh almost every minute. The weather conditions allowed skipper Wolf to realise his ambition of getting to Caen. We made 10 or 11 knots in a very clear, starry night, reaching Ouistreham on Sunday morning and locking in to the canal which runs down to Caen. The canal is largely peaceful and rural; and in Caen we were able to moor right in the centre of town (and right next to the showers), surrounded by all the shops and bars and restaurants. There are plenty of impressive old buildings, including an abbey and a castle, and a great atmosphere.

One of the great attractions of Caen is the Caen Memorial, an outstanding war museum which a group of us visited on Monday. This is not a museum concentrating on all the standard artefacts of uniforms and weaponry, but is much more focussed on the details of people’s lives, and their thoughts and feelings – so there are lots of letters and audio-visual presentations making up a compelling picture of what it was like to be there: as an ordinary French civilian, or a member of the resistance, or a serviceman on D-day.

Of course, we checked that our two German crew members were not offended by our interest in the history of the area; but in fact, visiting the museum on this particular voyage really brought home to us how fortunate we were to be able to spend a few hours thinking of Europe as it was in 1945, and then to go back to the boat where our multi-national crew was getting on so well, with real friendships being forged and so much humour that every briefing took twice as long as it should have done, with all the interruptions for witty comments and laughter.

Next day we set off back along the canal, stopping by Pegasus Bridge for another war museum. This was the place where the very first allied troops arrived in the early hours of D-day, as it was vital to secure the bridge before the landings began on the beaches. Again, it was an excellent museum, very well-presented, and completely accessible to English as well as French speakers.

Pegasus Bridge

After this we promised no more war museums and set off towards Cherbourg in glorious sunshine and a great breeze for mizzen staysail and cruising chute. Seasickness was forgotten and the crew were really starting to get the hang of the boat. Main and mizzen were both hoisted by the crew with minimal input from sea staff; and the navigation and pilotage all the way to Cherbourg was run entirely by a small team from the crew led by our 17-year old bosun, Gizmo.



We enjoyed Cherbourg and had a good light-wind sail back to the UK where we were delighted to be able to award RYA certificates to everyone, even those completing the syllabus in their second or third language. Gizmo was provisionally signed off as a third mate, effective from her 18th birthday later that year. And one of our crew, Tom, turned out to be the son of the Southampton harbourmaster, who arranged an excellent tour for a few sea staff of Southampton VTS, the people who control and monitor shipping in the Solent. A genuine eye-opener into the complexity of getting container ships through the area while dealing with all the smaller commercial vessels (including John Laing) plus thousands of pleasure yachts. A really impressive operation and well worth seeing.


In this week in 2006 we were sailing with a group of young carers from Southampton and heading cross-Channel on the first night. Despite only moderate winds and seas, this proved to be a tough introduction to sailing for some, and there was great relief when we arrived in Cherbourg and people were given a chance to go ashore. The group leaders organised a whole series of contests and entertainments, from costume-making to mascot-building; and in Cherbourg, all the crew were challenged to buy the most imaginative object for just a couple of euros and then explain why they had chosen it. Next stop was Alderney and then an exhilarating ride back across the Channel, averaging a good ten knots but much faster at times.

This was followed by another short voyage, with a mixed group including some crew members organised by our Isle of Wight support group. They went round the south of the Isle of Wight to Poole, completing the island circumnavigation by returning to Southampton via Yarmouth and Cowes.

In 2007 we were heading back home to Southampton after 77 days away doing the Tall Ships races. The crew joining in Ipswich included that year's MDL Award Winners plus a number of other individuals. On the first night they went from Woolverstone to the River Stour, where they woke next day to find plenty of sunshine but no wind, motoring to Ramsgate for a day, and then on to Eastbourne - to find that their arrival coincided with Eastbourne's festival weekend, with the RNLI and local fishing boats all involved, big crowds and a great atmosphere.

Next day was another windless motor towards Portsmouth; but on the way they saw the RNLI no longer in festival mode but attending a boat on fire off Beachy Head.

After Portsmouth, they went down into the western Solent, anchoring in Alum Bay and going ashore to the beach before a cracking sail back up the Solent. Lizzie Fiddaman (who returned years later as a mentor on the Ormiston Leading Lights project) passed her third mate's assessment on this voyage, and Brendan Stewart, who went on to a career in sail training, had a good week as trainee bosun.

The next crew was put together largely by our Isle of Wight support group. They enjoyed a very speedy overnight sail to Alderney, arriving in time for a day of exploration. An early start next day saw them back off the Nab tower by 3pm and doing exercises and tacking practice in the Solent before going into Gunwharf for an evening of games on board.

That was followed by an adult day sail organised in conjunction with the Wheatsheaf Trust as a confidence-building experience for women from minority ethnic groups in Southampton. This turned out to be misleading as they all seemed filled with confidence already. We had a lively day on board with some good sailing and an excellent lunch provided by the group. Opportunities can be limited for Asian women to try something like sailing, and as most of them were mums with busy lives, the most frequent response was how much they enjoyed the chance to get out and try something new for themselves.

Wheatsheaf group

In this week in 2009 the newsletter began with a voyage confined to the Solent with winds up to force 9, fortunately a hugely positive and motivated group who managed to have great fun and lots of laughter despite the weather.


That was followed by a short weekend with TS Swiftsure (Nautical Training Corps), real regulars as the older ones had at that stage done at least half a dozen short voyages with us over the years. We also had a couple of younger ones on their first voyage.


We picked up a buoy off Yarmouth and sent the crew ashore for ice cream. This allowed us to do a night sail after dinner, arriving in Cowes in time for the After Eight game and bed.


In the morning, those who already had RYA Competent Crew certificates were put in charge of working out how the boat should leave the berth, and getting everything set up. The voyage finished with the group already booked to sail again the following year, and one of the crew signed up for the next year’s Tall Ships races!

The following week was a group part-funded by Hampshire County Council, who had some excellent sailing in the Solent and down to Poole and back – as well as providing much entertainment to passers-by while playing games on the beach near Yarmouth!


In 2010 the newsletter began with John Laing heading into Dover, part-way through an epic long-distance voyage which should have been Ipswich to Southampton but was actually Hartlepool to Southampton thanks to terrible weather which had scuppered the planned Hartlepool-Ipswich leg the previous week. After Dover they sailed to Eastbourne and stopped for a few hours’ sleep; then on to Brighton and some proper time ashore to visit the funfair and pier - a much-deserved break. Next stop Gosport, in some miserable rainy weather, where the Mary Mouse lightship bar kindly let us all sit in the warm and dry while our crew ate them out of crisps despite having just had a roast dinner on board. Next day they called in at Cowes, watched the start of the Round Britain Race, stood by in support of a dismasted vessel, and finally got back to Ocean Village in Southampton having done something like 450 miles in the week!

This was followed by our annual voyage arranged with our sponsors, Marina Developments Limited, who had, as usual, chosen some exceptionally deserving young people to sail with us. The week started with rain and bad weather but improved after the first couple of days and they had a good sail to Torquay, enjoying a Red Arrows display overhead. Next day they managed to get a berth in Dartmouth despite it being the last day of the local regatta, and were able to enjoy a Tornado display and fireworks. Then it was back to Weymouth, followed by a stop in Lulworth on one of the busiest days of the year there, with time for people to go ashore, before the voyage finally ended in Poole - a fantastic week after an unpromising start!

At anchor

That was followed by a week with Devon & Cornwall Foyer, which provides accommodation and training for homeless 16-25 year olds. They all wanted to go abroad, so they crossed the Channel on the first night and had a day in Cherbourg. Then back to Weymouth, and cruise inshore along the Jurassic coast, with a BBQ in Lulworth.


The bulletin noted that “third mate Rooby and some of the crew took charge of the navigation from Swanage into Poole, and did very well” – Rooby is now a highly experienced first mate!

Next came Drinda’s group from Chichester High School for Girls XL group – those struggling with full-time mainstream education. They joined in Poole in what Wolf described as “an inclement 30 knots of wind even in harbour”, which meant a sensible decision not to move on the first night. Next day they sailed to Weymouth, where things cheered up tremendously, so that they were able to go to the beach and go paddling. The newsletter provided no explanation for this photograph:

At sea

Next day was first mate Sparky’s birthday and we wanted to make a special effort since he was very kindly doing this voyage at short notice after someone else had to drop out. However, Wolf has his own unique way of being nice to people, so Sparky ended up being asked to do a man overboard recovery practice while dodging the crossfire between HMS Cornwall and Lulworth ranges. When John Laing arrived in Cowes, the girls decorated the saloon for a party with balloons and cake.

Sparky's birthday

Sparky's birthday

2011’s newsletter picked up John Laing in Enkhuisen on her way home from the Tall Ships events. The next stage was a lovely day sail to Amsterdam, tacking all the way, with time to see the sights once they arrived. Next day they motored out to Ijmuiden and then had a stunning, gorgeous sail with flat seas under the stars all the way to Ipswich (skipper James said: “This was one of the passages which reminds me why I go sailing.”) They had a night out together in Pin Mill, and the crew left next day.

The next trip included the annual group of MDL award winners, who  started with a day sail round the sandbanks to Dover, and then a lumpy beat to Brighton, which they found quite challenging - it was good to get into the harbour and relax with some games. Next day they had shore leave and RYA training, before completing the leg to Cowes - John Laing back in the Solent for the first time in ten weeks!

End of a successful voyage!

The next group was a mixed crew of individual bookings who thought they had a perfect forecast for crossing the Channel - force 4 and 5 in the right direction. Unfortunately this turned out to be quite an underestimate of the wind strength, so the passage was rather more uncomfortable than anticipated, but was also much quicker. Cowes to Guernsey, 100 miles, in 12 hours including sails going up and down, etc.!

At sea

They had time ashore in St Peter Port, and then went on to Sark and a BBQ before a passage of mixed motoring and sailing back to Southampton.


That was followed by a mixed crew with some from Gosport, others from the Hampshire Bursaries programme, and a few individual bookings, who had fun despite some very strong winds:


In 2012, the newsletter began with John Laing leaving the Tall Ships festival in Dublin – leading all the smaller boats in the parade of sail:

Parade of sail

They sheltered in Wicklow before starting the long trek down the Irish Sea in difficult conditions - it was blowing hard and from the wrong direction, and it kept raining. Dave the bosun said at least there was one highlight as he saw a whale! Everything improved hugely when they came round Land’s End and the weather improved. They went into Newlyn, moored alongside a fishing boat, and had a day there to recover. Then a nice sail in good weather to Fowey and a leisurely sail to Plymouth.

The next crew joined in Plymouth and sailed to the Yealm and then Dartmouth before crossing the Channel to Guernsey and Sark before sailing back across to Poole and on to the Solent after more than two months away.



2013’s newsletter saw a crew from the Prince’s Trust finishing their voyage before a day sail for Quilter Cheviot, very generous donors to our charitable work. It was great to spend time with some of their staff and to take them sailing in lovely weather.

Then we had a short voyage with a mixed crew, sailing to Lymington and then Weymouth, followed by an exceptionally good and sunny downwind sail back towards Calshot. Paige Goulder was still only fourteen but already earmarked as future sea staff:

At sea

In 2014 we were doing a Tall Ships race from Falmouth to Greenwich. The parade of sail which was an extremely impressive show of boats of all sizes.

Tall Ships parade

John Laing had an excellent start, crossing the line first out of the class C boats. The first evening of the race saw light easterly winds, and the boat was set up to goose wing with a poled-out head sail. The following day saw more light winds with the occasional rain shower and a lot of games on watch. On Tuesday, the wind built and filled in, coming round to the south west, and the crew had an exciting sail up to the race finish line just off St Catherine’s point on the Isle of Wight – although the voyage was going on to London, only the first half was a race.

At sea

The wind died down during Wednesday and a combination of sailing and motoring saw them passing Dungeness early that afternoon, and arriving on the Isle of Sheppey in the Medway a couple of hours later. The crew played games and had dinner followed by an early night and the first 8-hour sleep in 4 days. Then we motored up the Thames and through the Thames barrier to a fantastic berth right next to Tower Bridge.

Next morning, HRH The Countess of Wessex, Patron of the Association of Sail Training Organisations, came on board John Laing, steered us off the berth and down the river towards West India Docks. She spent time talking to the crew who had done the race, and her enthusiasm and interest made it a great day for the young crew members, volunteers and staff.



We also had a great time in the crew parade:

Crew parade

Crew parade

Members of the Association of Sail Training Organisations had been asked to nominate a young person to give a speech at a reception on board Tenacious to an audience including many other dignitaries as well as HRH The Countess of Wessex. OYT South was very proud that the young person chosen was our own nominee, Jack Dignan, then aged 17 (and later to go on to become a second mate and, for a while, our Youth Trustee).

Jack's speech was outstanding - so much so that Dr Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, who was in the audience, told him he should be a future Minister for Education. You can read the speech here.

Jack Dignan

In 2015 we had a crew divided between expert young dinghy sailors from the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, and others recruited by HMS President: including some from the London Tigers. After a night in Cowes and some drills and sail training, they got through the Needles, hoisted the cruising chute and were off towards the Channel Islands, a flying passage in glorious sunshine all the way to about 15 miles north of Alderney where they dropped the cruising chute again. On to Guernsey and then another fast passage back to Cowes before the young people deposed the sea staff and took charge of getting the vessel safely back to Ocean Village.


In this week’s newsletter in 2016, the priority on board was celebrating third mate Jake’s 18th birthday - having completed his assessment on his previous voyage, he was now sailing as a fully-qualified watchleader on the very first day he was old enough to do so. They sailed to Cowes and Poole before a fast passage to Cherbourg and an even faster passage to Alderney, arriving for a magical afternoon of shore leave, beach and ice cream.


Next we had another voyage largely for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation plus some individual bookings including a 16-year old Lauren Mackenzie, current Youth Trustee and now a second mate. They sailed to Cherbourg and met the Sea Cadets’ TS Vigilant … leading to a water fight between the two vessels on the way to Alderney next day. The passage back to the Solent was so quick that all the careful calculations about arriving for a fair tide were undone by getting there too early! After dinner moored on a buoy off Yarmouth, they did a night pilotage exercise on a passage to Ocean Village which at times reached 12 knots of boat speed.


All 12 of the young people earned recommendations to come back and train as volunteer sea staff if they wished to - only the second time we can remember a whole crew getting sea staff recommendations.


In 2017 we had made the switch from John Laing to Prolific and in this week we were sailing from Ipswich with the MACS charity which supports children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes. Six of the crew and two of our own sea staff on this voyage were partially-sighted. They decided to lock out of Ipswich at 1am in order not to be constrained by lock times next day, and had a few hours at anchor in the River Stour before motoring round to Ramsgate with no wind at all. Glorious sunshine and a visit to the beach next day before Prolific set off past Dover and on to the Solent where their arrival coincided with the start of the big Cowes-Torquay powerboat race, an amazing spectacle. Not the only impressive sight of the voyage as they also went up Portsmouth harbour to see the Royal Navy’s vast new aircraft carrier. Three people passed third mate assessments on this voyage, including Robbie Crow from MACS.



Next we had an individual voyage sailing to Weymouth and back – the skipper was concerned on the first day that it seemed to be a very quiet group but this worry evaporated long before the end!


They also went to see the new aircraft carrier:


The next voyage was designed to offer some more advanced training to some of our under-25 sea staff plus others who have been recommended for volunteer training or were hoping to earn their recommendations. Tacking exercises, chartwork, man overboard recovery drills under both sail and power, reefing drills, pilotage exercises in and out of Lymington, sail hoists and drops – plus a cracking sail round the south of the Isle of Wight, and back into the Solent via the Needles.

At sea

Niamh Lamin completed her Bosun assessment on this voyage, a great achievement since she has a significant visual impairment.

In 2018 we were just leaving Brixham's MDL marina where we had enjoyed superb hospitality and support over the summer. To cap a wonderful summer, marina staff even presented us with a fabulous cake:


The forecast was for a whole week of very light winds and a mix of sailing and motoring took them to Guernsey and Cherbourg. They motored back across the Channel in almost no wind but filled the passage with all sorts of activities – timed exercises to see which watch could reef the sails fastest, for example. Competitive spirit kicked in and the teams not involved in each reef decided to “help” their opponents with water pistols… They also had training sessions on points of sail and rules of the road, before ending the day on a buoy outside Yarmouth.

At sea


Saturday again produced some unexpected wind - a good force 3 - and there was plenty of enthusiasm to learn as much as they could about sailing, following triangular courses with lots of tacking and gybing and sail trim, before the traditional night pilotage exercise back to Southampton.

Then we were joined by a new client, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. All the young people on board had undergone treatment for cancer. They had generally sailed before through the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust but that had largely involved short trips within the Solent so they were keen to do something more ambitious. An 0600 start from Yarmouth allowed them to enjoy the sunrise as they passed the Needles and a great sail to Weymouth with the favourable tide. On the way they came across the Jubilee Sailing Trust vessel Tenacious but sadly were unsuccessful with a plan to get them to transfer tartare sauce for our lunchtime fishfinger sandwiches!

In Weymouth there was plenty of ice cream, games, showers, dinner and bed. Next day they sailed to Poole and enjoyed a sunset which made it look as though Prolific had been covered in gold leaf - huge thanks to Iain McAllister for taking this photo and giving us permission to use it:


Back in the Solent, everyone agreed that the partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust was a success and should be repeated. Many of the crew did get tired quite easily but a striking feature of the week was how often people found that if they were given the opportunity, they were able to achieve much more than they might have expected.

This time last year, a mixed group of individual bookings sailed from Poole to Guernsey:



It was a whole week of very early starts to catch the tide – the young people did particularly well to be on deck and ready for the day which began at 0400:


It was worth it as they caught the tide and were moored in Alderney by 0830 and all able to go back to bed for the morning! They got up for lunch and then had the opportunity to spend the whole of the rest of the day on the beach, with games, training towards their certificates and more.


Next day they had an extravagant lie-in until 0700 and headed back across the Channel in light winds, managing to hoist our cruising chute (sponsored by the Whirlwind Charitable Trust) which, at 300 square metres is considerably bigger than a tennis court (260 sq m).

Cruising chute

Next day they planned some challenging navigation: the goal was to get our vessel track to write the letters “OYT” in the Solent – a really tricky feat given the tide and the need to keep out of the way of other vessels:


At sea

Millie Doodson successfully completed a third mate's assessment on this voyage.

Next we sailed with 1475 Squadron Dulwich Air Cadets. They headed east out of the Solent and then back all around the south of the Isle of Wight. The wind was stronger than forecast but this was a fantastic group and though many of them found it challenging they really worked hard to get Prolific to Poole for the night.

At sea

After a night at anchor in Swanage they headed back through the Needles and took charge of the navigation back to Ocean Village that night - fifteen air cadets working with first mate Martyn, who used to be an air traffic controller but between them they did a great job at sea level!

Andy Gissing successfully completed his First Mate's assessment on this voyage:


Which brings us almost up to the present day! Please send in your contributions for future issues.

We hope these forays into the past are entertaining you while we cannot sail at the moment – and reminding everyone of the value of what we do!

Back to index

Financial appeal

Huge thanks to all our supporters and friends who have already responded with such kindness and generosity to our appeal this year. We are not thanking everyone individually in the bulletin only because quite a few people have asked to remain anonymous; but we are truly grateful to all of you. Everyone who has contributed and is still contributing is playing a huge part in getting us through this long period with no voyage income, and ensuring that the charity will be strong enough to do important work with young people who will need us more than ever, as soon as we can safely sail again.

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.

Back to index

2021 draft sailing programme

We are just in the process of making some revisions to our draft 2021 sailing programme, partly because we now have dates for some races and events which will require changes to the original draft, but also because we want to make sure there is extra time for thorough cleaning of the boat between voyages, which has ruled out those occasions when two voyages were scheduled in quick succession without much of a gap between them. Once that is finalised, we’ll send it to everyone who lost a voyage this year so that clients who want to can pick replacement dates.

Back to index

OYT South social media – please get involved
One of the simplest ways you can help us while we can’t sail is to keep looking at our social media pages and share, retweet or like as many posts as possible. This all helps to make sure other people hear about us too – and the more we can keep alive the interest in our charitable work, the more people might help us now or start to think about sailing with us in future. Maybe you’ve got a community group, a local page, even a street WhatsApp where members might like to know that you are involved with a charity that could be of interest to them?

Lots of people are working hard to keep up a flow of interesting posts but we need more of you to engage with them! We’re currently running quizzes, a poetry section and regular takeovers where different people take charge of adding things to our Facebook page for a couple of days. Fundraising runner Nathan Kelsall has done a takeover, as has Charles Kingston who played the piano for us, and the Brown and Parker families; and there are some great new things in the pipeline – big thanks to our Youth Trustee Lauren Mackenzie who is organising it. PLEASE do have a look!

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, 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.

Back to index

Online training courses for volunteers - why not get qualified and improve your skills now?
If you can't get involved in your normal activities over the coming weeks, maybe it's a good time to think about some qualifications and training? 

Our friends at SeaRegs Training have online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. And OYT South second mate Dom Coleman also runs an excellent sea school offering RYA online courses fully supported by phone, email or video.

OYT South offers basic navigation training in-house through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - and we can also arrange the PPR course (RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities) for sea staff. 

Please do ask for advice if you are not sure which courses are right for you.

We also offer a range of courses outside sailing and navigation, for our volunteers - including vital courses on Safeguarding and Food Hygiene, as well as things like Mental Wellbeing in Sport and Physical Activity, Preventing Bullying, Online Safety, Concussion Awareness and all sorts of other things - do have a look. Just one £10 payment (special price available only to our volunteers and prospective volunteers) gives you access to ALL these courses.

It would be great if we could get back up and running with lots of our volunteers having additional skills and knowledge!

Back to index

Online fundraising - are you helping us raise funds?

OYT South is 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've also been mentioning Easyfundraising in this newsletter for a while but we know a lot of our supporters haven't tried it, so we just wanted to highlight how easy it is! All it takes is to go to Easyfundraising and sign up (which is extremely quick and simple). If you want (it's entirely up to you) then you can even install a donation reminder on your web browser so that whenever you do a search for online shopping, you'll see whether each seller offers donations and how much (it's still up to you whether to make a donation for any particular transaction) - and it won't cost you a penny. If, instead of doing a search, you go direct to a seller's website, you may get a popup showing that donations are available.

There are really significant donations available for some larger purchases, and it still doesn't cost you anything. Some charities are making substantial amounts of money through easyfundraising, so please try it if you can.

There's no cost to you, and all it does is remind you of donations available so you can't forget it when you shop online - you can still opt out any time you like.

Back to index

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!

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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

Back to index

“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte