These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 21st August 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."

Guidance also includes the following (affecting adults as well as children):

“You should:

  • only socialise indoors with members of up to 2 households ‒ this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • socialise outdoors in a group of up to 6 people from different households or up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household)
  • only stay overnight with your household (including your support bubble) and one other household
  • limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives. The more people with whom you interact, the more chances we give the virus to spread.”

Clearly there are other rules applying in specific settings, such as in a school, but at the moment we are not aware of any other guidelines that would apply to sail training and allow us to have members of more than two households below deck, or sleeping on board, or more than six peoplefrom different households interacting on deck. 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.

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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.

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* Prolific news
Big thanks to the team who are looking after Prolific at the moment!

Holly had a great session with the chart corrections – 99 corrections to bring us fully up to date!

Chart corrections

Tidy boat!

There has also been a massive deep clean of the boat interior and the engine and generator have been run up. The fresh water system has been flushed through and topped up again, and run through all the taps and foot pumps. All the heads have been flushed through as often as possible to stop smelly stagnant water collecting anywhere in the system. And in the last two nights there have been regular checks on the mooring lines in 40 knots of wind!

Strong winds

Ocean Village

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* 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 in 2004, the bulletin announced that we were sailing from Plymouth to Falmouth to Plymouth with a crew from the Devon and Cornwall police, but there weren’t many more details as apparently the phone line to the boat was very crackly and mostly what came through was a lot of giggling and the sentence “we went ZOOM a lot!”

That was followed by a crew from the Roundwood youth club in London who had been regular clients for several years. Margaret, the group leader, had done a fantastic job to get them all prepared for the voyage and they arrived armed with a lot of basic knowledge about sailing and knots. They started by sailing from Plymouth to Falmouth, where they were storm-bound for a day. The following day produced big waves, lots of “zoom”, and a fair number of sick-buckets in use. But they made it into Penzance, where the harbourmaster was outstandingly friendly and welcoming. Another day of zooming and sick buckets took them to Fowey and the voyage was apparently being much enjoyed by all, even those who had spent a lot of time staring into those buckets.

Meanwhile bosun Craig had had his left ear pierced and people were competing to buy him suitable earrings – generally offering pink, sparkly or dangly items designed to set off his muscles nicely. Sadly there are no photos in the records.

In 2005, John Laing was leaving the Kiel Canal after a complex crew change, owing to the fact that terrible weather the previous week meant the boat wasn’t quite in the intended place. Nearly everyone had managed to join in Rendsburg but the last two people had got as far as Cuxhaven by ferry in the morning and spent a whole day waiting for another ferry across the Elbe to Brunsbuttel, only to find that strong winds were preventing this ferry from running at all. They were then told that Cuxhaven to Brunsbuttel by train was impossible. Undeterred, they took the train to Hamburg, convinced that in a worst-case scenario it would be more comfortable to camp out there than in Cuxhaven (where all the hotels were full - owing to the Bremerhaven sailing festival). Somehow an onward train was discovered and they achieved the impossible, arriving in Brunsbuttel at 2330. The following day John Laing set off for … Cuxhaven! (Watchleader Matt: “I had seen enough of Cuxhaven the previous day to last a lifetime”).

From Cuxhaven they motored along the Dutch coast to Lauwersoog and had the following day free to see the area. Then on to Den Helder, in winds up to Force 7 and even rougher seas. Skipper Dave Carnson, with years of experience, said: “It was awful” – so all credit to the crew members who got through it with, in most cases, barely a week’s sailing experience behind them. Apparently there was a big oil rig which at 5 miles range was still disappearing behind the waves! However, most of the journey was done at 10-11 knots, with occasional bursts up to 12.5 knots, so at least the experience was over as quickly as possible. They had another well-deserved day off in Den Helder, which Dave described as wonderful – very friendly people and lots to see.

Leaving that night with a forecast of south westerly wind, they encountered another manifestation of the weather’s infinite variety: the North Sea like glass and not a trace of a breeze, and they motored in beautiful sunshine back to the UK. They anchored that night in the River Stour, where watchleader Cubie learned not to go on deck with a malfunctioning water pistol when everyone else was equipped with water bombs, buckets, and the fire hose!

In 2006, John Laing was in La Coruna for a great festival including a fabulous party for skipper Wolf’s birthday. As we approached the harbour, one of our crew was heard to say “Is there a McDonald’s in Coruna?” - this remark was greeted with horror by the two young Spanish crew members who had done this voyage with us and vowed on the spot to take their crew-mates into town and teach them about Spanish food. This only got better when it turned out that one of them had a friend who was a professional paella chef and came down to cook paella on board John Laing for the party. Here are our Spanish crew members Irene and Jorge, chopping oranges for punch with bosun Tristan:


After that, a new crew raced from La Coruna to Antwerp and were just heading into the Antwerp festival as the newsletter was being written.

In 2007 we were also enjoying a festival, this time in Szczecin in Poland - over 2 million visitors and festival activities on a tremendous scale. The boats were moored on both sides of the river, with funfairs, stalls and music stages on both sides. John Laing was moored right alongside the folk stage, and enjoyed day after day of fantastic folk music in English and Polish.


Most of the Tall Ships fleet left Szczecin on August 7th but John Laing was scheduled to stay on to enjoy skipper Wolf's birthday on August 8th. We had a chance to walk through the city and get a feel for the place which had been impossible among the festival crowds. By evening, we had almost all the incoming crew and sea staff, as well as several of the outgoing team, making up a group of more than 20 in a restaurant for Wolf's birthday dinner. We were joined by Pat Sheridan and his wife - Pat being one of the folk singers who had performed in the festival, and a sea shanty specialist.

Wolf with Pat Sheridan

Among other things, he was running a project working in Irish and Polish schools, working with pupils to keep traditional maritime songs alive. Pat sang some of his songs for Wolf's birthday and we ended up staying up half the night swapping songs. You can hear Pat singing with the Polish shanty group Brasy:

Some of the team flew home next day and the new crew covered the 30 miles or so of inland waterways to the coast. They stopped for a night in Swinoujscje, where they had to clear Customs - but found themselves in the middle of another festival, complete with funfair, fireworks and folk bands. The following day they motored (no wind) to Sassnitz in Germany, where they spent a night before leaving at lunchtime the following day and enjoying an amazing overnight sail as the Earth passed through an asteroid belt and the sky was alive with hundreds of shooting stars. The next stop was Warnemunde, a little seaside resort at the entrance to Rostock, where they had a day off, lunch out and an afternoon on the beach with a frisbee.

Next day they had a long sail to Heiligenhafen, during which they had Force 6 winds for the last hour - just about the only decent sailing breeze of the entire week. Apart from that it was all very hot with lots of sunbathing. The next day it looked as though there might be wind again, with 45 knots as they left and everyone rushing to put in lots of reefs. But the wind only lasted for a few minutes before dying away completely once again. They motored to Kiel where the voyage ended.

At sea

In this week in 2008, John Laing was in the Netherlands after racing from Bergen. With time in hand, the team explored a little before joining the festival, sailing to Enkhuizen and then using public transport for a day trip to Amsterdam while a few people did some essential work on board John Laing. Next day they were able to get to the Tall Ships festival in Den Helder in time to take part in all the activities.

Den Helder festival

In this week in 2009 we had just got back to Ipswich at the end of the Tall Ships race series, and had a final night out with our sidekicks on board Pegasus, from whom we had been inseparable for almost two months. This involved a highly adventurous walk through the woods to Pin Mill in total darkness … on the way back people were singing sea shanties just to keep in contact with crew mates they couldn’t see at all!

After a scheduled maintenance day, we began that year’s MDL Award Winners’ voyage, with half the crew selected by our sponsors, Marina Developments Ltd – young people who were doing really well despite substantial personal or family problems. The other half of the crew was made up of individual bookings. They left Woolverstone and just had a short trip down to Harwich for the first night. Next morning they had an 0600 start, and with a forecast of bad weather later on, skipper Wolf decided they should make as much progress as possible before things deteriorated. So they motored to a point somewhere between Dungeness and Beachy Head, where they were able to start sailing, and then headed west in building winds. They hove to in order to drop the mizzen and staysail and put a third reef in the main. The bulletin reported that during this operation, the watchleader was wetter than a fish on the foredeck and was completely under water at times, while the skipper and first mate, safe in the cockpit, both got their jeans slightly damp. I can now report that the first mate in the cockpit with Wolf was Simon Jinks, at the time Chief Cruising Instructor for the Royal Yachting Association – and the soaking watchleader was Andy Viney who went on to become our Staff Skipper for several years. To be fair, he doesn’t look too unhappy:


In 2010 we were stuck in Hartlepool in bad weather. A local outdoor activity provider, the West View Project, very kindly came in specially on what should have been a day off and organised canoeing and kayaking for our crew in the marina at no charge.



We really were grateful to everyone in Hartlepool who helped us through what would otherwise have been a difficult couple of days.

Towards the end of the voyage, the wind had eased but there wasn’t time to make the nearest available ports to the south, so, in order that the crew should get at least some sailing, they left on the evening tide and did a night sail up to North Shields, which most people enjoyed hugely, and returned to Hartlepool again.

The next crew were very understanding about having to start their voyage in Hartlepool rather than Ipswich as expected. Ten of them travelled up together by train from London, which meant at least they had a chance to get to know one another before setting off – which happened almost as soon as the safety briefings were completed, since they had to complete twice the distance originally intended. They did 48 hours non-stop at sea, zooming down the east coast at great speed to end up in Dover for a night before setting off again towards Eastbourne, tired but in high spirits.

The bulletin in 2011 began with John Laing at a festival in Halmstad, Sweden. A routine maintenance day in Halmstad revealed a small amount of damage to part of John Laing’s rigging, but as the forecast for our planned departure day was utterly dire, it was no hardship to wait a day for better weather while the rig was fixed. UK suppliers sorted out some spare parts at very short notice and Ben “Sparky” Whinnett drove around to collect the parts and then flew out to Sweden to bring them to us.

Reports from the vessels which had left Halmstad ahead of us only proved the wisdom of waiting a day, as they were out in strong winds, big seas and thunderstorms.  The weather in Halmstad was very dramatic and crew member Jack Trevail won that year’s Chris Ellis award with this fantastic painting of the night in Halmstad:

Jack Trevail's painting

By the next day it had all blown through and we were able to leave in relatively calm conditions - indeed we had to motor quite a bit due to lack of wind! We went west and then south, through the Belt and under a vast road bridge between the islands of Fyn and Sjaelland, in the middle of the night with a container ship coming up behind us.

After a night at the British Army Yacht Club in Kiel, we entered the Kiel Canal through the lock, for a 61-mile passage through the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world; over 43,000 vessels passed through in one recent year - excluding small craft.

Kiel Canal

Vessels have to motor in the canal but we had planned lots of activities to make up for the lack of sailing, with RYA training, games and a lot of music. We spent a night in Rendsburg, part-way along the canal, with time to explore ashore. Next day we were some way behind our cruising partner Black Diamond when we got a call to say she had engine trouble, so we took her in tow while they sorted things out, and arrived in the Brunsbuttel lock together. Here it started raining like a biblical flood - a cup of tea passed on deck became a cup of rainwater in seconds.


This continued through the whole time in the lock and as we motored out into the River Elbe, it brought the visibility right down - with the added joy that if you hung a pair of binoculars round your neck, the eye-pieces instantly filled up with water. We sloshed and squelched and dripped the 17 miles to Cuxhaven, where things finally cleared up - though there was a short delay while the bridge operator insisted there was not enough depth of water for “Long John” while the harbour master, with whom we had booked the berth, assured us there was! Much drying out was followed by shore leave.

We had a crew change in Cuxhaven and the incoming team was an all-star cast with the great majority having sailed in John Laing before, including several young bosuns and others who have had sea staff recommendations. As a result skipper James said there were more people wanting to take on extra responsibilities than there were responsibilities to be had! But they sailed to Heligoland on the first evening, and then had the following morning ashore. The next stage was a 24-hour passage to Den Helder.

In 2012’s bulletin this week we reported that the Tall Ships race from La Coruna to Dublin had been delayed owing to very bad weather. Some of the fleet started the race next day - all the big square-rigged Class A vessels, which cope well with strong winds from astern, but very few of the smaller Class B, C and D vessels, which were leaving La Coruna at intervals depending on the skippers’ decisions about what was safe for each particular vessel and crew. John Laing’s team generally felt there are far worse things in life than being forced to spend a few extra days in La Coruna! There was a mini-Olympics on the beach between all the boats; there was a rowing race; trainee watchleader Cami celebrated her 18th birthday; there was an expedition to Santiago de Compostela; and it was so windy that the skipper almost got blown off his chair while sitting outside a cafe...

La Coruna

Plenty of time had been allowed for the voyage to Dublin so we knew we could still get there for the scheduled voyage end.

Fast forward to 2015 and John Laing had a great voyage from the Solent to London. They were able to pick up a buoy near Cowes and watch some of the cream of British yacht racing. Then they set off for Dieppe - a great sail averaging 7 knots all the way across - and found that Dieppe had laid on fireworks and a rap concert. John Laing’s crew remained undecided regarding French rap ...

After a full day in Dieppe they set off at 6am next morning in a dead calm, motoring along the coast to Calais and doing fire drills and other exercises. Then they crossed over to the UK side, found a little wind, and continued alternately sailing and motoring to Queenborough, where they went to bed for the morning, got up for lunch and had a great afternoon of tacking and gybing in the Medway.

Next morning the young people took charge of the boat and navigated her all the way to the Thames Barrier, where they found a nice south-westerly wind and managed to short-tack all the way up the Thames from the Barrier as far as Tower Bridge - a really fantastic day’s sailing!



While John Laing was continuing with her normal programme, this was the week when the newsletter announced that Prolific, which we had bought a few weeks earlier in Norway, had arrived in Ocean Village, Southampton! A team of sea staff had sailed her across the North Sea and then down via Peterhead and Lowestoft.


David Marshall very kindly took some of us out into the Solent to welcome Prolific to her new home – among the welcoming party were Kit Power, governor of the charity in the 1960s, and our then-newest watchleader Jack Dignan - aged 81 and 18 respectively, and a great symbol of the spirit of the charity and the thread that unites all OYC / OYT sailors down the years:

Jack and Kit

In 2016 we reported on the first voyage for a brand-new charity: Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, from Newham in East London, supporting young people with multiple needs. The charity was only officially registered in June that year, though plans for this voyage had been in train for some months. They sent us a group of young people including several with conditions such as ADHD and autism, plus two adult leaders, and they joined the boat in Plymouth. After a beat to windward in a force 6 they enjoyed pasties and ice cream in Salcombe, and went on to Dartmouth on a beautiful sunny day. By the time of the last passage to Brixham, some of the crew were starting to lead the sail hoists, while Skipper Ed tried to eat his own body weight in fish fingers. The group organiser back in London told us: “Many thanks - as it was one of AAA’s first projects I was nervous! The feedback I have received has been brilliant, please pass on my sincere thanks for all that they have given to make a great experience for everyone. I look forward to working together again in 2017.”

At sea

In 2017, Prolific was heading home from the Baltic via the Kiel Canal, where the marina where they stopped for the night was very helpful despite the fact that it wasn’t actually the marina we had booked! There are conflicting stories about how on earth this happened and readers who know Mark Todd and Jonathan Cheshire can decide who to believe…

Kiel Canal

They left at 0630 next day and had a great motor along the canal with plenty to keep people amused - Di Roberts led the entertainment. They had a party in Cuxhaven before that crew flew home – and Staff Engineer Josh completed his second mate’s assessment!

The next crew made their way out of the Elbe estuary and down past the Frisian Islands. The wind filled in during the afternoon and they had a lovely sail on through into a clear night with lots of stars, arriving in Harlingen after 24 hours and 198 nautical miles - not bad as a first passage for those who were new to it. Next day it was an early start to get into the Ijsselmeer, aiming for Amsterdam.

At sea

In 2018 we were in the West Country, anchoring in Anstey's Cove on the first night of the voyage and then having an exciting time in some big winds before making it round to Dartmouth and some shore leave. Next day the forecast was for reasonable weather first thing but getting much worse later on, so they had a 5am start and got into Plymouth for 11am, which gave them plenty of time to train for their RYA qualifications, go ashore for showers, and play lots of games. They encountered some big waves when they tried to leave Plymouth as this video shows, and the decision was taken to head for Cawsand: pasties, ice-cream and a movie night on board. Another video shows how to get through washing up dinner for 21 people in record time. Next day they had an absolute blast of a sail down to Fowey with lots of tacking and everyone fully involved. They arrived in time for a trip to the beach, and were soon joined by other sail training vessels, Moosk, Tectona and Pegasus.

On the last full day the boat was handed over to the young people who took on roles as navigators, watchleaders and bosuns and did a fantastic job - they really rose to the challenge and did a very good job indeed. Lots of hard work and a great sunset! They anchored overnight before ending the voyage in Brixham.

At sea

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!

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Facebook takeover weekends – does anyone else want to do one?
Those of you who follow our Facebook page ( will know that for several months we have been running weekend “takeovers” where different people produce several posts explaining their involvement with Ocean Youth Trust South or the Ocean Youth Club and what it has meant to them. It’s been a great way to get to know a wide range of supporters – from longstanding skippers to our newest young volunteers, and from those who are relatively new to the charity to those with tales from decades ago. If there’s anyone who hasn’t yet done a weekend but would like to, please email and we’ll explain how it works.

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Financial appeal

Huge thanks also 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.

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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.

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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.

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Useful links for young people, parents and others 
We've been posting a series of education resources and activities for parents, grandparents and other carers who are currently educating and entertaining young people at home.

Thanks to Jon Seddon for this British Antarctic Survey link with resources for primary and secondary pupils – or anyone who likes penguins …

From the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Captain James Maltby’s colouring books for younger children. (Caz likes the Walrus in Book 5 …)

The Met Office site for discovering maths and science through weather and climate, with resources for 7-11 year olds and 11-14 year olds.

And a site about climate change.

There are also educational and environmental activities for young sailors here from The Green Blue, the joint environmental awareness programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine.

The RNLI provides quizzes, colouring packs and more on their page of educational resources for young people, and there are videos and more, with categories for different age ranges: everything from lower primary (age 3-7) to upper secondary (14-18) and all groups in between.

A fantastic set of resources from the 1851 Trust, the official charity of the British America's Cup campaign, on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) for 11-16 year olds.

Trinity House, which looks after the safety of shipping and the well-being of seafarers: "Buoys, beacons and bananas" education resources to help pupils learn about shipping, seafaring and safety.

And Childline's webpage with information for children and young people about coronavirus. The page includes information about: what coronavirus is; where children and young people can find help if they are worried; coping if they are staying at home; and what to do if they are feeling unwell - all written to be accessible for children.

If you spot any other useful links which we might include in future editions, do please send them in.

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Online training coursesfor 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!

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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.

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