These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 28th 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 people from 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
Extra big thanks this week to Holly who has so kindly been looking after Prolific on a voluntary basis for the last few months! She now has a job and is moving on, and we’ll use the flexible furlough scheme to have Josh looking after Prolific for the coming weeks as needed. So the boat will be in great condition to return to sailing when it’s safe.

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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 the bulletin for this week in 2004, relief skipper Steve Furness was having a good voyage with a youth group from Bedfordshire on board. Bosun for the week was Ollie Watts who had only just turned 16 and the newsletter presented most of the voyage news in terms of What Ollie Did, starting with the boat leaving Plymouth in a Force 6 and sailing to Fowey: Ollie found that unprepping the anchor while going to windward in these conditions could be quite a damp experience. After arriving at Fowey at 0200, Ollie had to get up in the morning and spend some time stitching the mainsail (a new sail was on order at the time and was clearly badly needed….). They then sailed to Lezardrieux so fast that the office team actually wondered if the satellite tracking system was faulty. Arriving in the narrow approach channel, the engine started to overheat. Ollie scrambled to the engine room, opened the door and was met with a cloud of what he thought was smoke. Fortunately, after some uncomfortable and alarming moments, it turned out to be dripping coolant which was evaporating; the problem was simply with the pump impeller, which Ollie had to replace as they sailed up and down the channel. Then while they spent a day in Lezardrieux, Ollie did more mainsail sewing…. The next passage to Guernsey was less eventful for the bosun, and by the following day when they sailed to Alderney, he was on top of things -  when informed that on a previous voyage, the bosun had been kidnapped in Alderney as part of a game, Ollie reckoned he was happy for anyone to try – bearing in mind that he was not exactly a small lad (in the sense in which the sea is not dry and the sun is not cold).

In 2005 the relief skipper was Dave Carnson and the crew were the annual MDL Award Winners – and the bosun was Ollie Watts again! They planned to sail to Ostend on the first full day but the forecast was for a bit too much wind for a long introductory passage, so they went to Ramsgate instead. The following day they were able to sail across to Breskens in Holland. After a few minutes looking for a berth in the harbour, Ollie came on deck and announced that the engine was very hot. Skipper Dave quickly put the boat on the nearest berth he could find and dived below to investigate the problem – to find that Ollie had not turned the seacock back on after cleaning out the raw water filter earlier, so no cooling water was reaching the engine. No harm done, the engine cooled quickly once the seacock was open again, and Ollie was far from the only bosun to make this mistake. The key thing is to spot it in time!

The following day the boat took full revenge on Ollie as they crossed to Flushing and headed up the canal to Middleburg, as the toilets got blocked (inadequate flushing in Flushing?). The next stage of the trip, happily, proved entirely problem-free: a cruise in the inland waterways in glorious shorts-and-t-shirts weather, with perfectly flat seas. That was followed by Ostende, for a good run ashore and lots of Belgian chocolates. As evening drew on, they were all set for a relaxing night to be followed by a sail back to the UK in reasonable conditions – until the forecast was updated and the next day was set to be force 8 or 9. A quick decision was made to set off straight away and get back to the UK ahead of the weather – with a big rush to get out through the lock in time! Dave couldn’t speak highly enough of how well the crew – all complete novices a few days earlier – had mastered the jobs involved in getting the boat ready for sea and how cheerfully and effectively they were able to put their new skills into practice when the pressure was really on. They successfully completed the crossing before the bad weather hit: a fantastic passage in an easy breeze with clear stars followed by a great sunrise. They were safely anchored in the River Stour by the time the wind got stronger, and the following day the voyage ended with a short passage up to Ipswich.

In this week in 2006 we were sailing with a crew from Roundwood Youth Club in Brent, who joined us in Antwerp to participate in an impressive parade of sail which marked the end of the 50th anniversary Tall Ships race. We had a water fight with the Tall Ships Youth Trust vessel Prince William. Our crew member Pratish turned out to be an expert with a water balloon as witnesses say that he not only got the Captain of Prince William but also the Pilot!

We then sailed down the River Schelde and along the coast to Flushing and up to Middleburg, voted as the favourite port for this crew … though crew member Robert said the best thing about Middleburg was “the rice pudding cake with chocolate and jam”. The next two ports, Ostend and Dieppe, made it three countries in three days, with crew member Krissie loving the overnight passage to Dieppe: “it was so fascinating how the stars and sky and sea collided together“. The voyage ended with an epic beat across channel to Southampton in winds up to Force 6 and an 0500 arrival in Ocean Village which involved sailing alongside the harbour wall and then warping on to the berth as the engine was not behaving. In bed at 0600 and the crew were up again at 0700 to clean the boat before leaving!

We had a Roundwood crew again in this week in 2007 who joined us in Kiel and brough John Laing back through the canal with a stop in Rendbsurg. Next stop was Heligoland, a tiny island 30 miles offshore - now German but previously under Danish and even British rule. It's now tax-exempt and most of its half-mile length is crammed with duty-free shops. Having arrived around midnight on Saturday, the crew spent Sunday morning ashore before undertaking a 150nm passage to Den Helder, in perfect weather - sunshine and a good following breeze, enabling them to complete much of the trip at speeds of eight or nine knots, until the wind died overnight. They enjoyed an afternoon ashore, and then began another long passage across the North Sea. This started with a decent sailing breeze but gradually increased until they had a Force 8 gale - fortunately from aft of the beam, allowing some spectacular sailing and a boat speed that reached 13 knots. This meant that they reached Woolverstone Marina outside Ipswich at 4am, rather than 10am as anticipated. Back in the UK after two months overseas – and Ben Martin passed his second mate's assessment during the voyage.

For the third year in a row it was the Roundwood group in this week in 2008, this time joining in Den Helder to catch the end of the Tall Ships festivities, including a superb fireworks display, and the year’s final parade of sail. John Laing then sailed and motored through the inland sea to Den Oever, where they spent a night before proceeding through a series of locks to Amsterdam, where everyone had time ashore. When they finally emerged into the North Sea at Ijmuiden, they found Force 7 winds and very rough conditions. Initial excitement about the big waves kept people enthused through the first stages, but eventually the thrill died down and the buckets came out before a tough night’s sailing round the wind farms. They finally made it to Lowestoft for the end of the voyage.

This week’s newsletter in 2009 reported on the end of that year’s MDL Award Winners’ voyage, with a Red Arrows display and all the crew getting involved in navigation with support from first mate Simon Jinks. Plenty of enthusiastic young people:



Joe Parker passed his second mate assessment on this voyage and Andy Viney earned a recommendation to start training as a first mate! This photo is not in focus but seems worth including as Andy and Joe look drenched and exhausted – clearly they had to work hard to impress Wolf and Simon!

Andy and Joe

Lucinda Neall organised many of the young people on the next voyage but  they had a week of really difficult weather – one parent even rang the office to say she had been tracking the vessel online and they didn’t seem to be going anywhere. But there were gales or really uncomfortable conditions all week, and the sea staff worked hard to deliver an energetic and entertaining trip in trying circumstances, venturing out into the Solent when possible and otherwise organising plenty of entertainment in harbour:

At sea


In this week in 2012 we reported on a delayed passage from La Coruna to Dublin when a Tall Ships race faced very bad weather. We eventually set off in a group of five vessels and for the first 24 hours had some extremely fast sailing but in such rough seas that very few people enjoyed it! Then the wind died away to absolutely nothing. The five boats all retired from the race and started motoring.

At sea


At sea


Various activities filled in the time and a lot of bread was baked! Then off the Scillies the wind filled in again and they had a really good sail for another 24 hours before heading to Wicklow for a night. On the way in they had a water fight with the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s Lord Nelson. This did not go well for us as they were much bigger and could aim downwards at us. Plus they had a water cannon. Then it started raining so much that skipper James wondered why they had bothered to have a water fight at all! They left Wicklow on Wednesday morning and flew up the coast to Dublin - such a good sail that they delayed lunch simply because no-one could bear to go below and miss a second of it. In Dublin they visited the Guinness Museum:


Cami Rothe was signed off as a qualified third mate on the first voyage she could possibly do it, in the week of her 18th birthday. The bosun was quite young too:


The newsletter for this week in 2013 covered the end of a voyage with a passage from the Frisian Islands to Ipswich. All three watches included a trainee mate and all three passed third mate assessments: Charlotte Sullivan, Mollie Crawford (the third generation of her family to sail as sea staff with us!), and Sam Rawlinson (later to join that family!).

The next crew joined in Woolverstone, including that year’s MDL Award Winners and two Canadians on exchange who had been with us since Cuxhaven. They had a great south coast cruise, getting as far as Weymouth before John Laing returned to Ocean Village after 79 days away.



Next came a voyage with the Prince’s Trust: lots of fun and games plus sailing in sunshine and good breezes:


In this week in 2014, we were – unusually – starting a voyage in Mylor, with a beautiful anchorage in the River Fal on the first night and then a long, fast passage to the Isles of Scilly and an anchorage in St Agnes and a day ashore. Then another long passage down to Tréguier in Brittany. Shore leave there revealed the unexpected highlight of … a pizza vending machine! From their anchorage outside town and away from any light pollution they were able to enjoy some amazing shooting stars, before heading back to Plymouth next day and arriving in time for fish and chips.


The next crew joined to find a very challenging forecast and all dreams of the Isles of Scilly or France were dashed. They anchored in Cawsand on the first night and then made it to a buoy in Dartmouth, waking next day to weather that can be officially described as “gipping”:




A quick dash round the corner to Brixham to wring themselves out – they actually needed to put the heating on, even in August, as everyone was so cold and wet. Then Plymouth and on to Falmouth - a cracking sail in winds up to Force 6, tough headsail changes, lots of hard work and a great effort by the crew in very wet conditions - and all the way up the Truro River to find our friends Tectona and Pegasus. Finally it was time to go into the Tall Ships festival in Falmouth.

At sea


In this week in 2015, John Laing had a couple of days with various visitors in London, before being joined by our annual group of visually impaired young people from the MACS charity. They sailed down the Thames to Gravesend with a running commentary from watchleader Jack who had studied the river for a school project!

It rained a lot the next day but as it wasn’t cold the crew decided they would just think of it as “liquid sunshine”! But they deserved better luck and found it when they were able to buy a chocolate fountain from a charity shop in Ramsgate…

Next came a good sail down to Dover – including a fly-past by the Red Arrows – and on towards the Solent, with lots of music, singing and flapjacks, and some beautiful night sailing. A Mexican wave for the cruise ship, Oriana, got some waving in return but not from all 2,636 people on board, the figure we heard them declare on the radio!


Just a year before, Jack Dignan had been a new MACS crew member and this time he was back for a MACS voyage as a qualified watchleader!


It was a MACS crew again for this week in 2016, joining in Dartmouth for an event with ASTO (the Association of Sail Training Organisations). On Sunday there was a short practice race, in which John Laing won some fudge as the prize for “most helpful boat” - one of the race marks wasn’t quite in the expected position and was hard to find in poor visibility, but having found it, John Laing broadcast the position on the VHF for everyone else.

Next day the entire fleet left Dartmouth in a parade of sail, and then raced to Gosport, with the crew making a brilliant effort in light winds and managing to come first in class C and fifth overall! They enjoyed a crew parade through the centre of Gosport, followed by the prize-giving.



In this week in 2017, Prolific was in Amsterdam and had time ashore before sailing back into the North Sea via Ijmuiden.

Inland waterways

Inland waterways


They met bouncy and challenging conditions, but a combination of sail and motor got them through the crossing back to the UK where they passed Harwich and anchored in the River Stour.

At sea

This was our first season with Prolific so when the office team had a call from Associated British Ports we briefly wondered if we were somehow in trouble – but it turned out that they thought the boat looked so impressive they wanted to issue a press release about Prolific’s first visit to the harbour as an OYT South vessel!

That brought Prolific back to the UK after 56 days overseas, during which time she visited 8 countries (Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands). 80 young crew members took part, as well as 9 staff and 39 adult volunteers, 10 of whom were aged 25 or under.

In 2018 we ran a voyage for the Harrow Club W10, which is based near Grenfell Tower and has been doing some fantastic work with young people affected by the fire. They joined the boat in Brixham and had a west country cruise with lots of anchoring and ice-cream. Hannah Brown was signed off as a second mate on this voyage and there were some great moments with the young people!



The next voyage involved a mixed crew of individuals - some new to Prolific, while others had sailed with us before but for local coastal sailing. There was therefore considerable excitement when it became clear that everyone on this voyage had a passport and it would be possible to plan something ambitious! They started with a passage from Brixham to Roscoff, with shore leave including football and relaxing in a French café.


The next morning, the decision was made to sail somewhere new, where Prolific had never been before: L’Aber Wrac’h in North West Brittany. The wind was very light so they ended up motoring the last bit but the pilotage into L’Aber Wrac’h was a great challenge around some interesting rocks. Then back across the Channel to Cawsands in a robust force 5 - 6 with fairly lumpy seas. Bad weather was forecast so they holed up in Dartmouth while it went through, before sailing to Elberry Cove to anchor for the crew to prepare a night pilotage back into Brixham after 323 nautical miles. On arrival, a couple of crew members treated everyone to an impromptu rap about Prolific and everyone on board!

At sea

This time last year we had had a day in Plymouth avoiding bad weather. Things eased next day and the team were able to sail to Fowey and enjoy time ashore there and lots of games on board. Next morning they followed a racing fleet out of the harbour and then made their way to Portscatho. Then on Monday they had a long downwind sail back to Brixham with lots of gybes and reefs going in and out.

At sea

At sea

The last part of the passage was a night sail, with the moon rising as the sails were dropped.

The next voyage was very special. Poole Harbour Boat Show had worked very hard to raise funds for young people from Dorset to sail with us and we had had a big appeal in the spring asking people to nominate exceptionally deserving winners. We had been overwhelmed by the quality and number of submissions - lots of young people who had not had the easiest time but who had done really well, in many case making a really positive contribution to their families or communities or putting in immense effort to overcome problems.

The first fifteen winners all joined the boat in Brixham and had a beautiful evening sail to Dartmouth that day. In fact the skipper commented that the group as a whole was unusually appreciative of the beauty of the sea and the places they visited. Next day they had a big sail to Cawsand, outside Plymouth, a bit challenging in a strong breeze, but seeing loads of dolphins made up for any hardship. Next day started with fog but once things lifted they were able to make their way to Salcombe with the young people getting involved with navigation and using the radar, making fog signals and doing fixes with the handbearing compass.

At sea

At sea

In Salcombe they had time ashore for ice cream and a trip to the beach, and next day they sailed round to Hope Cove for lunch and fishing, and then back to Brixham for the evening and hot showers – the sail round was memorable for people having an amazing time on the bowsprit watching the dolphins!

The following day it was the big hit back to Dorset, 70 nautical miles in no wind which could have been dull for the young people but instead they had loads of fun on the way and lots of exercises including fire and abandon ship drills. They went initially to Studland where they enjoyed an incredible sunset and the young people were divided into teams to plan and take charge of the pilotage in darkness into Poole – which they did with an RNLI escort provided by the dad of one of our crew members!


They were alongside by 10pm having sailed 174 nautical miles, and next day had the boat clean and ready for the arrival of families for pizza, provided by the Poole team. To crown it all, Holly Vint successfully completed the first stage of a two-part skipper's assessment.

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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* Report on a memorable voyage
– by Andrew Wilkes
It’s too easy to assume that longer durations and exotic locations might make the best voyages; but first mate Andrew Wilkes – who has sailed in some of the most dramatic places in the world, and wrote the pilot book for the Arctic & Northern Waters - explains how just two days covering 47 miles from Southampton to Cowes and back to Southampton can still work sail training magic.

Andrew teaches a crew member to fill in Prolific's logbook

Andrew says:

“I wrote the following ‘Log” for the Royal Cruising Club who sponsored this voyage. It was a typical voyage on Prolific and I like it for that reason. The trip took place in over a weekend in October 2017 with a crew of young people from the Vyne School in Basingstoke.

The School has been commended for tackling problems associated with behaviour, special educational needs and vulnerable students. Much of the credit for this commendation must go to teachers Mary Pavey and Penny Conduct (“Miss Conduct”!) who were taking their fourth group of students out sailing with Ocean Youth Trust South. Money at the school is tight and no student has been more than once. Mary said that students from the first trip in 2013 were still benefiting from the experience - they still talk about what they learnt “overcoming hardships”, “teamwork” and “living with other people.”

Teaching staff on the bowsprit

In addition to the two teachers, the sea staff on this trip comprised Dougie the skipper, watch leaders Dave and Cami, bosun Charles, extra mate Peta and me (first mate). The “young people,” who were between 13 and 15 years old, had been carefully selected by Mary who had specific objectives for each of them. Most had “issues” ranging from behaviour problems to being a Young Carer taking on responsibility for running and caring for a family.  A common objective was to boost confidence. Other objectives included speaking to others and avoiding negative behaviour. When they were told that the Royal Cruising Club would pay for their trip, they had been overwhelmed that strangers” would care about them.

It was a slightly nervous group that came together on the evening of Friday 13th October. We assembled at 8pm on Prolific which was berthed in Ocean Village marina. Berths were allocated, chocolate biscuits eaten, lifejackets issued, toilets explained, galley safety taught, fire, sinking and man overboard procedures practiced.


Mobile phones were handed in for the duration of the voyage. All too soon it was time for bed and a bedtime story - Dr Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” which is one of my favourites.

The next day started at 0730. When we had finished breakfast, briefings and lessons on how to use a winch safely, we slipped our moorings and motored out into Southampton Water. The two watches, supervised by Dave and Cami, set the mainsail, staysail and jib. Everyone was needed to haul them up.

We sailed westwards into a light southwesterly wind and flood tide. Two hour watches were set during which everyone took turns to steer the boat, keep a look out and tack the head sails. It was hard work for 13 year olds and we had no difficulty in achieving Mary’s secret instructions to “tire them out”. Most of the day was spent tacking across the Solent between Beaulieu and Gurnard Ledge. Our steering may not have won races and the sail trim was not the best but the learning curve was exponential.

Crew at the helm

Most of the young people overcame initial fears and climbed out on to the bowsprit. None of them had been on a yacht before and, by the end of the day, 18 individuals had melded into a closely knit team. Late afternoon the sails were handed and we motored into Cowes where  the duty cooks made chilli con carne - standard sail training fodder. Washing up was done OYT South style - music and plates flying through the air with abandon and the job completed by 18 people in ten minutes of fun. Games came next: all of which involved a lot of laughter. And so to bed. Often people are so excited by the experience of being on a boat that they can’t resist chatting from “lights out” into the early hours of the morning. However, the “tire ‘em out” strategy worked beautifully and we all had a good night’s sleep.


We left Cowes at 1000 the following morning, two and a half hours after waking up. It takes that long to have breakfast, clean the boat and prepare the boat for departure. The sailing objective for the day was to sail east to the forts guarding the eastern Solent and circumnavigate the Bramble Bank. Stronger winds on the beam enabled us to do that with ease. Prolific is a relatively stable platform and made a great floor for the girls who wanted to dance on deck.

It was a happy carefree crew who returned to Ocean Village in the late afternoon. The young people even forgot to ask for their mobile phones to be returned. Although the lives of the crew will not always be carefree, I do believe the weekend will have achieved many of Mary’s objectives and the effects will be long-lasting.

Skipper Dougie and teacher Mary wrote detailed reports of the crew’s development during the voyage. Mary’s final comment was: “As always, absolutely amazing journey for our youngsters. They mature, engage, overcome in such a short time. Can’t thank our sponsors, OYT and the volunteer crew enough. THANK YOU”


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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to #Willdoes, a charity set up in memory of 14-year old Will Paddy, for a grant which will allow us to offer funded places for young people from Dorset next year. We’ll announce in due course how to apply for a place under this scheme, for a Dorset young person who couldn’t otherwise afford to sail with us.

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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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!

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

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