These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 3rd July 2020

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

COVID-19 (coronavirus) update
We have carefully studied last week’s new government announcements on changes to COVID-19 guidance, which now includes the following:

“You should not:

  • gather indoors in groups of more than two households (your support bubble counts as one household) - this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • gather outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than 6 should only take place if everyone is from just two households
  • interact socially 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
  • stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)”

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 interacting on deck. We will keep the situation under continual review; and of course these new guidelines apply from 4th July and no-one can predict when and how they might change again, possibly affecting voyages in August and beyond.

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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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to Marina Developments Limited for their “Boating Bonus” scheme which has been a fantastic success in raising donations for us from their berth-holders!

As with all businesses and charities, OYT South is under tremendous financial pressure due to COVID-19, with a very significant loss of voyage income for an extended period. We realise that many of our friends and supporters will be facing financial difficulties of your own, but if anyone is in a position to make a donation to help with our core costs over this period, we would be more grateful than we can say.

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.

Huge thanks to all our supporters and friends who have already responded with such kindness and generosity to this appeal. 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.

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* Prolific and team news
Big thanks to Holly who is looking after Prolific on a voluntary basis while Josh has a break on furlough having been working on board on his own for so long. This week she has done lots of chart corrections; run up the portable generator in the shed to ensure it is in good working order; and changed some filters which have been affected by algae in the water:

Holly cleaning filters

She also met a horse in the New Forest and made some fantastic-looking brownies!



From the beginning of July the furlough scheme has changed so that it is possible to bring people back to work on a flexible basis. Which means Peta is back at work today – just for the day! – to do some planning and get things organised for boat maintenance.

Mark is now back working one day a week which is just as well as he may need to brush up his skills … this week his daughter, aged two and a half, looked out of the window (in the middle of town) and announced “Boat!”. Mark assured her repeatedly that there was no boat outside the window, though she kept insisting. He had to apologise to her when he spotted the dinghy in the driveway of a house some distance away, and realised she’d been right all along! On balance we feel that a Yachtmaster Examiner ought not to be beaten on IRPCS Rule 5 (the requirement to “maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision”) by someone standing on tiptoes to see out of the end of her cot…

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* John Laing’s photo on the cover of a newly-published book!
Ian Macpherson was the Ocean Youth Trust Scottish Area Governor from 1997-2000. Now aged 83, he has published his sailing memoirs, "A Scotsman’s Odyssey". The book is now on sale at booksellers and from Amazon.

Book cover

Ian wanted to explain why he chose John Laing for the cover photo:

"In 1995-97 the Ocean Youth Club, as it then was, sent two steel hulled ketches around the world on the OYC World Voyage. They were John Laing and James Cook. There was keen competition in all OYC Areas for places as crew or afterguard; I sailed as a mate on John Laing from Sydney to Darwin on Leg 7 of the voyage. I placed the photograph of John Laing on the front cover of my book as this voyage was a high point in my cruising life. Read more about the voyage in the book!"

His publishers The Conrad Press have this to say about his memoirs:

"A Scotsman’s Odyssey is a riveting account of four decades of sea adventures and exploration, written so vividly you can feel the salt spray in your face.

Ian’s maritime chronicle has something for everyone. His love of sailing has taken him to out-of-the-way places ranging from the sub-arctic Faroes Islands to the remote Barrier Reef islands in tropical Australia. A Scotsman’s Odyssey is a book as much about voyaging in the imagination as on the waves. It inspires cruising yachtsmen and yachtswomen to sail beyond their native shores, young readers to seize opportunities to sail on Ocean Youth Trust voyages, armchair sailors to journey to northern Europe and ancient Venetian ports in Greece and Croatia. Nature lovers will enjoy Ian’s encounters with basking sharks, dolphins, killer and humpbacked whales, and even salt-water crocodiles."

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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.

2004 was the last time we weren’t actually running a voyage in early July, as the newsletter reported that John Laing was out of the water having her steering gear fixed – and meanwhile the mainsail was away for repairs, so that we would have everything ready for voyages once the schools broke up.

This time in 2006, John Laing was in St. Malo and poised for the start line of the 50th anniversary Tall Ships Race. She had sailed over from Southampton via Cowes (to collect a vital head-sail) and then a light wind motor to Jersey. The wind remained calm next morning but life was not without challenge: an 0400 wake-up call would probably have been more than enough for most folk but a torrential downpour and thunderstorm hit the crew just as the mooring ropes were being slipped and stowed. This left the entire crew resembling drowned rats. But they arrived in St Malo in time to join the various Tall Ships shore-side activities. One of our crew was able to boast that he had 1,000 people at his birthday party … which coincided with the crew party for the entire fleet!

In 2007 John Laing had just completed a voyage up the Danish coast to get to Arhus for the first of that year’s Tall Ships festivals. The first leg took us from Kiel to Sonderborg, which was notable for thousands of jellyfish – bosun Laura was picking bucketloads of them out of the filters. The next day’s passage, to Lamborg Fjord, provided the only sunny day of the trip – Denmark, like the UK, was enduring a singularly soggy summer. Lamborg turned out to be a really attractive anchorage; and this was followed by a passage the following day to Kolby Kas, a highly picturesque little place with one bar and one shop. Unfortunately the forecast now turned even worse, with northerly winds Force 9 and 10 predicted. The only solution was to get to Arhus as quickly as possible, which we did, giving all the crew a chance of enjoying the festival for a few days. Huge numbers of people visited the fleet in harbour, and there was a lively atmosphere, including a crew party which saw everyone dancing in torrential rain. Our crew was very mixed, with a couple of trainee watchleaders, two Latvians, two young staff members from one of our sponsors, International Paint, plus three others.

In 2008 we were still in the UK at the start of July, doing the last of four voyages that season with a crew from Toynbee Hall, Tower Hamlets. They visited Yarmouth, Weymouth, Poole and Cowes, all with a fantastic atmosphere on board: it was great to end the sequence of Toynbee Hall voyages on such a high note. Once they left us, we had a trip out to meet Lively Lady, the boat in which Sir Alec Rose had completed his single-handed circumnavigation forty years earlier. She had been doing a second voyage round the world, this time with a crew of two adults and two young people for each leg, and John Laing was asked to take some of the young crew from previous legs to welcome her home. It had been hoped that the two vessels could meet in Alderney and sail back together, but with strong south westerly winds, we had no chance of getting to Alderney before it would be time to turn round and come back. So we tried to meet somewhere on this side of the Channel – more of a challenge in the days before widespread AIS vessel tracking! Eventually we found her on a mooring on the south east of the Isle of Wight. Next day we joined the flotilla escorting Lively Lady into Portsmouth, with cheering crowds waiting for us in Gunwharf. The highlight of the trip for us was meeting the young ex-Lively Lady crew members, a fantastic bunch of highly-motivated young people.

Next we had two days’ preparation for leaving the UK for the Tall Ships race series, before setting off towards the start in Liverpool, beginning with a voyage scheduled to take us as far as Penzance. We had a crew of young carers from Hertfordshire plus a few individual bookings. Months earlier, when booking a voyage in July, everyone will have imagined sunny sailing, beach BBQs, ice-creams and sun-cream. The reality was rather different: constant strong winds from exactly the wrong direction, plus a lot of rain. Huge credit should be given to this crew for battling through and coping with conditions that most adults would have found challenging. They even managed to keep their morale up (singing along and dancing to AC/DC … head-banging was the only sensible response to the conditions). They didn’t quite get as far as Penzance but they did a great job to get as far as Falmouth.

2009 was more exotic. John Laing had come through the Kiel Canal and enjoyed great hospitality from the British Army Sailing Club in Kiel, who opened their bar especially for us, and even drove us to the supermarket to do our shopping. The crew which had come from Ipswich left us there and were replaced by an adult crew who were immediately off into the Baltic. Thanks to the local knowledge of our Polish crew member, Magda, we decided to make a stop in the enticingly-named Hel, north of Gdynia [Navigator: “Go to Hel!” Watch on deck: “OK”] Hel turned out to be a little fishing port with great showers and a main street (disappointingly paved with tarmac, not good intentions) lined with restaurants serving superbly fresh fish. We had a full day and night in Hel, and after dinner a few of us walked through the pine forest to come out on a perfect beach of silver sand just as the dusk fell and the moon rose. Both sky and sea turned deep blue and the horizon vanished altogether. Quite spectacular.

Next day we motored down to Gdynia - a vast Tall Ships festival with huge amounts of shoreside activity, blazing sunshine, music, food, beer (including the Polish speciality of lager with a dash of raspberry syrup), beaches and over two and half million visitors coming to see the ships.


There was standing room only on all the beaches as the fleet did their parade of sail out towards the start line of the race:

Watching Gdynia parade of sail

The first night of the race had practically no wind, with John Laing virtually stationary for three hours; but then the wind kicked in from just the right direction and we took off - eight, nine and ten knots for hours or even days at a time. At one point we did 250 nautical miles in a day. And just for once, a great performance by John Laing wasn’t accompanied by all our rivals doing even better - we came well up in the top half of the fleet, ahead of plenty of boats which had beaten us in the past.

Race crew

Once the race was over, there was still 160 miles to go to St Petersburg, and 20-30 knot headwinds, so it was another tough and tiring passage, capped by exceptionally challenging navigation on the approaches to St Petersburg, as the buoys didn’t match the charts, and the datum for the charts, GPS and plotter didn’t match. The skipper of virtually every boat arrived at the festival site slightly pale and shaking from the stress of finding the way and not running aground!

In 2010 we had a crew from the school where our second mate Sarah “Tee Hee" Tredinnick was teaching, sailing from Ipswich, first to Middelburg in the Netherlands (where they spent the evening in the Yacht Club being entertained by a male voice choir) and then on to the Tall Ships festival in Antwerp accompanied by our friends on board Pegasus and Moosk.




This week’s voyage in 2011 included the Tall Ships race from Waterford to Greenock. This was originally planned to go round the west of Ireland, but a really challenging forecast sent the fleet up the Irish Sea instead. After all that, John Laing at first encountered light headwinds - at one stage going backwards! Eventually it all changed and we had some fast downwind sailing to finish 7th in class on handicap. Then we had time for a bit of cruising before the Greenock festival – including a night in Campbelltown with our great friends Black Diamond of Durham (when we hoisted our mizzen staysail and spinnaker Black Diamond called on the radio to say “you look hot!”). Then we visited East Loch Tarbert (games on shore with OYT Scotland) and Largs before heading toward Greenock.


In 2012 we were in the UK with a London crew of young people in care, or care leavers. They spent most of the week in the Solent with bad weather and pouring rain before venturing out in sunshine at last to Swanage and then Poole where the voyage ended.

At sea


In 2013 John Laing was taking part in the Tall Ships race from Arhus to Helsinki but the newsletter this week was brief – we had a satellite message confirming all well on board, but the boat was out of phone range for the entire week – a rare occurrence – so there was no other news to report, and no photos to publish (until the following week).

In 2014 John Laing was joined in Poole by a crew from the Prince’s Trust in Jersey. It was an excellent group - lots of young people setting themselves goals and challenges and working hard to achieve them, with a couple of really supportive group leaders. They got up at 5am on the first day and had a lovely sail to Dartmouth. Next day John Laing enjoyed a rare visit to Teignmouth before an 0430 start next day to get out of the entrance while there was still sufficient depth of water - but then they dropped the anchor and went back to bed until a more civilised hour! The voyage went on to Portland and then Poole – and the crew made a great video about their voyage:

In 2016 a crew joined in Poole and after some light winds at the start, had a good sail to Alderney and found two other sail training vessels, Pegasus and Provident, already moored there. Then Guernsey and Dartmouth before Peta – then a visiting first mate - piloted John Laing into the River Yealm in time to have a party for her 22nd birthday - cake, popcorn and balloons. In fact the celebrations were so wild that second mate Lucinda actually lost a shoe!

Peta's party

Peta's party

All of which means this is the moment to wish Peta a very happy birthday once again (it’s actually next Tuesday)!

This week’s voyage in 2017 began in Cuxhaven and went right through the Kiel Canal in a day before spending the night in Tiessenkai. Next stop was Heilingenhafen (Holy Harbour) in Schleswig-Holstein opposite the island of Fehmarn, and a really nice berth on the fish quay. Next day we sailed to an anchorage off the island of Møn - a sheltered location where we dropped anchor at around 2am. After some sleep, we sailed on – using Prolific’s new mizzen staysail – to Rødvig for a BBQ on a gorgeous evening, with toasted marshmallows. The voyage ended in Copenhagen.

At sea

At sea


In 2018 we were sailing with 13 students and two teachers from Northease Manor, a special school working primarily with young people with autism and / or dyslexia, though many students face other issues as well. This is a school with a strong track record in outdoor activities and these young people had mainly taken part in residentials before and were working towards Duke of Edinburgh awards, so staff felt they would cope with a relatively ambitious voyage. That meant they sailed to Guernsey and back. There was a man overboard recovery drill at the start of the return leg and this caused a minor incident as one of the teachers hadn’t realised a drill was about to take place and briefly thought a student was in the water - luckily the true situation was quickly made clear!

The ambition for the passage home was to sail all the way with no engine except for getting into and out of harbour, so the crew kept sailing despite some very variable wind conditions – at times barely making progress, at other times flying at 12-13 knots. Towards the end of the passage they were very lucky with the wind direction as it looked as though either or both of the Needles Channel or the passage up the Solent would be directly into the wind, but things changed at just the right time and they were able to keep sailing their direct course. They didn’t drop sails until they were just outside Cowes, and they were alongside around 5pm after 23 hours at sea – a huge achievement for these young people who had stood all their watches through the night and done everything that was asked of them - and were then still prepared to clean the boat that evening!

The sea staff also had some great achievements on this voyage as Susanna Paynter completed her second mate’s assessment; Vicky Inglis and Liam Scott-Moncrieff both completed third mate assessments; and Will Parker got some sections of his second mate’s assessment signed off!


At sea

New second mate!

It was also in this week that one of our major donors asked us to make a video of no more than two or three minutes long, showing what the charity does and what young people get out of sailing with us. We had a first attempt using footage shot on the Ormiston Trust voyages earlier in the year:

This time last year we had a welcome return for the boys of New Beacon School - one of the youngest groups we have ever had on board!


At sea

The crew may have been young but there was no lack of ambition and enthusiasm! They sailed from Brixham to Dartmouth on the first evening. There was a lot of thought and discussion about where they might go - especially because there was almost no wind for the first part of the week.


Next day they were excited to have the first of several visits from dolphins as they made their way round to Fowey - a combination of motoring and sailing in light winds. But there was plenty to keep everyone occupied, with visits ashore, a radar navigation exercise, a training session on rules of the road and collision avoidance at sea (using small boats in the paddling pool to demonstrate):

Collision regulations

At sea


On Tuesday after shore leave and ice-cream, they set off with a plan to potter along the coast and maybe anchor near a beach, but with a changing weather forecast the plans were revised and it turned into a big hit overnight all the way to the Scillies! It was a beautiful night with sunset, sunrise and more dolphins, and on Wednesday morning they were anchored between Bryher and Tresco:

At sea



Crew ashore

On Thursday morning they made the short hop round to an anchorage in St Agnes with the young people in charge of navigation - traditional-style - charts and hand-bearing compass but not using the GPS. They had a couple of hours ashore but later in the day decided that the time had come to head back towards the Cornish mainland - not least because at last there was a bit of wind and a chance to turn the engine off! Last year’s newsletter ended with a couple of days of the voyage still to go, so we’ll cover the rest next week.

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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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 …)

Some great RYA resources here for all types of sailors including junior / young people section.

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? 

Check out the RYA’s #SailFromHome which has everything from fun activities to expert advice and coaching sessions.

There is also a play list from the RYA with videos on all sorts of topics.

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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2020 sailing programme
It is not yet clear when we will be able to start running voyages again, either for young people or adults – as soon as we have any information it will be announced in this newsletter (and everywhere else – website, social media etc.)

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2021 draft sailing programme

We now have a draft 2021 sailing programme.. It’s not too late to make changes to dates, ports and durations if required – please email and we’ll see if it is possible to include a voyage on the programme to suit you. We can take provisional bookings for next year – if we get more than one enquiry in this early period for the same voyage dates, priority will be given to clients who were booked on a 2020 voyage which was unable to sail.

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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