These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 6th November 2020

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

OYT South
AGM - TOMORROW - all the details you need for our online event
OYT South’s AGM will take place on Saturday 7th November, but this year it will be via video conference.

The formal mailing to members went out last month – if you think you are a member and you haven’t received it, please let us know! But the meeting is open to anyone (and if you are not a member but would like to be, you can join now). Please note that only members can vote at the AGM.

The deadline has passed for notifying us of any additional matters for inclusion on the agenda or appointing someone to vote by proxy on your behalf. But you can still let us know if you can't attend but would like your apologies recorded.

The meeting will be held using Zoom: Video conference link here (Meeting ID: 915 9948 2504, Passcode: 964302).

The Zoom conference will open at 1745 to allow everyone to get the technology working before the meeting formally opens at 1800.

All the details and papers for the meeting are available here. With members’ permission we would like to record the AGM – if you have concerns about this, please contact

It would be helpful if you could email to say whether you are hoping to come and whether you are familiar with using Zoom, including the chat function (which allows people to type short responses and saves the problem of 30 people trying to speak at once). If you have never used Zoom before, you can sign up for free here but you might want to try it out before using it to join the AGM.

There will be the very short formal AGM followed by the Chief Executive’s speech as usual, giving a review of the year and plans going forward; but in normal years this would be followed by a social event and curry evening, so we’d also like to know who might stay on the Zoom call for a social event – which could include a quiz, and people ordering or making their own curry and using the evening as a chance to catch up with OYT South friends you haven’t seen all year.

So: three questions:

  • Who is coming?
  • Are you comfortable with Zoom?
  • Would you stay online for a social event after the meeting?

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* Furlough news
We had planned to have nearly all our staff back at work in November, but with the announcement of a new lockdown and an extension to the original furlough scheme, most of the team will continue to be furloughed either full-time or part-time while covering essential work both ashore and on board Prolific. We are still able to deal with any urgent questions or requests but it may be best to use for contacts while most people are furloughed or working limited hours.

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* Refit news

Normally at this time of year we would be appealing for as many people as possible to help with Prolific’s refit, and you may be wondering about our plans this year!

We are going to be doing a refit because there is some essential work and annual servicing which must be completed in order to pass our coding inspection (effectively our licence to operate next year), as well as some modifications to improve COVID-safety: for example, we are installing new fans and improved ventilation.

However, to help keep things COVID-secure and limit the costs, the refit is being kept as small as possible and the aim is for the staff team to complete it without the usual army of volunteers mixing on board. If it turns out that there are jobs requiring additional help and we are able to manage it safely, we can let you know via this newsletter or by directly contacting individuals who have helped in the past and have appropriate skills. Likewise if there are things which can be taken away from the boat and worked on at home, this newsletter will let you know. But otherwise, and very sadly, we have to say that we cannot ask volunteers to come and mix on board.

Last winter we had 318 days of volunteer help during the refit and we are incredibly grateful for this amazing support. All that work plus the efforts of Josh and Holly during the year has put us in a position where Prolific is in excellent condition and we can plan a refit which is more affordable following a season in which we lost all our voyage income, and which also allows us to prioritise the safety of our team during the pandemic.

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* 2021 sailing plans

We are determined to do everything possible to sail next season and not spend another year with Prolific in harbour. There are two key reasons for this:

First comes the importance of an activity like sail training for young people, especially the disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals who have been the core of our work for many years, and those who have been particularly hard-hit by COVID-19 and lockdowns. We believe that voyages promoting confidence, resilience, team-working and communication can play a significant role in helping young people recover from the social and psychological impact of the pandemic. In speaking to our regular clients, OYT South has heard many stories of problems exacerbated by coronavirus: foster placements breaking down under pressure of lockdown; families severely affected by stress; young people needing significant extra support as they return to full-time education after a long break, often with major worries about exams and future prospects. Most of our regular clients are keen to sail with us next year if it is possible to do so safely.

Second, it will be important for our staff and volunteers to sail in 2021: the charity benefits from a vast wealth of skills and experience, but most members of the team have not sailed at all in 2020 and will need to get out on the water on board Prolific in order to keep up their skills and familiarity with the vessel.

There are still a lot of unknowns about what might be possible with voyages in 2021. We may lose some clients who would have liked to sail but may decide as next year goes on that it is not an option, particularly if they work with vulnerable young people or those with vulnerable family members. We may need to prioritise clients who can send young people who are already in a bubble. We may need to sail with fewer young people on each voyage, to aid social distancing. We may have to start the season later than usual. And if residentials for under-18s continue to be banned, we may have to look at running day sails instead, for clients who are based close enough to make this possible.

The upshot of all this is that we hope and expect to be needing volunteer sea staff in 2021!

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* 2021 volunteer training – on board

Because none of our volunteers have sailed Prolific for a year, we will aim to run some refresher trips before the start of the season. 

For those of you who were with us in winter 2016-17 when Prolific was new to the charity, we have something similar in mind: short voyages including weekend options, just so that watchleaders, first mates and skippers are comfortable, confident and safe before we start sailing with young people again. We will publish dates for pre-season training voyages in this newsletter as soon as we can.

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* 2021 volunteer training – shorebased

We are not planning the usual face-to-face February shorebased training weekend in 2021 but we are looking at options for a weekend of online training via Zoom – if you have any ideas for training you could offer or courses you would value, do let us know.

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* 2021 volunteer bookings

Because we hope to be sailing in 2021 and we know that volunteer sea staff need to have dates in your diaries, we plan to take sea staff bookings as normal. We obviously have to accept that not all voyages will necessarily go ahead exactly as planned, but it is much better to have a team of volunteers provisionally booked and available for each voyage period – it would be quite impossible to put teams together at the last minute.

Therefore, if you want to sail as a volunteer in 2021, you can now start sending in details of when you are available and how much time you can spare, just as you did last year - but please read the rest of this section before doing so!

If you have had a skipper's recommendation (which means that EITHER you have sailed on a youth voyage and been told at the end that you have been recommended to come back for bosun or watchleader training, or you have done an adult voyage and been given a recommendation at the end) but are not yet an assessed and qualified member of sea staff, your next step is to sail on a youth voyage of four nights or more, for further training and assessment. Not all voyages are suitable for this but please send in details of your availability and we'll aim to match you with an appropriate voyage.

Qualified sea staff (anyone who sailed with us as a watchleader, bosun or engineer in 2019 or previously) - ideally please give us voyage numbers of anything you would like to do (see here for voyage numbers); or give us names of any regular clients you'd particularly like to sail with. But if you have really flexible availability, the easiest thing is to tell us the maximum number of days you can offer in 2021.

Please note that we DO need you to send in details of when you can sail (whether specific voyage numbers, or an idea of the times of year you can or can’t do - e.g. if you can only sail in school/college/uni holidays - in which case do give us exact dates) and/or how much time you can offer - please DON'T email to ask what voyage dates are available. The reasons for this are complicated but it’s basically all about the need to put together teams of sea staff with the right blend of experience, qualifications and skills, rather than booking people one-by-one.

We really need to get bids in from as many people as possible before we can start the allocation process and it can take until January before we can start confirming bookings for every voyage. If you really need an answer more quickly than that then please tell us your deadline and we will do our best for you!

Once the main round of allocations is completed we will advertise any remaining gaps, but you may find there's not a lot of choice at that stage. Please send bids or questions to

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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.

The newsletter in this week in 2005 had a section saying farewell to Craig Dickerson who had arrived for a week at refit in early 2003 and three years later was finally being allowed to leave - after sterling service as Staff Bosun and an irrepressible drive to modify the vessel’s equipment:


The newsletter also noted that his successor, Julian “Dinghy Boy” Watkins had started sailing with us in 2001 at the age of sixteen (when he took the smallest available size in oilskins) and progressed through third mate (medium oilies), via a winter refit 2003-4 in the full-time core team, to second mate (large or even XL oilskins).



Dings’s stated ambition on starting as Staff Bosun was to paint John Laing black – which he never achieved. (Even when, years later, we later bought a black-hulled Prolific, she was rapidly given several coats of Mauritius Blue…).

This time in 2007 we were reporting on the last voyage of the season, with east London charity Community Links sending a mix of young people from a special needs project and an education programme organised by the charity, with three group leaders. We went down to Cowes on the first night and then had an extremely fast sail to Poole and a chance to spend some time ashore. It was fantastic to watch how the crew members with learning difficulties really grew in confidence as the voyage went on – notably, smiling through a patch of pretty rough seas as we re-entered the Needles Channel on our way back up to Yarmouth the next day.

In 2008 a crew organised by our support group on the Isle of Wight achieved 14 knots in the dark on the way back from Poole – a real highlight.

In 2009, second mate Amanda Smith organised an October half-term reunion voyage for young people who had been in the primary school class she had taught the previous year. They had a BBQ on the beach in Yarmouth despite the fact that the clocks had gone back and it was dark by 5pm. This meant that most people were in bed by 7pm and the sea staff were amazed at how early they woke the following morning! Next day they sailed up the Beaulieu River to Buckler's Hard … and by the time the voyage ended, the sea staff believed they had played every single game in the extensive OYT repertoire.

Next came the annual Isle of Wight group. Even though the group included lots of 12- and 13-year olds, they managed a truly adventurous voyage as the winds were right for an ambitious programme. They picked up a buoy outside Yarmouth on the first night and next day set off across Channel in a south-easterly force 5, arriving in Alderney after a challenging passage. They had a day off there, with time to explore the island and play lots of games. The sail back was with good south-westerly winds, and they were able to do lots of sailing exercises – man overboard recovery, blind navigation and first aid practice – before arriving in Cowes. Next morning the winds reached force 8 and they were glad the last passage back up to Ocean Village was a short trip in relatively sheltered waters! The passage was notable for one 12-year old crew member who was put in charge of leaving Cowes, sailing the boat off the pontoon: she stood on the coachroof barking orders like a professional – almost upstaging Ben “Sparky” Whinnett, who successfully passed his first mate’s assessment on this voyage.

That wasn’t quite the end of the season, as Simon Jinks, Chief Cruising Instructor at the RYA, had asked us to run a day sail for RYA Instructors and Examiners, to give them experience of sailing a larger boat than many of them normally use. This later became a regular end-season feature but on this first occasion we were overwhelmed to have 66 applicants for the 12 places on Monday’s day sail, and hurriedly arranged a second day for Tuesday.

In 2010 we ran a weekend voyage for the Hampshire County Council Post-Adoption team, with quite a lot of special needs in the group - and a great session of pumpkin carving for Hallowe’en.

Pumpkin carving

Pumpkin carving

Next morning the watch leader on duty forgot that the clocks had changed and woke everyone up early - which at least gave them plenty of time for a good sail back to Southampton.

We ended the season with another two days for RYA instructors. The newsletter said “We had two great days with some lovely people” – one of them was Lee Mosscrop, now a Trustee and first mate who will soon be skippering for us!

2012’s newsletter began: “It’s been windy!” The bulletin noted that if you take a new crew to sea in a northerly force 8, it does help if they are all experienced dinghy sailors who turned up already knowing points of sail, knots etc.

At sea

Next came the annual isle of Wight voyage and the wind let up enough for them to sail round the island. Otherwise it was too windy for anything but Solent day sailing and a lot of fun and games, including the traditional Hallowe’en party with pumpkins. It turns out that a pumpkin with a torch inside can make an original all-round white light for a dinghy during rowing practice! Other than that, it was a week of comedy mishaps – in particular second mate Adam Lane having the contents of the condiments cupboard landing on his head: it turns out that red sauce suits him.

At sea

At sea

Pumpkin carving

In 2013 we crewed up on Friday evening in the face of a weather forecast that meant we knew that two days of the four-day voyage would be spent stormbound in harbour. This turned out to be St Jude’s Storm, one of the top ten most severe autumn storms to hit the UK in the last 40 years, with the highest recorded gust speed occurring at the Needles: 86 knots (99mph).

It was a real credit to the crew that instead of focussing on the disappointment of not being able to sail as much as they would have liked, they were all determined to make the most of their time on board and join in with alternative activities when we couldn't sail. We did get out for a little sailing but also did a lot of RYA training in harbour including weather, knots, rowing and emergency procedures. The group had a tour around Solent Coastguard and then experienced the 50 knots winds on the beach and could really appreciate why we were not at sea!

Windy beach

With 67 knot winds at 5 am, there was little sleep. The first mate got out of bed for a look and reported substantial waves INSIDE the marina...

Next day the crew started the RYA Essential Navigation and Safety course at a classroom kindly loaned to us by the Wheatsheaf Trust – everyone made good progress and went away with packs to complete the qualification at home. Finally on Tuesday they got up at 6am to go sailing! The voyage should have ended at midday but all the families agreed to extend it to 5pm so there could be some proper sailing. A great day was had on the water in Force 5-6 and sunny conditions.

At sea

Then we were joined by the annual Community Links crew who managed some good sailing in the Solent - lots of tacking practice and not too windy! The voyage also featured a session of extreme washing up in which Amy the bosun got utterly drenched and the table was so wet that one of the crew managed to body-board across it. Good practice for the following day - sailing in torrential rain!

It was a Community Links crew again for this week in 2014, for a voyage to Poole, Portland and Yarmouth:


Then an Isle of Wight group joined a group from Queen Mary Sailing Club for the final voyage of the season. There was a group chat about the chart and possible destinations - and an impassioned plea from some crew members to go to France. So after a night in the Hamble, an early start saw them setting off towards Dieppe. Initially there wasn’t much wind so they motor-sailed and did some drills, but by lunchtime there was enough wind for a really enjoyable sail. After dinner, the skipper started seeing an interesting group of vessels on the AIS (which allows us to identify other vessels on screen). By midnight John Laing was sailing past a group of NATO warships, all displaying minesweeping signs. We were alongside in Dieppe by 2am, and woke next day to croissants for breakfast.

At sea

At sea

2015’s final voyage of the season ended with pilotage up Southampton Water in the dark plus face-painting and pumpkin-carving for that evening’s party:




Then we had another couple of day sails for RYA instructors – which brough us a couple of new regular volunteer watchleaders (Allen Swift and Martin Bayfield), plus Josie Griffith who came for a day and before we got back to Ocean Village, had signed up to that winter’s full-time core refit team. She has since married Joe Macgregor who was part of the previous winter’s core refit team, and they have two children, so that probably counts on the list of all-time life-changing day sails!

In 2016 we were reporting on John Laing’s very last voyage as an OYT South boat! The team decided to make an expedition to Bembridge - quite a challenge as John Laing is about as big as a boat can be and still get in to the harbour! The harbourmaster was tremendously helpful and actually escorted us in with blue lights flashing - perhaps not really necessary but it certainly made us feel important! Once inside, they provided bacon rolls for all the crew. John Laing stayed for about two and a half hours but then had to leave with the tide. The visit was actually featured in the Bembridge Herald!

Next stop was Cowes where there was a farewell party for John Laing! The newsletter included the following tribute to the boat:

John Laing

John Laing

“John Laing has completed her final voyage with Ocean Youth Trust South.

For the last 26 years, she has been a brilliant sail training vessel, introducing many thousands of young people to sailing and making a tremendous difference not just to the lives of the young people and to our clients but also to our staff and volunteers. She has sailed round the world, joined Tall Ships races in ports as far afield as Russia and the United States, Portugal and Norway, and taken part in an expedition to Antarctica:

John laing - Antarctica.

But just as importantly, she has completed many hundreds of local voyages in the Solent and the Channel, involving young people from the widest possible variety of backgrounds, helping them to develop the skills needed to succeed in life. John Laing is the current holder of the Sail Training Vessel of the Year Award, given by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO). Sir Alan Massey KCB, the Chief Executive of the MCA, presented the trophy at the start of the year “in recognition of … outstanding service to sail training, reflecting also the great care that OYT South has taken over the years in ensuring the highest standards of safety and quality in what they do for sail training.”

John Laing has been a safe, strong, utterly dependable vessel, delivering all that we could ever have asked of her. If it were possible to calculate the value of all the life-changing experiences that have occurred on board, it’s safe to say that she has repaid every penny ever spent on her, thousands of times over. She has been a platform for the most exciting adventures, a foundation for lasting friendships, a creator of challenges that prove to people they can achieve more than they ever dreamed, a refuge, an inspiration, a home.

We are all excited about moving into the future with our new boat, Prolific, but in the week of John Laing’s last voyage with OYT South, we just want to say a heartfelt thank-you to a much loved boat, and to wish her safe sailing and fair winds wherever she travels.”

You might like to revisit the comments about John Laing left on Facebook as she completed her service with OYT South.

John Laing

John Laing

In 2017 we were completing Prolific’s first season with OYT South – on her way back from Dartmouth with a crew of Air Cadets.

They hoisted main, mizzen and three headsails: jib, staysail and ORC, and had a cracking sail across Lyme Bay until the last stage when the wind died and they had to motor. Next day, on passage from Weymouth to the Solent, they had a chance to try the new cruising chute (very generously sponsored by the Whirlwind Charitable Trust) - a light wind headsail which is 300 square metres (for comparison, a tennis court is 260 square metres):

Cruising chute

With main, mizzen, cruising chute and staysail they averaged over 10 knots the whole way to the Needles, occasionally touching 13 knots.

The 2018 season ended with a crew from Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, a charity which provides activities and experiences for young people in the Newham and East London area to build confidence and expand minds. The weather had turned and it was cold, so they settled for a rota of short periods on deck for each team – during which time they got all the sails up – interspersed with periods below deck in the warm to work on skills such as knots.

At sea

At sea

On the last day of the voyage, the crew spent some time below decks in the warm planning their navigation back to Southampton while the staff managed their own useful training session on deck, practising how they might recover anyone who fell off the bowsprit netting – they would still be clipped on by their safety harness, but dangling at the front of the boat, so the team need to have a good routine in place for getting them safely back on board. By the time this was done, the navigation plans were ready and the young people took charge of the vessel, doing an excellent job as they made their way back to Ocean Village.


Danny Ballantyne was signed off as a bosun on this voyage.

The bulletin in this week also said farewell to Mollie Crawford who was moving on after four years in the office as our Operations Assistant – and we were about to welcome Jo Clark as her successor!

This time last year we ended the season with a return visit for Park House School in Newbury which had already sent students to sail in May but returned at the end of October with a very different group. For many years their May voyage has been a mainstream group, generally involving young people whose parents could afford to contribute towards the voyage. But there are many students in the school who have not had the opportunity, including SEN students, and others facing difficulties at home or at school. We therefore helped to raise funds for a special voyage for some of these students. They sailed first to Cowes, and next day had a cold and breezy sail to Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth with lots of tacking and two reefs in main and mizzen.

At sea

In Portsmouth there was time for some games after dinner. Next day they motored up the harbour to see the sights and then got the sails up and went out into the Solent again.

One of the features of this voyage was getting the young people on the helm for parking the vessel and leaving each berth, and also talking on the radio to the various harbour masters. This was quite daunting for some of the young people but they all did really well.

They had a sunset walk ashore in the Hamble - and back in the dark - and also spent time sailing up and down Southampton Water with opportunities for people to go out on the bowsprit.

At sea

At sea

On the last night, back in Southampton, they decorated the boat for a Hallowe'en party and a scary movie. The teacher in charge, Nyssa - who is also one of our third mates - told us: “They really did get a lot from it and even the ones that didn’t outwardly express how much they were enjoying themselves had been texting their parents saying they didn’t want to come home.” And one parent wrote later: “I would just like to thank you all. My daughter joined your last voyage with Park House School. Her place was last-minute and when I told her about the trip she was less than enthusiastic! (You could genuinely hear her eyes roll!). Well, within hours she admitted she was enjoying it and by the end of the week she was telling me that she didn't want to come home. Now home, she has not stopped talking. Normally if I ask what she has been doing I get the usual teenage grunts! I knew she would be way out of her comfort zone and that was kind of the point. But to have her come home and tell me she is proud of herself for stepping up and doing things she knows she would normally shy away from. That's priceless!”

At sea

And that was the end of our youth voyages for 2019 – and, as it turned out, the last voyage for quite some time …

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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* Prolific news

Big thanks this week to Tigger and Clive who have made great progress with the floor of the navigation area:






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Please contribute to Peta’s leaving present

You may have seen from recent newsletters that our wonderful staff skipper Peta Koczy is moving on. We’ll see her again as a relief skipper, and Prolific will be in excellent hands with the return of Holly Vint to OYT South, taking over as Staff Skipper in November. But meanwhile there is a web page for donations to Peta’s leaving present: please help us show our appreciation for Peta’s contribution to the charity over the last four years!

Peta and Holly

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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to the Geoff Herrington Foundation for another very generous donation towards bursaries plus an extra contribution to the additional costs of making our voyages COVID-safe.

Thanks also to everyone who has been contributing to the Howard Gross Dorset Bursaries Fund.

Big thanks also to all our supporters and friends who have 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 have made 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. We’re just at the start of the process of contacting everyone who lost a voyage this year to see what we might be able to rearrange for you next year and how it can work  – please bear with us as it will take a while to contact everyone!

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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?

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 at the moment, 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