These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 7th 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 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 no-one can predict when and how the guidelines might change again in ways that could affect our ability to sail.

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

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

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

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

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* Prolific news
Big thanks to the team who are looking after Prolific at the moment! This week they have run up the engine and generator, washed the hull and deck with fresh water, and exercised the sea cocks and ball valves including the bilge pump manifold.



Deck wash



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* Happy birthday Mark!
Happy birthday this week to our Chief Executive and former Staff Skipper Mark Todd. We were looking for an early photo of him and came across this from 2003 when he was experimenting with looking like a mature and authoritative skipper when observed facing to the left, but could be mistaken for the cabin boy when facing to the right!

Mark in 2003

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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.

This week’s newsletter in 2005 began with a spectacular experience in Newcastle – one of the biggest fireworks displays any of our team had ever seen. They were being let off from barges in the river, so it felt as though the boats were right in the middle of the excitement. The crowds on shore were so immense that it was impossible to walk around - two crew members were actually unable to join the boat at all until the congestion died down.

The next day saw the parade of sail and the beginning of the race to Norway. But the weather was very bad and the seas were huge – one crew member threw up five times even before they reached the start line. By day two of the race, a couple of dozen vessels had already retired. Things were very tough on board John Laing: a lot of people were seasick, and for some time only eight people were able to work effectively. A direct course to waypoint one would have been 160 nautical miles, but John Laing sailed 340 miles to get there. Skipper Wolf said that everyone did incredibly well to keep the boat going in these conditions.

Waypoint two was just off the coast of Norway - and as they reached it, the wind died away to nothing! The crew started getting depressed when they were overtaken by a seagull – swimming. It got even worse when the next thing to overtake them was a lighthouse: John Laing was going backwards with the tide. At one stage Wolf had the entire crew sitting on the rail trying to get the boat to heel, to coax a tiny bit of speed out the hull (to assess the chances of this working, bear in mind that John Laing weighed roughly the equivalent of 800 average-sized crew members). Being becalmed was enlivened only by one crew member endeavouring to mash the potatoes before boiling them.

The following morning brought more wind and the boat finally started performing at her best: ten hours with an average speed of ten knots and a maximum speed of thirteen and a half knots – and all this with the tiny No. 3 headsail as both the bigger headsails had been torn in the bad weather! By the end of the race, 48 boats had retired, and only 38 succeeded in finishing – so it was a great achievement for John Laing to complete the course, which had been set at 450 miles, but we sailed a total of 752 miles!

At sea

At sea

The bulletin ended with the crew enjoying the beauty of the Norwegian coast. On the first night in Norway, they had a barbecue which bosun Julia Davies was in charge of cooking. Unfortunately Wolf forgot to tell her that he had invited Lord Rank's crew as well, so she was cooking for 40 people… Which left her slightly better off than Cathy Lacey who had been doing her second mate assessment on the previous voyage. Part of the assessment involves demonstrating an ability to organise fun and games: Wolf asked Cathy to organise a rowing competition, and then failed to mention that he had invited ten other boats to join in…

The newsletter in this week in 2006 told a similar tale of adverse weather – this time a cruise up the coast from Cadiz to La Coruna in relentless strong headwinds. John Laing left Cadiz with a northerly Force 6 blowing.  The wind rose further, towards Force 8 and wave heights reached 5 metres.  The crew were kept busy with frequent sail changes and reefing of the sails, by day and by night, usually in drenching spray.  Here’s bosun Tristan (Josh’s brother) in his special bad-weather fur hat!

At sea

One overnight stop was made at Cascais, Portugal and then it was back out to sea.  Friday saw some brief respite with a lunchtime anchorage at Islas Cies, a beautiful island and national marine park lying in the entrance to the Ria that leads to Vigo. Next stop was a marina at Sanxenxo on the Ria de Pontevedra. This left John Laing well placed to round Cape Finisterre and reach La Coruna in time for the festival. Skipper Wolf described this crew as “real stars” in difficult conditions – to the point where his biggest worry of the week was that he thought the lid to the biscuit tin was lost.  However, we were delighted to say that it later turned up!

In 2007, John Laing was leaving Stockholm with a fleet of 78 boats to race to Poland – another beat in moderate to strong winds but as the bulletin ended they were making their way up the inland waterway to Szczecin, knowing this is a place that always manages a fabulous Tall Ships festival!

At sea

In 2009, in company with our friends on board Pegasus and Black Diamond, we set off to cruise the Finnish islands - an incredibly beautiful area of wooded rocky islands and narrow channels in between - sometimes so narrow that it was like taking three ocean-going vessels for a walk in a forest. We were often the biggest boat to be seen and if the trees had overhung the channel any more we would have had branches caught in the rigging. John Laing took the lead and most of the burden of the navigation, with the others following behind. The destination for the first night was the little island of Rodjan, where we found a peaceful anchorage - at least, it was peaceful until our crew and Black Diamond’s started having rowing races round Pegasus. We also had to cope with skipper Wolf repeatedly singing Monty Python’s “Finland, Finland, Finland” song without really knowing either the words or the tune. For future reference, this is how it goes (entirely under-selling the glories of Finland):

Then it was another day of weaving our way through the islands and more tricky navigation for the first part of the day. When things got a little more straightforward in the afternoon, we were able to hand the job of navigation over to some of our crew. Our goal for the day was the island of Nagu, the only place on our itinerary which John Laing and Black Diamond had also visited two years ago, as we were particularly keen to go back. It seems they felt the same way about us: we phoned ahead a couple of times so that the harbour master knew our ETA, and each time they sounded more excited, and desperate for reassurance that we hadn’t changed our minds and decided to go somewhere else! Nagu is a small place but it has a few shops, showers, saunas, bars and a beach, and we all had plenty of free time to explore. The first mate went into a bar and mentioned that two years ago, someone had made a fantastic cocktail there. The barman said “Yes, that was me, I remember which one I gave you, shall it make it for you again?”


It was all so good that we decided to stay an extra day and a few people from the three boats took a ferry ride to the nearby island of Seili. It was interesting to see the area from a ferry - you are much higher up than on the deck of a yacht, and the view is totally different. Seili was beautiful: wild flowers, old houses, a lovely church, woods, incredibly beautiful bays - and right at the end of a lonely woodland path, a totally unexpected café selling tea, coffee and ice-creams.

After another good night out in Nagu, it was time to get away from civilisation again, and the three boats headed for another quiet anchorage off the island of Klamppi, again with a team of crew members in charge of navigation. We hadn’t been able to do much actual sailing in the islands because the channels were so narrow, but near Klamppi was a stretch of open water so John Laing and Black Diamond enjoyed some good sailing and tacking practice.


John Laing hosted a party for all three crews, and next morning we made our way to the festival in Turku, with a massive water fight before tidying the boat and getting ourselves organised. We had planned a relaxing next day, and so it turned out for many of the crew; but for skipper Wolf, a spanner was thrown into the works by a call from the race organisers: could he do the official speech on behalf of the captains at the Captain’s dinner that night? It is a real honour to be asked to do this - there are 120 captains in the fleet, and only four are asked to do speeches at the four festivals each year. So a sizeable chunk of the day off was taken up with speechwriting. The dinner itself was in Turku castle, an imposing building where the captains and invited guests listened to some sea shanties before moving upstairs to two impressive dining rooms. Luckily the speeches come at the start so Wolf was able to get his duty done and then enjoy the rest of the evening!

After the dinner, many of us were invited on board Thalassa, one of the square-riggers, for another party, where Phil Beer of Pegasus (and Show of Hands) led the singing.

Emma Burrows completed her third mate’s assessment on this voyage and we were sorry to see a great crew leave; but skipper James took over with another fantastic crew for a light-wind race to Klaipeda, in Lithuania. This proved to be another great festival, which our crew joined with great enthusiasm, taking part in beach sports and other activities.


Klaipeda parade

The race crew left us in Lithuania, and were replaced by a joint voyage for young people from the army, the navy and a youth group from Dorset. They enjoyed the last of the Klaipeda festival and then had a fabulous sail - 200 miles in 24 hours - as they headed west. Their first stop was a gorgeous little island, Christiansø - about the size of the Bramble Bank in the Solent. From this base, the locals captured so many British ships during the Napoleonic wars that a British fleet was sent to destroy it (without success). The locals are still very proud of their little fortress.

The next stop was the larger island of Bornholm, still with Black Diamond and Pegasus; and then Gedser as they made their way towards the Kiel Canal.

In 2010 we had a crew of Guides for a cruise from Aalborg in Denmark to Kristiansand in Norway. The Aalborg fireworks at the end of the festival came with an inspired musical accompaniment … it is quite something to see fireworks going off in perfect time to the Muppets’ “Mnah mnah doo doo do do doo.”


The plan for the cruise was to get to Norway as quickly as possible and then explore, so we began with a 200-mile hit that took us to the town of Arendal, via narrow channels of deep blue water bordered by smooth grey rocks, with green woodland dotted with red and white houses making it all very colourful. Our friends Black Diamond, Moosk and, eventually, Pegasus, joined us alongside in Arendal and we had time for showers and vast ice-creams before leaving around lunchtime to go a few miles down the coast and find a peaceful anchorage for the night. We eventually found it in Grimstad fjord.

Next day we had some exciting short tacking with a lot of sail up, and a real chance for some of the crew to start engaging with how to sail and work as a team. The day got gustier and gustier, with some very narrow passages and tricky navigation, so we had to start taking things a bit more slowly until we found a more sheltered area and anchored in a little bay in the Blindleia - an exceptionally beautiful cruising area.


The following day, the channels were so narrow that the other boats chickened out of one planned anchorage but John Laing held her breath and crept into a channel scarcely wider than the boat, and was rewarded with one of the prettiest areas yet and a lovely anchorage for lunch, with time to go ashore.

In the afternoon we caught up with Black Diamond in a place called Korsvik, just three miles from Kristiansand, where we were able to go alongside John Laing’s sister ship, James Cook, just joining the fleet in time for Race 2. The design - particularly the interior - was modified significantly after James Cook was built, before John Laing was built, so the two crews enjoyed making comparisons. Interestingly both crews insisted that the other boat appeared to have more space than their own!

Another group of Guides joined us for a race from Kristiansand to Hartlepool. They had to race to a turning mark on a latitude similar to Dundee’s, and then turn south to Hartlepool. They converged on the mark at about the same time as James Cook, Mir, the big Russian square rigger, and the Dutch Navy. John Laing did a great racing turn with Glee playing through the speakers and all the crew singing: after 300 miles of racing, the third C-Class boat to round the mark. The last stages were really pushing things as John Laing and James Cook raced neck-and-neck. She had a big genoa which we didn’t have, and it carried her across the line just 8 minutes in front - but the sail is accounted for in her handicap, so when the results were calculated, we beat her by just over an hour! And we were actually the 11th boat over the line, one of our best race results ever, after a huge amount of effort and commitment.


In 2011 we had an eventful start to the final Tall Ships Race of the year, during the parade of sail out of Stavanger, as skipper Wolf diverted for a proper close-up of some water cannons which were part of the festivities. The crew got thoroughly wet, but no sooner were they changed and dry again than OYT Scotland’s boat, Alba Endeavour, came alongside with a full armoury of water balloons. So John Laing and all her crew started the race nice and clean...

It was a light wind race, which is never going to be suited to a heavy steel vessel; but the team made some good tactical decisions and stayed towards the front of the fleet on the water - just not far enough ahead to avoid the drop down the placings once handicaps are applied. However, there was plenty to keep people amused in the light winds - games on deck; accompanying dolphins, and the silky-smooth radio voice of Dougie Walker, skippering Alba Endeavour, which so entranced our crew that Dougie was persuaded to write a bedtime story and read it to them. Our crew also baked a cake which may have used up all the sugar meant for the next two legs back to the UK, and was very thin at one end and very thick at the other owing to having been baked while the boat was heeling.

Once the finish line was crossed it was still some way to Halmstad, so John Laing went for a mini-cruise and spent an evening in the Swedish town of Varberg - a beautiful mediaeval town with nice beaches, a very wacky building on the end of the quay, and an odd habit by the locals of driving around in large, ancient American cars playing cheesy Euro-pop very loudly. They had a festival on, and the crew had a good evening there and still managed an 0330 start next day to get to the Halmstad festival in time.


In 2013 the Tall Ships race series had finished and we had started the long trip home from Poland, with a passage from Szczecin to Heiligenhafen (a short way east of Kiel), on the way to the Kiel Canal and the route back to the North Sea, and were  having a day of traditional navigation without using the modern electronics - while enjoying the last day’s sailing in the beautiful Baltic!


In 2015 we were spending some time in the Channel Islands, an idea initiated by our clients, the Skelton Explorer Scouts, who had been camping in Jersey and liked the idea of finding a more interesting and challenging way of getting home than just sitting on a ferry. This gave us the idea of building a bit of our summer voyage programme around Jersey, so that other groups could sail in the area and we would be in the right place for bringing the Explorers back. They had allowed enough time for a cruise rather than sailing straight back; so we started with a sail to St-Quay-Portrieux where they spent a morning enjoying market day. After that they made their way back through the Channel Islands and as it got dark, the sky cleared, the stars came out, the wind kicked in and they had a fabulous screaming reach back across the Channel, arriving off Brixham in time to anchor for breakfast. The voyage finished with a navigation exercise into Poole – and also Josh Caudrey and Sara Turnbull both successfully completing third mate qualifications!

At sea


This week’s newsletter in 2016 started with Will Parker being signed off as a third mate, followed by a couple of adult day sails out of Plymouth. The next group joined in bad weather and quickly abandoned their ambitions for Roscoff and sailed to Dartmouth instead, followed by Brixham and then Salcombe where our berth turned out to be as close as anyone could safely go to the evening’s fireworks display - a spectacular view!


Here’s the crew on the beach next morning with John Laing visible between them:


In 2017 we were in the Baltic, sailing first from Latvia to the Tall Ships festival in Klaipeda in Lithuania, where we entered the crew sports and managed to come first in the long jump and third in the shot put!


Next came the crew parade where the crew went as characters from the film Moana:

Crew parade

Crew member Rex won the prize for best-dressed male! (It may not be completely obvious from the pictures but he is in fact dressed as a crab, with shell and claws).


We put some comments from this crew in the week’s newsletter:

“This voyage was by far the most amazing. We went to Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania. The boat got pushed to its limits, serious teamwork was needed to operate all its sails, the watch leaders really were the glue between us and were really kind and enthusiastic with everyone.”

“An absolutely fantastic voyage, my favourite of the three I have done with OYT. The race itself was brilliant fun and hard work, and I particularly enjoyed my watch ... The other young people were amazing and I have made firm friends in only 10 days. The staff as well were incredible, they could not have done a better job and their volunteering is massively appreciated. I will remember this voyage forever.”

And Rosalie Sanders completed her third mate’s assessment!

This crew was replaced by a school group from Stamford for the next race, who did the parade of sail up and down the river in dreadful weather and all got very wet. Out to sea and they headed for the race start line where ace tactician Rooby got Prolific perfectly on the start line as the gun sounded! The fleet then spread out over a huge distance, with Prolific and others who can sail well to windward a very long way from some of the traditional rig vessels at the back of the fleet. The weather was also unpredictable: on at least two occasions there were threats of squalls with thunder and lightning. On one occasion Prolific reduced sail in anticipation of squalls which didn’t come to much, but at the end of the race they heard a radio report of a vessel north of them enduring huge winds in a squall, and although it was only around 30 knots when it hit Prolific, they were very glad they had reduced sail in time! The race was finished early in order to allow the vessels at the back of the fleet to motor to Szczecin in time for the festival and the bulletin ended as Prolific was making her way in.

At sea

At sea

In 2018 we were sailing in the West Country where for some reason Prolific kept finding herself in the same port as Moosk (skipper: Ollie Bowden). We met up in the Helford River and next day saluted Moosk with a Macarena as we overtook her.

Then Fowey and Torbay before heading back into Brixham a day early due to forecast bad weather – making up for the lack of sailing with a BBQ very kindly arranged by the MDL marina staff and cooked by the four crew members who were doing their Duke of Edinburgh's Gold residential on the voyage:


The crew also staged their own version of the Great Prolific Bake-Off and made some enormously impressive cakes. Lauren Mackenzie completed her third mate's assessment on this voyage.

Next came our annual week with the MACS charity for children born without eyes or with under-developed eyes. We anchored on the first night in Ansteys Cove with what we thought were three friendly sail training vessels from the Island Trust: Moosk, Tectona and Pegasus. However, a bit of overnight skullduggery took place as we found something dangling from our bowsprit next day: 


On Wednesday the MACS crew undertook a long passage to Cawsand Bay, near Plymouth, made much longer by having to sail to windward - though at least it was lovely weather. Eventually the wind died and the decision was taken to motor-sail in, arriving at 10.30pm in time for a rowdy game and then bed. Next day, they spotted what they hoped was a whale but turned out to be a huge wheel which they recovered rather than leave it in the sea:




We logged it on the Marine Debris Tracker - anyone else who cares about the state of our seas should take a look, and report anything you might find!

On this voyage we welcomed back second mate Emily Parker who had been living abroad for a few years but soon showed she hasn't lost her sail flaking skills:


This time last year we were finishing a voyage in the West Country, including a fantastic beach BBQ on Burgh Island:


Next day was Challenge Day and the young people did a great job of getting the boat back to Brixham with minimal intervention from the sea staff:

At sea

At sea

At sea

The following week we welcomed the MACS charity again. Many of these visually-impaired young people had sailed with us before so they were both competent and enthusiastic on board. On the first evening they enjoyed having a four-legged visitor: Red, who lives on one of the neighbouring boats!


Next day they had a very windy and bouncy passage round to Cawsand Bay - quite challenging for the crew. This video shows the conditions they had to cope with!

Next morning they recovered with beaches, pasties and ice-cream, and they went for a sail inside Plymouth Harbour in the afternoon, up to Drake's Island and back to Cawsand where they had a great beach BBQ. The following day they headed back to Dartmouth with no wind and very poor visibility. Luckily this didn't particularly trouble a visually-impaired crew who showed brilliant concentration in listening out for sound signals!

The team from Dart Harbour did a great job of looking after us as we stayed in port for a while due to bad weather, and the crew managed to have a lot of fun:

MACS crew

MACS crew

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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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to the Whirlwind Charitable Trust for a very generous donation. Big 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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* Jellyfish quiz

We often see jellyfish on our voyages, and the Marine Conservation Society has produced a great guide and a quiz on different types of jellyfish – and most importantly, which ones have the most powerful stings – do have a look and learn to tell your Moon Jellyfish from your Mauve Stinger! (click to enlarge)


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

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

We are on Facebook at - please do give us a Like! If you were friends with John Laing on our old page ( please do move to the new page now.

We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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

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

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

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

And a site about climate change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Online fundraising - are you helping us raise funds?

OYT South is registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop - Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, do have a look - once you pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity and start using, you don't need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

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

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

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

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Branded clothing
OYT South branded clothing available - please see here. You can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South's logo!

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Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
Raise And Sail is a section of this website full of ideas, information and support for young people who would like to raise money in order to come sailing with us. Huge thanks to Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows for putting Raise And Sail together. We hope you will find it useful - let us know how you get on as we can add success stories and new ideas to the site in due course.

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New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday, and is also copied onto the website.

If you have just started receiving this newsletter by email, it is because we believe you have signed up and consented to receive it - perhaps by emailing us to ask for it, completing a form on our website, or adding your email address to the book on board where people can sign up to receive news, as well as leaving comments. If this was a mistake or you simply decide you want to stop receiving the newsletter, just press “reply” to the email and write UNSUBSCRIBE at the top, or email webmaster1@oytsouth asking to unsubscribe.

Each week the newsletter includes a wide range of news from the boat and from the charity, including details of voyages available for young people; adult voyages; opportunities for adult volunteers both ashore and afloat, and much more. We find that while some people read the bulletin almost every week, many others dip in and out, and read it when it's convenient - which is why some items are repeated. New items are marked with an asterisk * so that if you did read it last week, you can see which sections you can safely skip.

Please feel free to join in any OYT South activities - nothing here is restricted to long-standing members or people who already know one another. New people are always very welcome!

If you need an introduction to the work of OYT South, you should find a lot of useful information on our website. But essentially, we are a registered charity (no. 1079959) which exists to offer adventure under sail as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 12-25, from the widest possible range of backgrounds. A high proportion of our young crew members are disadvantaged or deserving in some way: many of these sail in groups organised by other charities, youth clubs, special schools and so on, and will fill the bulk of our term-time voyages. But those from more fortunate backgrounds are also welcome to sail, either in groups or by coming as individuals on a mixed voyage. Every year we run a variety of shorter local voyages plus longer adventure trips - sometimes including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here - and this section is also useful for adults who are thinking of organising a voyage for a young person. Adults planning to organise a full group voyage should also see here. Adults who want to sail themselves should see here.

We have a professional staff skipper and engineer, but our watch leaders are normally all volunteers, who combine sailing skills with an interest in working with young people. You can find more information here - how the system works, how to join, and profiles of existing staff and volunteers.  

To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please see here. To help with the vessel's annual refit, see here.

It is a very expensive business maintaining a boat, running an office and employing staff. If you want to help us, please become a member of OYT South. Or see here for information on making a donation.

If you have any questions, please do email - or contact the office.

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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