These days will come again


OYT South bulletin 5th February 2021

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

* 2021 volunteer training - shorebased -
book now – volunteer sea staff and trainee sea staff ALL welcome
Time to let us know if you can attend any of the online sessions we are planning for our training weekend on February 20th and 21st.

Please note that these sessions will all be friendly and welcoming - and free! If you only want to drop in for a few minutes to say hello during the Saturday social, that's fine. Young trainee mates and bosuns who might be doing online lessons for school or college all week and perhaps can't cope with too much Zoom at the weekend, maybe just come for a bit. And if you have other responsibilities, like childcare or anything else, and you need to switch your camera off and deal with something during a session, that's all fine. Basically the message is that if you think any of this sounds interesting but you are feeling a bit intimidated ... don't be!

More details below but it would be helpful to have an idea of numbers if you can let us know which of these sessions you hope to attend:

Saturday morning – youthwork
EITHER Saturday early afternoon – weather forecasting
OR Saturday early afternoon – navigation refresher
Saturday late afternoon – high latitude sailing
Saturday evening - social
Sunday morning – mental health
EITHER Sunday afternoon – VHF refresher
OR Sunday afternoon – Thinking about Yachtmaster Coastal / Offshore?

The sessions have been timed to allow significant gaps between each one, so that you won’t be stuck in front of a screen all day with no chance to take a break or even get outside for a walk. The morning sessions will finish so that you have plenty of time before the afternoon sessions begin at 2pm; and on Saturday one of the afternoon sessions should end around 3pm and the alternative option at 4pm so either way you get an hour or two before the high-latitude session starts at 5pm.

  • Youthwork (Saturday morning - starting 0930): how has COVID and lockdown affected young people and how can we support them on board? This will involve a short online course (max 50 minutes). Please do this at home before the training weekend. It looks at the impact of adverse childhood experiences and how young people can be protected and supported to build resilience. There are a couple of videos which don’t seem to play but don’t worry – there’s plenty of interest and value in the course without them. The course was written pre-COVID, but as you go through it, just think about COVID as another type of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience). Then on the day of the training weekend we will have a session with Nyssa Hutchings, a teacher who has brought many school groups on voyages (and is herself a volunteer watchleader), talking about what her school has experienced in terms of young people affected by COVID and lockdown; followed by a session with Lucinda Neall looking at what we can do on board to support these young people.
  • Looking after your mental health (Sunday morning - starting 0930): with Sue Cheshire who ran a great session for us last year. This year’s session will include the implications of COVID, and is suitable for anyone whether or not you came last year.
  • Weather forecasting (Saturday afternoon 2pm): 1-hour session with Simon Rowell (author of Weather At Sea) on getting, understanding and using a forecast – where forecasts come from and how to decide whether to trust them. An ideal course for anyone who doesn’t want to find themselves in Alderney and needing to get to Poole but with an unexpected northerly Force 8 in the forecast! Invaluable for anyone involved in voyage planning. Recommended for skippers, first mates, second mates and anyone else interested in the weather. This session will run at the same time as the navigation refresher so you need to pick one or the other.
  • Navigation refresher with Dom Coleman (Saturday afternoon 2pm):  an interactive 2-hour chart chat aimed at third mates, less experienced second mates, and bosuns – basically anyone who doesn’t have huge amounts of chartwork experience and needs a relaxed and friendly refresher. This session will run at the same time as Weather forecasting so you need to pick one or the other.
  • VHF refresher with Dom Coleman (Sunday afternoon 2pm):an interactive 2-hour session aimed at people with limited radio experience. Maybe you have done the GMDSS course but you would like a reminder after not having made a radio call for a year; or maybe you’re thinking about getting the qualification next time you have the chance but for now you’re at a level where the skipper might ask you, under supervision, to make a radio call ahead to a marina, and you’d like to know more about it. This session will run at the same time as Thinking about Yachtmaster Coastal / Offshore? so you need to pick one or the other
  • Thinking about Yachtmaster Coastal / Offshore? with Andy Brown and Holly Vint (Sunday afternoon 2pm): Are you thinking about tackling a Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore qualification in the next year or two? Or have you considered it and then thought it might be too daunting or you might not be ready? What does it involve, how does it work, what skills and experience do you need before attempting either qualification, and how can you use voyages in Prolific - or any other sailing you might be doing - to build yourself up to a level where you can tackle it? Suitable for second and third mates, or anyone else who is thinking ahead about these qualifications. This session will run at the same time as the VHF refresher so you need to pick one or the other
  • High latitude sailing with OYT South first mate Andrew Wilkes. (Saturday afternoon 5pm after the weather / navigation sessions): Some of you will have seen this talk online already as the Ocean Cruising Club winter lecture, but for those of you who haven’t seen it (or would like to see it again!), Andrew is the Editor of the excellent Arctic and Northern Waters Cruising Guide published by the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation. He has sailed the North West Passage as well as remote coasts throughout the Arctic. This is an overview of Arctic sailing including the North West Passage and Scoresby Sund. Roughly 1 hour.

On Saturday evening we’ll aim to have an online social event starting at 6.30pm - including a few words from our CEO, and a quiz – provide your own drinks!

The idea is that people can dip in and out – you might attend just one session in the whole weekend, or you might sign up to a full programme across both days – it’s up to you.

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* In this week in previous years
While the charity is unable to operate, it is good to keep reminding ourselves about the value of our charitable work, the life-changing experiences and fantastic fun and friendship on our voyages and at our vessel refits and other activities. If you have a treasured memory of sailing, working or volunteering with us, or a tale of a voyage you will never forget, or a funny story, please send it to and we'll publish the best in future editions of this newsletter.

In this week in 2004, the full-time refit team of Wolf, Craig, Phoebe and Dinghy Boy went off for a Day Skipper course leaving a team of volunteers in charge of John Laing whose deck was thick with ice … Andy Royse was practising his Torville and Dean impression with any available partner on the coachroof. Luckily the sun came out and the ice melted, and it turned into a perfect day to complete the first coat of antifouling. Wolf had been left to purchase an enormous bargain tin of antifouling which saved OYT South a lot of money, but it wasn’t in the colour of our choice and dried a rather distressing shade of orange, a sad contrast with the dark red topsides which left us planning to sail under-canvassed all year so as not to heel over and display the hull. Luckily International Paint has saved us from such indignities for many years now and we can be proud to display any painted, antifouled or varnished part if the vessel!

We tried to get an update for the newsletter from the Day Skipper team but all we could hear on the end of the phone was the sound of teeth chattering and a comment about cultivating a display of indoor icicles…

In 2005 we were getting worried about how much work was left to do before the launch and the refit team had proposed a Valentine’s Weekend Refit, with a promise that anyone single would be paired up with someone suitable and put into a small space together with paintbrushes. There was some mention of a Saturday night refit candlelit dinner and Wolf was already choosing the CD playlist. Sadly no-one trusted his sense of humour when it came to pairing people up so the take-up from would-be Valentines was low!

In 2006, all the filling, sanding and priming on the hull had been completed, and John Laing was ready for antifouling below the waterline and painting above it.


Meanwhile the staff bosun was sorting the hardware locker and finding lots of things he didn't recognise, including spares for systems that had been removed years earlier. It’s amazing how this keeps happening, however often you sort through a boat’s spares!

This was also the week when we said farewell to refit volunteer Kerry “Special K” McMillan who was going off to be first mate on the Gordonstoun School boat, Ocean Spirit of Moray (formerly the Ocean Youth Club boat, Team Spirit of Wight). In the same week we heard that Gizmo had been accepted onto a new ASTO training scheme - great news for both of them but the end of a team which had been together through two full-time winter refits, though both would return frequently on a more casual basis!

In 2007 this week, we had a visit from Phoebe, a former full-time refit volunteer, who came to help out and managed to get the lid of a paint tin stuck to her hair without noticing it, and was actually flattered when Trevor Hewson told her “Your hair looks very glossy!”

Meanwhile Skipper Wolf went to a meeting of Marine Net, an organisation which connected local businesses, which included a visit to a submarine (Wolf says "it looked like it would be really tough to park") and meeting someone from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who turned out to be a magician and was able to make the print appear and disappear on Wolf’s business card.

In this week in 2009 we were saying goodbye to Martin Skipper who was retiring from the Board of Trustees having been our Chair since 2007. Martin’s successor as Chair was Fred Cole who remains actively involved to this day and is a wise and trusted voice in the charity’s deliberations.

At the same time, ex-staff bosun Dings was visiting the refit and, when asked to describe what he found, said: “It’s dusty. Really dusty. So dusty you can’t see anything inside the boat. And outside the boat there’s lots of condensation so the dust is turning to mud.” As a consequence of sanding all the woodwork in an environment filled with condensation, we were appealing in the newsletter for someone to donate our first dehumidifier!

In 2010 we were reporting on a phenomenal volunteer effort – by the end of January we had already had 154 days of volunteer labour over the winter. Maybe this was something to do with the quality of the snacks?


We were certainly well aware of the thousands of pounds it would cost us each winter to have professional boatyard refit workers doing all the jobs done for us by volunteers. It really has made the most immense difference to the charity over the years.

In 2011 we reported that “the team has spent the week painting pretty much everything that doesn’t get out of the way when you approach with a brush or roller”: the deck and interior had all had at least one coat and we were getting ready to tackle the topsides:


We were also doing various electronic or technical jobs and skipper James was working on the mast:


In 2012 we were announcing the winners of the Chris Ellis Award (in memory of one of our founders) for the best piece of creative work from a young person based on the 2017 season. The winner was 15-year old Jack Trevail for this superb painting of a surreal stormy evening at a Tall Ships festival in the Baltic:

Painting by Jack Trevail

Runner-up was Robbie James with this ode to the ship’s spider plant, Wilt Hangs – the very same plant hanging in Prolific today! Here’s Wilt this week - ten years after being immortalised in verse - nipping outside for a nice drink of rain:


In this week in 2013 we reported on huge amounts of work being completed all over the boat by hordes of volunteers. The skipper’s cabin didn’t look entirely ready to inhabit, though:


Once again we were close to painting the boot topping:


And we were announcing another year of Chris Ellis Award winners, with this amazing video from Katie and Hannah Hillier, explaining why they should be picked for funded places on a voyage the following season::


Chris Ellis Award winners were also announced in this week in 2014, with the top prize going to Ellesha Meadow Sams (14), for a fabulous and heartwarming piece of writing, and a highly commended second prize to Liam Portrey (16) – whose sister is now one of our sea staff! You can see both entries here.

At refit we had a fantastic volunteers’ weekend and powered through immense amounts of work, cake and flapjacks; and we also had two teams from law firm Holman Fenwick Willan joining us for volunteering days. The first team got a coat of paint on the deck and also the crew quarters, and the second team did the second coats:



Meanwhile John Laing’s forehatch had been giving us problems for years and we finally decided to bite the bullet and replace the old sliding hatch with something easier to open. The work was well under way and the welder had done his job when skipper Andy started having a panic attack about whether the big orange fenders would fit through any more!



The Chris Ellis award announced in this week in 2016 went to Parice Smith for a lively PowerPoint describing her trip, including a map of their route, and concluding that her best bits were:

  • Meeting new friends
  • Being in control of such a big boat
  • Helping to cook dinner for everyone
  • Being part of an amazing team
  • …and “I can’t wait to go again”.

Things were a bit different in 2017 as the refit to bring Prolific into service was coming to an end and we were having to figure out how she would work – developing routines for everything from sail hoists and drops to how the gangway ought to come on and off:

sea trials

sea trials

… and how on earth these devices (never seen on board John Laing) should be used:

sea trials

In this week in 2018 we seemed to be all about the varnishing; but in the meantime we were surprised and impressed to find that the local press in Surrey and south west London had named OYT South has one of the 16 best international summer camps for teenagers - alongside other projects as far afield as Canada and Beijing!

We also had a team outing to see the band Police Dog Hogan playing in Southampton - featuring our Trustee Eddie Bishop on fiddle and mandolin - a great night out!

Police Dog Hogan

In 2019 we reported on the previous week’s conference of the Association of Sail Training Organisations – featuring annual award ceremonies which had produced a number of celebrations for OYT South team members over the years. This year we were very proud that the award for the Best Potential Sail Training Skipper went to Holly Vint! This award was open to sail trainers who had not yet started skippering large sail training vessels, and came at the end of the season which Holly had spent with us as Sailing Support Officer. The certificate said: “Awarded to the sea staff member who shows the best potential, not just for command ability and seamanship but also for the capability of fulfilling the youth development aims of Sail Training.” Holly is now realising all that potential as Prolific’s Staff Skipper!

Meanwhile, Prolific had come out of the water at Endeavour Quay, and the main mast was also out:



After the lift the team was working hard on installing new lighting, taking off and servicing the seacocks, preparing the hull for antifouling and repairing the bowthruster.

This week in 2020 we were obviously aware of stories about a virus but although there were discussions about how it might affect us, we were still preparing for a season that we thought would go ahead – perhaps with a little delay. We had a huge volunteers’ weekend with loads of painting and priming, and the core team was busy servicing winches:




That 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 how much effort so many people have put in over the years to ensure that we can keep helping young people develop the skills to succeed in life!

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* Prolific news

Big thanks to Holly who is looking after Prolific at the moment. This week she has run up the fire pump, generator and engine:

Holly and the engine

She has been sanding and cleaning the wood interior:


And this morning she managed a really good deck wash in the sunshine:

Deck wash

Although first thing this morning a sunny deck wash hadn’t seemed altogether likely as this was the view … someone seems to have stolen the Weston and Woolston shore …


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* First aid training – including some great interactive films
A number of OYT South people have been doing the online extension courses for first aid qualifications which were about to expire, and one of the instructors reminded us of a great series of interactive films where you as a first aider have to decide what to do, and act quickly to save a life. The films take you through the complete process, giving you options at each stage - can you make the right decisions in time? It’s really worth doing – each exercise doesn’t take long but it’s completely absorbing and easy to get drawn in and feel some of the pressure of a real situation. It’s a good tool for ensuring that the key steps are so embedded in your mind that you automatically know what to do next with no hesitation.

Meanwhile, for anyone who hasn’t tackled this yet: if your three-year RYA first aid qualification is expiring while a full face-to-face course is impossible due to COVID, the RYA is currently allowing a one-year extension (not a full three-year renewal) via video conference. This is a much shorter course (around 2 hours) and you can see further details and a list of centres offering the course here. Quite a few OYT South people have tried this course with different centres and all felt it was useful and worthwhile.

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* Useful training videos on basic boating skills
One of our volunteers, Dom Coleman, who runs Dorset Marine Training, has been making some videos on basic boating tips – do have a look. There are some really simple videos on things like setting up lines and fenders:


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* How to make fish happy!
Regular readers may remember that a while ago we announced that Prolific was switching over to environmentally-friendly toilet paper. This much more than your bog-standard recycled: Tanki won the Maritime UK Innovation Award last year for the only toilet roll that’s 100% plastic and glue free. This means it is much better for the environment and keeps the fish happy – and it’s also much less likely to cause blockages in marine toilets (though it is also suitable for your own home, caravan etc.). We’ve been happily using it for a while on board and Tanki is a friendly company which is enthusiastically supportive towards sail training. This week they ventured into TV advertising, but if you haven’t yet seen it on ITV, you can watch here:


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* Sixteen years of feedback

Normally at this time of year we would have a compilation of comments from young people and group leaders who sailed with us last year. Because we have no new comments from 2020, we’ve been looking through comments going back to 2004 when we started keeping a record, and we’ve put together a “greatest hits” page – do have a look!

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* Using OYT South experience in interviews

We often talk to young people about how they might use their OYT South experience in interviews for work, college or training places so it’s great to hear when someone says it has really made a positive difference. Trainee bosun (and ace fundraiser) Nathan Kelsall told us this week: “Every interview I've had so far, I think my experiences with the charity have come up, usually I use the charity as an example of where I've been able to develop different skills like teamwork, communication, confidence and it just sparks a conversation because for most interviewers it's a unique thing to hear and they become really intrigued about it and I do genuinely think that because of that it has made me stand out in interview processes and got me the position such as my job at Primark over Christmas and so I know it sounds really cliché when we say like “oh this is an once in a lifetime opportunity and it will help you in the future”, but then like I've experienced when you see it actually benefitting your life and helping you gain opportunities it does really make you grateful for all the memories and skills OYT South teaches you.”

If you have ever used your OYT South experience to help you get a job or any other role, do let us know and we can publish examples in future issues of this newsletter.

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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners who have pledged another grant towards the salary and training of our Staff Cadet. Thanks also to Ilene Grifen for a kind donation in memory of Joe Vittoria. Big thanks as well to all our supporters and friends who have responded with such kindness and generosity to our appeal over the last 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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Jake’s research – can you help?
One of our second mates, Jake Clark, has been studying Outdoor Education at the University of Chichester and is doing a research project focusing on the interpersonal relationships between sail trainers and their participants, as well as looking at the pedagogical/holistic development benefits of this – and he needs sail trainers to help him!

He’s looking for sail trainers to interview - a maximum 30-minute story telling interview around the end of January/February. He’s particularly interested in skippers and first mates but others are welcome – ideally people holding the minimum qualification of day skipper as well as being an active member of a sail training organisation based in the UK, with a minimum of 5 years’ experience. If you fit the bill and would like to help Jake, please email

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Passports – be prepared

Since 1st January 2021, British passport holders travelling to the EU will need to ensure that on the day you travel, your passport has at least 6 months left, and it must also be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left). If you’re planning to sail with us once we get up and running again, do make sure your passport is in order in case your voyage might be able to sail to France. You might find it convenient to get it renewed while travel isn’t possible so that you don’t have to send it off for renewal later on!

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Refit plans this winter - postponed

We had hoped to be running Prolific’s winter refit at the moment but no-one will be surprised to hear that we have postponed bringing the team back together on board. Obviously we don’t want to put our staff at risk and it’s important to help protect the NHS.

This year’s refit will be as small as possible and won’t need to take very long, and we won’t be calling for the usual army of volunteer help. Once we can start the refit work, if anything comes up where we do need help and can manage it safely, we will let you know; but in the meantime we want to thank everyone who has worked so hard on Prolific in recent years and ensured that the boat is in such a good condition that we only need to tackle the bare essentials this year.

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2021 sailing plans

We are determined to do everything possible to sail this year and not spend another full season with Prolific in harbour. There are still a lot of unknowns about what might be possible with voyages in 2021 and there will need to be some changes to the draft programme: but we DO hope and expect to be needing volunteer sea staff in 2021!

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2021 volunteer bookings
- send in your bids now
We don’t yet have anything like enough sea staff bids to be able to start allocating voyages but despite all the uncertainties, we DO want to hear from you!

Because we hope to be sailing in 2021 and we know that volunteer sea staff need to have dates in your diaries so you can also make other plans, we want 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 rather than struggling to put teams together at the last minute.

Therefore, if you want to sail as a volunteer in 2021, PLEASE 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. If you really need an answer quickly 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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2021 volunteer training – on board

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

Obviously plans can change and things may need to be postponed but we’re currently looking at the possibility of sailing with volunteers on the following dates (with youth voyages starting after that):

A) Friday 2nd April 8pm – Sunday 4th April 5pm
B) Tuesday 6th April 8pm - Thurs 8th April 5pm
C) Friday 9th April 8pm to Sunday 11th April 5pm
D) Tuesday 13th April 8pm to Thurs 15th April 5pm
E) Friday 16th April 8pm to Sunday 18th April 5pm

We may not be able to sail with a full boat so places are likely to be limited. First priority will go to relief skippers, first mates and second mates. If there are spare places we will then look at those third mates and bosuns who are applying to do quite a few voyages; and only if there are spare places after that will we allocate them to occasional 3Ms, bosuns and trainee mates. This is simply because if we get the more senior team and the regulars happy and comfortable on board again, they will be in a good position to supervise and support others as needed on youth voyages. Skippers, 1Ms and 2Ms need to be ready to take on their usual responsibilities as soon as we start sailing with young people - others can more easily get extra help if you are a bit rusty!

However, none of this should stop people at any level from applying for these voyages – we might as well know who would be available and keen if there are spaces. We just want to be clear that we may not be able to fit everyone in and we don’t want you to be disappointed if you apply for something and don’t get it.

So please email now to say which of the training voyages A to E you could do, if they go ahead on those dates. If possible please give us some flexibility so we can fit others around anyone who has limited availability. And if you can sail on weekdays then please do offer, in order to free up weekends for those who have limited annual leave and would like to take it later in the year to sail on youth voyages.

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Raise funds for OYT South if you're shopping online!

"What a fool I was!" says Mark Todd.

"For ages I've seen in the bulletin that Easyfundraising is a good way to raise money for charity, but I never got round to doing anything about it, and when Caz told me how easy it was, I didn't listen.

I thought it might be a hassle, or that I'd have to remember to do something when I bought stuff online, or that it probably wasn't really worthwhile.

This week I finally got round to it and it turns out it's a REALLY EASY way to raise money for the charity I care about ... and I definitely should have done it sooner.

It takes a minute or two to sign up; you can do it on a desktop, tablet and/or phone, and you can install a widget that flags up when a donation is available. Once that's done, imagine you're looking to buy - say - a rainbow unicorn: just put "rainbow unicorn" in your usual search box, and the list of results shows you which sites come with donations, and how much. It's up to you what to pick and whether to accept the donation from the site, but a huge choice of sites will offer a donation - and it doesn't cost you a penny.

I don't know why I didn't do it sooner ... but if there's anyone else who has been like me and just not got round to it, PLEASE click the link now and sign up!"


OYT South is also 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.

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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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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