These days will come again


OYT South bulletin 8th January 2021

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

* Happy New Year…
This isn’t exactly the most joyful New Year as we are all in lockdown once more and with a lot of uncertainties still ahead; but we want to send our very best wishes to all our friends and supporters. You have done so much to help us through the last year and our thoughts are with all of you who are finding things hard at the moment. With the continuing support and enthusiasm of so many people, we do hope to see as many of you as possible on the water and enjoying voyages on board Prolific once we can safely start operating again! We can’t be certain how this year is going to go but do keep reading this newsletter and we’ll keep you all informed as far as we can.

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* New OYT South Vice Patron – Gilly Drummond

We’re delighted to announce that Gilly Drummond has agreed to join OYT South’s team of Vice Patrons. Gilly has been a great supporter of the charity for a number of years so it is fantastic that she is now officially part of the team.

Gilly’s family were Liverpool ship builders, Thomas Royden and Son. Her great-uncle, Lord Royden, as Chairman of Cunard White Star, built the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth. Gilly has sailed in the wake of Captains Cook, Fitzroy and Vancouver, an extraordinary experience. She has previously been a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum and of Solent Rescue, and was also County President of the St John Ambulance Brigade in Hampshire for four years.

Gilly says: “I am passionate about involving young people in sailing as it develops self-reliance, team-work and learning about our maritime history. I am therefore delighted to be invited to join your team of Vice Patrons.”

This is Gilly sailing round Cape Horn:

Gilly Drummond

OYT South’s Patron is Lord Iliffe, and our seven other Vce Patrons are Michael Campbell, Libby Purves, Nicholas Bonham, Jamie Sheldon, Professor Khalid Aziz, the Rt Hon. the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, and Paul Heiney. They give fantastic backing to the charity, both at our major events and behind the scenes, and we are immensely grateful to all of them for their support and commitment.

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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.

The newsletter from this week in 2005 began on a very smelly note as we had just lifted the floorboards in the skipper’s cabin and found the bilge full of stagnant water, caused by rain trickling through from the cockpit locker while the boat had been uncovered at the start of refit. Since we had to remove it bit by bit in a 5-gallon container, we were able to report that we found a total of 85 gallons, and familiarity did not lessen the impact of the smell! But the team (including Gizmo, whose story is told below) had otherwise been making great progress with the endless programme of angle grinding, filling and sanding which made up years of John Laing refits.

The 2006 refit team were likewise deep into sanding and priming when we wrote the first January newsletter, but they mainly wanted to report that between four of them they had eaten a kilo of Quality Street in three days …

In 2007, Rob Harwood had just joined the core team as a full-time volunteer:


He was kept busy trying to console Skipper Wolf for the fact that a cold snap just before Christmas had meant a whole lot of filler used on the hull had failed to go off and all needed to be re-done. Meanwhile Staff Bosun Laura had taken up yoga in the hope that it would help her wriggle into more of the small awkward spaces that needed sanding and painting, but was still too tall and we were advertising for help from anyone who could fit into the engine bilge! Our other big problem was consuming the excess mayonnaise on board as the departure of our previous Staff Bosun Julian “Dinghy Boy” Watkins had caused an extraordinary drop in our average weekly consumption which had unfortunately not been allowed for in the catering plans… However, the team was greatly cheered by the appearance of a mystery man from an anonymous Swan 60 who was emptying his shed out at the boat yard and gave us a lot of things he no longer needed – a bimini, a wheel cover, a man overboard Kim strop, lots of rope, and containers for spare fuel.

In 2008, Jon Seddon came along for a few days to lend a hand:


Jon’s presence was evidently much-needed as full-time core team volunteer Paul was apparently having a strong reaction to the long weeks stuffed into bilges and water tanks:



In this week in 2011, someone posted on our Facebook page: “John Laing is snuggly and warm because the heating works. Wolf says he might put his bikini on.” Whether this was designed to attract or deter refit volunteers was not made clear.

Refit team

However, a more serious view of the value of refit involvement was published in that month’s Practical Boat Owner magazine in a two-page article about our refit team which you can see here (click to enlarge):


We particularly enjoyed this line: "Staff bosun Kirsten was servicing the manual bilge pump. Had she been working on boats for years, I asked? 'No, I was a professional viola player.'"

One of the joys of OYT South has always been the diversity of the team!

In 2012 the refit team had just completed a lot of work on the water tanks and flushed them through, and was assuring everyone that it was worth visiting the refit just because the tea was now tasting so lovely.

Refit team

In 2013 we had three new additions to the full-time core team after the Christmas break. Joining refit manager Sparky, bosun Dave and volunteer Carrie who had been there from the start, we now had Dean Ash, Neil Brackenridge and Amelia Ballisat. Neil had spent the previous winter living on board and refitting his own boat, and in 2012 sailed her to France and into the French canal system on the way to the Mediterranean – and came to us for something to do while the canals were shut for the winter. Mieles had been working in oceanography in the Caribbean and was due to go back to the sunshine after the winter. And Dean had recently qualified as a dinghy instructor and is now looking at ways of expanding his sailing horizons and exploring options for working in the sailing industry.

Refit team

One of the disconcerting things about refit is that at the start of November you take a serviceable, working sail training vessel and spend the next couple of months making everything look worse and worse - before bringing her back into condition again. This photo from January 2014 is a great illustration of the low point just before things start to improve – John Laing herself isn’t exactly looking at her best but all those cans of paint and primer hint at things beginning to look better!


Most refit activities are open to over-18s but occasionally in the past we have had weekends open to 16 and 17-year-olds who have earned recommendations to sail as bosuns in the following season. The newsletter at this stage in 2016 – when we were refitting John Laing for her final season as well as working towards bringing Prolific into service – reported on the last refit weekend before Christmas when James Potter, Jack Stray, Ollie Carr Navin, Jake Clark, Halima Mehmood, Will Parker and Willoughby Matthews came along to service John Laing’s winches and do a lot of sanding, cleaning and tidying on board Prolific. Three of this group are now second mates and all are still in touch with the charity, with those who aren’t actively volunteering all having good reasons to do with work or family.


In January 2017 we were still finishing off refit jobs alongside sea trials and volunteer training ahead of bringing Prolific into service for her first season with us. But the core team also found time to visit the London Boat Show where the team from English Braids very kindly gave them a lesson in splicing and making soft shackles:

English Braids

In 2018 the core team including Susanna and Georgia was hard at work:


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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* How refit changed my life - Gizmo’s story
Every winter we take on a few full-time volunteers to join the staff and form a core team who work together for the whole winter. The core team volunteers get food and accommodation as well as useful experience and hopefully a lot of fun and friendship. Some core team volunteers end up sailing with us and staying involved long-term; others move on. We thought it would be interesting to catch up with a few previous volunteers and see how they look back on their refit winter – and find out if the experience has made any difference to their lives. It’s often fascinating to see how involvement with the charity doesn’t just make a lasting difference to young people on our voyages, but also to people who are involved with us in different ways.

In previous issues we have heard from Patrick Kelly (core team 2011-12); Carrie Potter (core team 2012-13); Amy Broderick, formerly Amy Brown (core team 2013-14), Danny Ballantyne (core team 2018-19) and Ian Sillett (core team 2019-20). This week we are going right back to 2004 when we first met Kathryn Francis (now Kat Nelson), who quickly acquired the nickname Gizmo and became a core team volunteer for several refits and much more besides:

“It was early September 2004. I’d finished secondary school with a decent set of GCSEs a couple of months earlier and in a few weeks would be starting college. I booked a last-minute place on board John Laing for a week starting in Poole and finishing in Southampton. It was an adventurous trip involving sunshine, storms and seasickness, a concussion, a trip across Channel and a test of my GCSE French. I loved it. It was as advertised; adventure under sail.

Back ashore, I started college, enrolled in a strange mix of art, science and language. After a few weeks, I knew it wasn’t for me. Fortunately, the OYT South newsletter was calling for volunteers to help on the refit that was just starting. Wolf suggested I try it for two weeks. I stayed for three years.

I didn’t know that at the time, though. Then, I was a college dropout, not really sure what I was going to do with my life. Whilst I was contemplating what to do, I climbed inside the cockpit lockers, the bilges, the water tanks, the engine room. I chipped, sanded, primed, painted. I scrubbed and cleaned and polished. If someone asked how much more work there was to do, we’d say, ‘nearly done, just a bit more polishing’ like John Laing was one of the shiny white plastic boats around us in the Hamble yard.

Worst bit of refit? Almost getting stuck inside one of the water tanks, wearing one of those white paper suits, with goggles and respirator on, paintbrush and torch in hand. Best bit? The sense of satisfaction at the completion of a task. The sense that I had contributed to something greater than myself, that I had done something useful, helpful, that would benefit others. Most memorable bit? Camaraderie, teamwork, friendships. Living and working together forged bonds that I’ve never experienced elsewhere. We were all working together on a common endeavour and, for a brief time, I was a part of that.

After that first refit, I sailed for the following season as bosun and trainee watchleader. After the second refit, I sailed on John Laing and other OYT vessels. After the third refit, I went to Australia to do some diving and then back in the UK, sailed on a boat doing gift experience day sails. I then decided to go to university to study marine biology. After working as a marine biologist for several years, I’ve recently had a career change to be a fantasy author. I can honestly say that refit changed my life. I really don’t know where I’d be now, if I hadn’t signed up with OYT South all those years ago. If I had any advice for my younger self, I’d say: don’t worry about deciding the rest of your life at sixteen, do what you enjoy and if you’re not enjoying it, change to doing something else.”

Here’s Gizmo (centre) on a 2005 voyage with a crew which included young people from France, Germany, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Latvia, Wales and England:


We'd be interested to hear from everyone who has been part of a winter refit core team – whether or not you are still actively involved with the charity – to find out what you are doing now and what effect joining the full-time refit team has had on your life.

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* 2021 volunteer training - shorebased - more details for February 20th and 21st

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.

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
Saturday early afternoon – weather forecasting OR navigation refresher
Saturday late afternoon – high latitude sailing
Saturday evening - social
Sunday morning – mental health
Sunday afternoon – VHF refresher

  • Youthwork (Saturday morning): 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) which we will ask you to do at home before the training weekend, looking at the impact of adverse childhood experiences and how young people can be protected and supported to build resilience. 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): 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.
  • High latitude sailing with OYT South first mate Andrew Wilkes. (Saturday afternoon 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.

We are still looking at options for additional / alternative Sunday afternoon sessions – any ideas or requests?

On Saturday evening we’ll aim to have an online social event – 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.

Meanwhile, Jo – who is currently working one day a week – has been going through the list of active volunteers to see who has expired qualifications or anything that will need renewing during next season. Please do make our lives easy by responding to emails from Jo if needed, and if you need to renew your first aid qualification, for example, please do arrange something locally (the RYA website has a list of course centres) since we can’t offer our usual face-to-face training in February. We really don’t want to find people keen to sail on youth voyages next season but lacking the required qualifications for their role, so do PLEASE think about it now.

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* Refit plans this winter - postponed

We had hoped to be starting Prolific’s winter refit next week 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 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 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 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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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to Peter Tracey; Penny Scott-Bayfield; the Trinity House South East Regional Grants Committee; Felixstowe Master Mariners; and Laura Gilbert in memory of Geoff Ewenson, for very generous donations; and also to all the friends and family of Howard Gross who have continued to make donations in his memory.

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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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. I've signed my mum up already and when I can get hold of my wife's computer I'll do it for her too.

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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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