Gosport sailing charity offers amazing opportunities to youngsters – Zella Compton 

Ocean Youth Trust South yacht, Prolific
Ocean Youth Trust South yacht, Prolific
Share this article

Who wouldn’t love days like last Saturday when the Gosport Marine Festival sprang into action?   It was delightful. I’d managed to secure myself a day’s sailing in a yacht which – when I booked – seemed like an excellent plan. 

Enjoy the water, challenge myself, do something different.

When I woke up on the morning, though, it was an entirely different matter, and the doubts set in. About being sea sick, about the other people on board, about being marooned on the Isle of Wight.

And then the various stages of panic about toilet facilities started galloping through my mind, including would there be a loo on-board? 

I can’t pee on coaches or aeroplanes, probably for some deep-rooted psychological reason that’s terribly inconvenient and I have no idea what it is.

Would I even be able to fit my large bottom into the loo on-board, which would undoubtedly be in a small cupboard?

A little bit of research in advance would have solved all these worries, though, as when I caught sight of her, all my fears were allayed. 

This wasn’t some tiny tub with everyone sitting on each other’s knees in the cockpit, this was a magnificent boat with room to get lost on.

Prolific belongs to Ocean Youth Trust – South, and is a stunning 20m plus yacht which takes groups of mainly young people to sea, and teaches them confidence and skills.

It’s crewed by an awesome band of staff whose average age – get this – must be about 24, as far as I could tell.

They’re manning this gigantic vessel, with tonnes of land-lubbers on board, and expertly negotiating around shipping in the Solent – ferries, leisure boats and dinghy races. If there ever was such a thing to build confidence, sailing that beast at that age – any age – is surely it.

Sadly for you, Gosport Marine Festival is a one-day event that’s now been and gone for 2019. 

But if you have an eligible young adult who could do with a challenge, have a look at Ocean Youth Trust South’s website. 

Do you have a forgotten pot of pension dosh out there?

Seemingly there’s £19bn in lost pension pots floating around.

Many of us, while changing careers, have lost track of where our money has been invested into workplaces schemes.

Who’s surprised when we stay in jobs for a year or two, and then move on?

I’m guilty of this, and it’s one of the those jobs which I have been putting off.

Luckily for me (but not my family) I am a hoarder of paperwork and have suitcases of it in the attic.

All I need to do, I keep telling myself, is get up there and sort it out.

But I have a sneaky suspicion that all of those pots are like gold at the end of the rainbow – a lot of hope with very little in them. 

Yet another round of voting with no sensible answers

How are you going to vote in the European elections next week?

 Talk about a complex nightmare of factors to contend with, whatever your political affiliation.

This is probably the most hypothesised European elections ever – with tactical voting, remain and leave voting – and no way of getting any sensible answers out of the murky soup.

I’m past the stage where elections affect my children’s schools and at least no longer have to worry about school closures on top of everything else and what to do with them for a day.

Now all I need to do is worry about their future and hope I have an epiphany in time to make my mark in the ballot.