Tsunami Memorial Service

The memorial service of the 11th anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004

OceanStars :: Wednesday 20th January 2016 :: This Story

The memorial service of the 11th anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004  that took place in Navalady Beach, Kalladay, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, was attended by our Ocean Stars Lanka Staff. They handed out buns to the families of the bereaved that attended the service.

New equipment for Siththy Vinayagar High School

Calthorpe Park School, Fleet students raise funds for their link school Siththy Vinayagar High School in Batticaloa Sri Lanka.

OceanStars :: Tuesday 8th December 2015 :: This Story

The school now has a photo copy machine, a laptop, a screen and a multi media machine.The Headteacher and staff at the school were very happy to receive these gifts and said that it would greatly enhance the educational opportunities available to their students.

Choosing printer Photo copier working School Gifts School Principle and Dilanee

Ocean Starts Trip October 2015

18 students and staff from Calthorpe Park School Fleet and Volunteers from Fleet Methodist Church leave for Sri Lanka this week!

OceanStars :: Thursday 22nd October 2015 :: This Story

Calthorpe Park School BLOG


Follow our trip with Beyond Boundaries  here is the link

Amali and Sophie leave for Sri Lanka to volunteer for Ocean Stars on Tuesday 20.10.15



Amali and Sophie leave for Sri Lanka to volunteer for Ocean Stars on Tuesday 20.10.15

OST Team1 from Callthorpe School in Fleet


18 students and staff from Calthorpe Park School Fleet, known as OST  Team 1  and two members from OST Team 2 ( general volunteers) leave for Sri Lanka on Wednesday 21.10.15

Members from Fleet Methodist Church leave for Sri Lanka Thursday 22.10.15Members from Fleet Methodist Church leave for Sri Lanka Thursday 22.10.15

Members from Fleet Methodist Church leave for Sri

OST Team2 ready for their trip to Sri Lanka

Lanka Thursday 22.10.15

Dilanee and Heather leave for Sri Lanka

Kate's journey to Brazil

Kate who has been sailing in Stage 1 of the Clipper Round the world challenge with her crew in the boat UNCEF is due to arrive in RIO this Friday 2nd October

OceanStars :: Monday 5th October 2015 :: This Story

Please have a read of Kate's diary entry of her nights under the stars.


RACE 1 - DAY 22

One of my best watches when the skies are clear is the 2200 to 0200 shift. I go to sleep in daylight at around 1800 and wake up in time to go on deck at 2200 after the sun has set and the temperatures are starting to drop.

Climbing up the companionway to be met by a cool breeze and a canopy of stars is second to none. As I lie on deck looking straight up into the sky and past the top of the mast I regret not knowing more about the celestial bodies around us. The constellations are there to be identified and as we move further south the familiar 'Plough' and 'Orion's belt' occupy unfamiliar places in the night sky. We will soon be south of the Equator and the 'Southern Cross' and southern hemisphere stars will replace all that is familiar. Stars shoot across the sky and if you look carefully satellites can be identified as they appear to travel through space, faster than aeroplanes though slower than shooting stars. The Milky Way presents as a ribbon of light from one horizon to the other, star studded with bright and not so bright stars. Somewhere up there is the star my daughter, Becca, gave me for my birthday. 

Yet to be identified but I know that it is up there looking down on us both. We have been blessed with a bright moon for most of the journey so far and this along with the light from the stars means that we have not been sailing in total darkness, though a new moon for the past couple of nights has made it difficult to see at times, especially if there is any haziness around.

Closer to hand is the sea and all that it has to offer in terms of animal life. Flying fish are frequently seen during the day as they fly away from the boat to avoid colliding with our blue hull, but after dark and when there is a light shining on the spinnaker these flying fish head straight for the boat, attracted by the light we surmise. They can be heard landing with a thud as they hit the deck, or there is a loud screech as someone is hit on the head by one. Waking up in the morning to find numerous dead fish on deck or in the sails is a common occurrence, as is finding everywhere covered with scales. As we crossed the Bay of Biscay many days ago there was a screech from one of the crew, a light was turned on, and on the deck lay a squid. Now, has anyone heard of flying squid?

Dolphins are always a welcome attraction whether day or night though once it is dark there is always an added element of magic. Phosphorescence is a welcome companion at the best of times but when dolphins are added into the mix the magic and mystery is taken to a different level. These sea creatures can be tracked through the water as fast moving ribbons of light, weaving in and out with each other. When they come up for air there is a break in the trace of light which is accompanied with a short snort as the creatures take a gulp of air before diving back down under the water again.

They appear to be having a lot of fun, weaving, ducking and diving around the boat as we all sit and stand in awe at the beauty of their creation.

Night is also the time for big ships and tankers to pass silently by, their lights twinkling in the distance as we try and identify red from green; is it travelling towards us or away? Computers help to identify hazardous cargoes or fishing boats with limited maneuverability and we can only guess at where their destinations might be. A couple of nights ago we passed through the Cape Verde islands, close enough to see the evidence of human occupation with street lights, an aeroplane taking off, for who knows where, and a number of navigation lights on the ends of significant promontories. Strange to be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and to be presented with the ability to make phone calls home and to send text messages.

Our senses are heightened when darkness falls. Sounds of the boat are louder, the noise from the water as we pass through it is amplified and the snorts from the dolphins announce their arrival before they can be seen.

On stormy nights the sound from the flapping sail is cacophenous as we struggle as a crew to put in a reef and reduce sail, the wind whipping and howling around the mast and making life very difficult. Even on calm nights the sails snap as the wind comes and goes in the stillness of a nearly windless night.

Night time is different. It is special in it's own way as we experience the darkness, sights and sounds that are unattainable in everyday life.



Fundraising Car Boot Success

Well done to Sophie and Kerry!

OceanStars :: Monday 5th October 2015 :: This Story

Sophie Sowden member of Ocean Stars Team 2 and her mum Kerry did a car boot sale on Sunday 20th September in Farnborough and raised £155 for the work of Ocean Stars!

Well done Sophie and Kerry! 


Countdown to Departure

Students from Calthorpe Park School travelling to Sri Lanka on Wednesday 21st October 2015 had their pen ultimate last week.

OceanStars :: Monday 5th October 2015 :: This Story

They received their kit for the visit and here are some photos of the team in their new kit.

The team to date has raised £6820.00 for the work of Ocean Stars. An amazing total!

They are all looking forward to the trip that has been a year in planning.



Christmas Craft Event

Come, have fun and make some cards in aid of Ocean Stars

OceanStars :: Friday 18th September 2015 :: This Story

On Saturday 17th October at

Church on the Heath,

Elvetham Heath GU51 1HA

10am-12.30 pm


Cost: £10

For which you will make three cards, have fun and raise money for a worthwhile cause


Refreshments will be provided

There will be a raffle with some great prizes


To book your place please contact

Christine: 01252 647237

Or Tracey-Anne: 01252 786371

Clipper Round the World Challenge


OceanStars :: Monday 7th September 2015 :: This Story

Clipper ChallengeTo follow Kate's progress please go to:

Katewhyatt.blogspot.com/my round the world adventure

This is one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other. With no previous sailing experience necessary, it's a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht. All that is asked of participants is a good level of fitness, an age over 18 - and a thirst for adventure into the unknown. Divided into eight legs and 16 individual races, you can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs. It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew.

To support Ocean Stars through Kate's voyage please go to:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving. com/KateWhyatt

My Round the World Adventure

kate whyattLast December I made the decision to join the Clipper 15-16 race and to race around the world in a 70 ft racing yacht.  I had come to a time in my life where I needed a change in my day to day routine.  I was thoroughly enjoying my GP14 sailing, helping out with Sailability at Frensham on Thursdays and Saturdays, and volunteering for Ocean Stars Trust, a charity that works with children in Sri Lanka, but my heart was not in my work anymore and I felt that it was time to take a break.

Why sail around the world you may ask?  Because it's there, is one reason, but I also want to see the world from a different perspective.  I don't think I have appreciated the size of the planet as I have travelled around at 30,000 ft so it is time to really understand how large and powerful the earth is as I go around at mean sea level.  To experience sailing in the Southern Ocean, to watch the stars rise and set while on night watch, and to see the birds and sea life I have never seen before, are all reasons to make this trip.  Fewer people have sailed around the world than have climbed Mount Everest – this is my Mount Everest. 


What is the Clipper 15-16 race all about?  This is a bi-annual race that was first launched back in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, this one being the tenth.  The boats are a matched fleet of 70 ft ocean going vessels that have been specially designed to circumnavigate the world with an amateur crew.  The course takes the boats more than 40,000 nautical miles right around the world, from west to east, and crew can either sign up for the complete circumnavigation or for one or more of the eight individual legs.  This is a serious race and points are scored in a similar way to F1; 12 points for first, 11 for second, etc, with extra points for reaching a gate first, but also points deducted for, for example, rule infringements and equipment damage. 

On board the clipperThe skipper is a professional sailor and is responsible for guiding his/her amateur crew through the vagaries of the weather and sea states, and safely back to England.  Ages vary from 18 to 70+ years with a mix of men and women from all walks of life.  Amazingly, approximately 40% of those who sign up have never sailed before.  Now that needs courage!! 

As I travel the world I am hoping to raise money for two charities close to my heart, Ocean Stars Trust www.oceanstars.org.uk and Frensham Pond Sailability www.frenshampondsailability.org.uk   To this end I have set up a Virgin Money Giving page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KateWhyatt and all donations will be split 50:50 between the two charities.  Please support this epic adventure, a journey that is going to take me 45,000 miles around the world over 11 months, that is going to challenge me both physically and mentally and that will, at times, be terrifying.

Finally, in order to keep friends and family informed as to what I am up to as I prepare for and take part in the race I am writing a blog, so please have a look at www.katewhyatt.blogspot.co.uk

John's Walk

This is just an appeal to help me through my Hadrian's Wall walk later this month.

OceanStars :: Tuesday 14th July 2015 :: This Story

https://www.justgiving.com/John-BunterDear All,

This is just an appeal to help me through my Hadrian's Wall walk later this month. I'll be starting in Wallsend, Newcastle, on the morning of Thursday 23 July, and hopefully hitting Bowness-on-Solway, west of Carlisle, in the afternoon of Monday 27th July. Practice walks have thus far taught me lessons in the management of blisters, and joint pain, but contributions towards the Ocean Stars Trust will surely keep me going along the 84 mile route.

Here is the Just Giving page link, if you feel you would like to support me. Ocean Stars Trust is a Sri Lankan based charity established in the wake of the Boxing Day Tsunami, and I am a Trustee. This is my contribution to Fund Raising in the 10th Anniversary Year of the charity.


Apart from that...

    1.   Hope you enjoy the special-commissioned picture (Panama, shorts, boots, ill-chosen North Face).

    2.   I'm also celebrating forthcoming entry into a New Decade of Life, recent minor knee surgery, and kids fleeing the nest.



I'd be grateful for any support you could give.

           Many thanks




John's Hadrian's Walk complete!

Start of the WalkEnd of the Walk

"Well I made it in the time I allowed (4 nights and 5 days), walking from Carlisle on the final day across to Bowness-on-Solway on the only wet day I experienced. Just off the main street in Bowness is a little wooden Roman-style porch, from where you can look out to Scotland over the Solway Firth - this marks the end of the 84 mile trek.

It was a remarkable few days walking - by the river Tyne at first, and the Eden at the end. In between, farmland, treacherous high rocks, lakes, reservoirs, moorland, occasional villages and small settlements, uphill, downhill, cows and sheep, and a lot of people going West with me, and some coming East, and all with their stories to tell. Grateful thanks to my friends Jill and David for all their help, and to all of you who have donated to OST in response to those painful blisters on the soles of my feet! 

The Justgiving page remains open should anyone wish to donate further. If anyone would like to know more about walking what is a (surprisingly) new full trekking route, then please do get in touch."

John Bunter, Treasurer, OST.

Yasmin visits Ocean Stars Projects

I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to travel back to Sri Lanka and spend some time visiting the different projects that Ocean Stars Trust supports.

OceanStars :: Tuesday 14th July 2015 :: This Story

Yasmin visiting OST Sri LankaIt had been 6 years since my last visit and so I was able to see how the charity’s work has progressed over that time. The work of Ocean Stars has grown considerably since my last visit and it is clear to see how much of a difference the charity to makes to the lives of many Sri Lankan children.

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend 3 days at Mahadeva Children’s Home in the heavily remote and poor area of Killinochi. It was a humbling experience to spend time with these children who have lost one or both parents during the civil war. The children have very little possessions to call their own, a lot of them undoubtedly have had tough upbringings during the war. Despite this, the children seem happy and playful,  and there is a real community feel about the home.  They look out for each other like one big family. The Children’s home is also very impressive in the fact that they grow almost all of their food onsite, which will hopefully one day lead to the home becoming completely self-sufficient. For now, it is clear they benefit from the help of Ocean Stars, with 2 nursery schools already having been built by the charity.

We also spent a week in Batticloa with the Ocean Stars Lanka team. It was great to visit the a small number of the numerous nurseries Ocean Stars supports, which enables the children to get valuable pre-school education. Diana organizes and leads her team very successfully and is respected by the nursery school teachers. Kitika and herself also have a special relationship with the children and are very hands-on during the visits to the nurseries. It is a wonderful sight to see all the children at the nurseries neatly wearing their Ocean Stars uniforms and carrying their OST rucksacks. Ocean Stars Trust should be very proud of all the work they have achieved in this area of the country.


Tim visiting OST Sri LankaTim Rubke reports on his first visit to Ocean Stars in Sri Lanka

This was my first, but hopefully not my last visit to this beautiful country. During my time in Sri Lanka, I had the privilege to get a close look at some of the different projects in Trincomalee and Batticaloa and was amazed by the work OST has done in these areas. 

Through OST's help, many children get the chance to make something out of their lives by educating themselves and build a new future for their families.

I wish OST all the best for the future and hope for another ten years of life-changing work.