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Tag Archives: Conservation Efforts

FWC: Boating safety education requirements in FL change for 2010

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Thanks to Lee Stephens for this article. 

This article is beneficial to people who enjoy private yacht charter vacations or who operate their own private yacht or enjoy sail boat charters.

Boating safety education requirements have changed in Florida effective January 1, 2010.

Boat operators who were born on or after January 1, 1988 must pass an approved boating safety course and possess photographic identification and a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to legally operate a boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or more.

We want to encourage everyone, regardless of when they were born, to take an approved boating safety education course, because all of us can learn something new, even if we have been boating all our lives,” said Captain Carol Keyser of FWC’s boating and waterways section. “For some, it is now required to take the course.”

There are a few exceptions. For instance, a person born on or after January 1, 1988, who operates a boat within 90 days after purchasing it, does not need a boating safety education identification card if a bill of sale, which meets the requirements of Florida law, is onboard. After the 90-day period ends, the boat operator needs to meet the educational requirements. Those who possess a current United States Coast Guard license are also exempt.

Boating safety education course - Florida Bobbercard

For inquiries, contact FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement at 1-850-488-5600.

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In Wake of Cecil the Lion Killing, Delta Airlines Bans Animal Trophy Shipments

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We often write blogs about airlines in terms of flights and service to popular private yacht charter destinations, but this post will deviate to highlight a move which we applaud:

In response to the global outcry after the tragic news of the killing of Cecil the lion, Delta Airlines has announced that it will no longer allow the shipment of big game hunting trophies on any of its flights, around the globe.

Cecil the lion who was killed by Walter J. Palmer, the dentist who was a trophy hunter

The Airline released this official statement:
“Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. Prior to this ban, Delta’s strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species. Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments.”

Other air carriers including Air France, KLM, Iberia, IAG Cargo, Singapore Airlines and Qantas have also stated that they also intend to ban the transport of trophy-hunting kills.

Cecil the Lion was a popular animal at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and served as an icon for conservation efforts. He was killed by Walter James Palmer, a Minnesota dentist in early July, after being lured out of the protection of the national park. Cecil wore a tracking collar and scientists at the University of Oxford had been following and studying him since 2008.

It was wrong to kill Cecil – our opinion. According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, it was also illegal. The government of Zimbabwe is seeking to extradite Palmer to answer for his actions.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, supports the decision made by Delta and other airlines to ban animal trophy shipments. “Back in April, a ban was initiated by South African Airways, and then joined by Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways,” said Sheeder. “Cecil’s killing has created a global outcry, and if there is any good to come from Cecil’s death, it is the heightened awareness of our need to protect our natural resources. We applaud Delta and the other airlines for their new policy banning animal trophy shipments.”

Sheeder concludes, “We live in an era of dwindling wildlife. Our own yachting industry is working to safeguard our reefs and vanishing marine life. The same safeguards are critical for all threatened species, both in the sea and on land. Big-game trophy hunting does not and should never again hold the allure it may have had in Teddy Roosevelt’s day.”

UPDATE — Delta Airlines has officially been joined by American Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin – and per, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Singapore Airways, Lufthansa, Air Emirates, Iberia Airlines, IAG Cargo and Qantas have already banned the transport of animal trophies.

From The New York Times, this ban was initiated by South African Airways in April, and Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways later joined. These airlines pledged not to carry big game trophies, including elephants, rhinos, lions and tigers as cargo.


WHAT DO YOU THINK?   Should Big Game Trophy Hunting Be Banned?  Send us an email and tell us how you feel (include your contact information and mailing address), and we’ll mail you an eco-friendly tote bag, compliments of 1-800 Yacht Charters!  Email us at

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Seabirds Eating Plastic At Alarming Rate

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The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America has released a disturbing study detailing the threat of plastic pollution in the ocean, and its impact on seabirds.  Plastic trash is found in 90 percent of seabirds. The rate is growing steadily as global production of plastics increases.

According to the Academy, the “Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing.”

seabird surrounded by plastic and trash in yacht charter destination

The areas of impact facing the greatest threats are the southern boundary of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.

Plastic found inside birds includes bottle caps, plastic shopping bags, and tiny pieces the size of rice that have been broken down by the sun and waves.

After reading the study’s abstract, Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters commented on the health impact facing the seabirds.  “Living along the coast of South Florida, I have seen the small plastic pieces of plastic that wash up into our mangroves and our shoreline,” says Sheeder.  “The wildlife rescue groups that we support tell us sharp-edged plastic pieces can kills birds by punching holes in their internal organs. Some seabirds eat so much plastic, there is little room in their stomachs for food.  Lack of food affects their body weight and jeopardizes their health.”

Sheeder echoes the concerns of scientists and environmentalists:  “At current levels, virtually every seabird will be consuming plastic by 2050.  If we don’t address this issue, we are looking at a major contributing factor to the possible extinction of many seabird species. We can’t let that happen.”  

Sheeder feels her yachting industry can do more in terms of effective waste management to reduce the threat.  “Almost all of the yachts we represent for private yacht charter vacations have the onboard capability to generate fresh drinking water. Now, when our clients request plastic bottled water to be placed onboard prior to their charter, we encourage them to forgo plastic and drink the yacht’s purified water.” 

In lieu of plastic water bottles, Sheeder even offers her clients complimentary reusable beverage containers.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters poses with garbage bag during bay cleanup

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, cleaning plastic and debris from coastline near her home in South Florida


Sheeder is confident the tide can be turned. “While the report by the National Academy of Sciences paints a grim future, it also points out that effective waste management can reduce the threat.  Protecting our future means preserving the marine environment and promoting responsibility onboard our yachts, in the seas, and along our shores.”

Sheeder further comments, “Everyone can do something.  Even just one thing every day.  It’s not hard to take that extra moment to help another. Sadly, so many prefer just to stick their heads in the sand rather than being role models and making a difference.”

She encourages others to:

  • Be the change and leave all areas better than you found them
  • Pick up trash
  • Properly dispose of your own trash
  • Give back to the environment, to animals, and to others
  • Practice random acts of kindness to people, animals, your community, and the environment
  • Show your #Gratitude for the beauty of the wildlife and joy that they give you by protecting them
  • Use reusable totebags (versus plastic shopping bags) and be a 1-800 Yacht Charters Eco Hero!

Calling all eco heroes!   Comment on this post and include your email address,  and we will contact you to send you your own customized totebag so that you can be an #ecohero with us!

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Superyacht LADY KATHRYN V Deploys Ocean Data-Gathering Buoy In Azores

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Add another name to the growing list of private yacht charter vessels and their owners and crews stepping up to the plate to further the cause of protecting our oceans.

Earlier this summer, Lurssen yacht LADY KATHRYN V deployed an oceanographic instrument drifter in the Azores on behalf of The International SeaKeepers Society. The data collected by the drifter will be used for various marine preservation studies.

Motoryacht Lady Kathryn profile

The 61 meter superyacht was in between summer charters and the crew took the opportunity to assist to place the very first Seakeepers data-gathering floater in the Azores.

SeaKeepers works with institutions such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), to take and record ongoing oceanographic measurements. The collection of this data is used to analyze and study oil spills, marine debris accumulation, and hurricane prediction models.  The cumulative effect of this data leads to a better understanding of the marine environment.

Superyacht Big Fish aerial

Other charter vessels that are participating in the program include the 45 meter McMullen & Wing yacht BIG FISH, currently in the South Pacific, and the 54 meter Sensation Yachts yacht NOBEL HOUSE, based this summer in Cabo, Mexico.

Stern of motoryacht Noble House with smiling crewmembers standing there

Built in 2011, the 200 ft Lurssen LADY KATHRYN V yacht accommodates up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms.  She is available this winter in the Bahamas and the Caribbean at a weekly rate of $450,000.  For further information, call 305-720-7245


Say NO to disposable plastic, and we’ll send you a gift!  Plastic represents one of the greatest threats to the health of our oceans.  Leave us a comment below saying that you agree not to use disposable plastic shopping bags, and we’ll send you a large “Eco-Hero” tote bag to carry with you!

Every little bit helps – thank you for doing your part to protect our oceans!


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Yacht Maven Shares Secret Bahamas Yacht Charter Island With her Clients

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Keep it Fresh” – that’s the challenge charter brokers face when dealing with repeat customers.

Cruising in the Bahamas is no exception – after all, how many times can charterers circle around Grand Bahama, or make the milk run from Nassau to the Exumas and back before finally saying, “Been there…Done that…”

The irony of cruising in the Bahamas is the fact that there are HUNDREDS of unique islands and protected coves.  The challenge –  the Bahamas encompass 180,000 square miles of ocean space – and charterers can only visit a handful of islands during a typical week-long yachting holiday.

But Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters has come up with the perfect solution to keeping her clients excited and their trips to the Bahamas unique and fresh:  SPEED and a SECRET island.

Sheeder addresses the “speed” component by means of one of the fastest mega yachts for charter anywhere in the world – the iconic James Bond yacht OCTOPUSSY.  Once the world record holder as the fastest luxury yacht on the planet, a $7 million dollar refit has this 12-passenger yacht looking better than the day she was launched in 1988.

jana sheeder 1800yachtcharters president stands on dock beside motoryacht octopussy before inspection


All of her upgrades – extending the sun deck, adding a Jacuzzi-style hot tub, etcetera, have added some weight, and have slowed her down – just a bit” says Sheeder, “but she can still cruise 2 to 3 times faster than similar-sized luxury yachts.”

A recent private inspection of Octopussy and a meeting with her captain and crew gave Sheeder an idea on a unique charter itinerary, built around visiting a secret, uninhabited island.  “Heesen yacht Octopussy is not just fast – she also has a shallow draft – much shallower than most megayachts.  This means she can get into shallow, protected coves and achorages in the Bahamas that are off limits to most superyacht charter vessels,” says Sheeder.

With the help of the captain, Sheeder identified a special island – far from the typical cays visited by yachts based in Nassau.

“We located a beautiful, remote island, protected by the Bahamian government. The island and the surrounding water park have one of the healthiest ecosystems in all of the Bahamas.  It’s truly one of the loveliest islands in the Bahamas, and rises out of the deep ocean about 15 miles east of the closest inhabited major island. There are miles of pink sand beaches, gorgeous sandstone cliffs, and an extraordinary abundance of wildlife, both on the island and in the surrounding waters.”

Sandy beach with white sandy cliffs on right side, blue water in front, and continuing u-shaped beach on left

Sheeder will not reveal the location of the secret island – that information she keeps private for her charter clients.  “We work hard at creating a point of difference between our services and those of our competitors.  We continually look for the edge that allows us to deliver the superyacht experience to our clients.”

She does get a sheepish grin when she talks about this special place and the role motor yacht Octopussy plays. “Other yachts cannot offer you this secret island destination – it’s simply too far to travel and return to Nassau in a week’s time.  Octopussy has the ability to cruise at 25 knots or even faster, and can easily reach this destination and get back in a timely fashion to Nassau.  Plus, her shallow draft means OUR clients can enjoy quiet anchorages that few yachts can normally enter.”     

Sheeder says some of the wildlife her clients can expect to encounter at this protected island and the surrounding sea park include many threatened or endangered species. The Bahamian government reports long tail tropic birds, sooty terns, oyster catchers, and osprey nest on the island and surrounding cays. At the center of the island is a large mangrove and creek habitat that serves as a nursery for fish, sharks, conch, and crawfish. Green turtles have been seen foraging off the southwestern shore of the island, and in the northern bay. The coral reefs and grass flats in the surrounding sea are very healthy and offer a home to an abundance of sea life.

Bahamas animals include swimming pigs, great blue herons, green sea turtles, and iguanas

“It’s an amazing ecosystem,” says Sheeder, “Worthy of visiting, and more importantly, protecting for future generations.  We are so excited to share this fresh and secret destination with our Nassau yacht charter clients.” #protectmarinelife

Octopussy is based year-round in Lyford Cay (Nassau), Bahamas.  Weekly charter rate begin at $120,000 per week plus running expenses (items such as food, fuel, bar, dockage, etc.). For additional information, contact 1-800 Yacht Charters toll-free in North America at +1.800.922.4824, or internationally by calling +1.305.253.7245.


Pssst!  Want to Share a Secret???   Do you have a favorite place you like to go in the Bahamas – some little oasis or slice of heaven away from the noise and the tourists? 

Tell us about your favorite destination in the Bahamas – and why you like it.  We will send you a gift and possibly share your secret with our readers (that is, if you want us to!).  Email us at


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