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Tag Archives: random acts of kindness

Making a Difference: What to do with Old Saddle Pads

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SADDLE PADS AND PRIVATE YACHTS

What do horse saddle pads have to do with boats, and private yacht charters, and the ocean?

We love our work and are passionate about sharing The Superyacht Experience™ with our clients and friends.  In addition, we love spending time away from the water. For example, on a ranch with horses, pastures, and clean, country air.

 

A STACK OF PADS

Last week, I noticed a stack of old saddle pads in the barn.  They are still usable.  Specifically, soft and thick, but starting to fray a bit.

We came up with an idea.  In specific, a way to recycle the pads and put them to good use.  Extend their lives.

So, we put washed the pads, tossed them into a couple of reusable, eco-friendly  1-800 Yacht Charter “Eco-tote” bags, and took them to our local animal rescue shelter, PAWS4YOU.   It turns out, saddle pads make perfect beds for dogs!

The pads are mostly rectangular in shape, and filled with soft, cushiony fabric.  The same thick fabric designed to protect a horse from the impact of a rider and saddle when riding makes a nice “bed”  for a small to medium-sized dog.

Actual dog beds that you buy at a pet store are expensive and beyond the budget of most pet rescue organizations.  It sure felt good when “Bernard” a rescued beagle available for adoption at PAWS4YOU came out to accept our donated saddle pads.  We also had the extra satisfaction of knowing we made a difference on November 13th, World Kindness Day!!!

Bernard the rescued beagle dog and a volunteer sit beside bag of donated horse saddle pads for shelter dogs. The totebag of pads is navy blue with a handle, and it reads "Eco-Hero," with an arrow pointing up toward the person holding the tote (the volunteer). She is holding the green leash of the rescued dog, and she is squatting down and smiling at the camera. They are in the grass. There are cars in the background.

 

Our hats are forever tipped to the many volunteers at PAWS4YOU, and all they do to help shelter and adopt homeless and abused pets in Miami, Florida.

So, the next time you find old towels, blankets, (or, if you ride horses, a saddle pad or three) in your house (or barn), don’t throw them away.  Wash them and find a local animal shelter in your community.  Make a difference and donate them to help the animals! #horse #saddlepads #animalrescue

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Om into Spring on a Luxury Yacht Charter

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Photo of a sandy beach with the word, gratitude, written in the sand. The waves are approaching the word. White waves, then teal water, then dark blue water, with an island in the background. The photo was taken iwith a round lens.


COMPANY PRESIDENT COMMENT

I stumbled across a wonderful blog the other day.  I wanted to share it with the SailAway Yacht Charter and 1-800 Yacht Charters readers.  It’s so important to focus on gratitude in our lives.  Even when aboard a magnificent superyacht for the vacation of a lifetime.  It is important to remain grounded (no pun intended) and to be grateful for our privileges. Remember to practice Random Acts of Kindness daily, also.
Jana Sheeder, President, SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants and 1-800 Yacht Charters

 

CREDIT TO AUTHOR

Credit to Monique Minahan (intentblog.com/author/moniqueminahan/) for the special blog that makes us all think. In addition, it reminds us to be grateful.  

 

GRATITUDE YOGA BLOG POST

<<  In this busy world that we live in, I think it is very important for our body AND mind, that we practice skills such as Yoga. We need time to decompress, relax and unwind, and for the most part, people would agree that Yoga can do this. When we are able to relax our body, even though it is still working to get into specific poses, it is a great time for us to stop and think of the many things that we are grateful for. Sometimes it is a person, sometimes it is an object that helps us, sometimes it is an emotion that we feel….and the list goes on and on! I think that moving our bodies in different ways, is beneficial to our health, and also taking time to stop and think about all of the things we should be grateful for, by either writing them down, or verbally acknowledging our appreciation, will help us lead more valuable lives. Who knew how powerful two little words could be….”THANK” and “YOU”

How to Cultivate Gratitude Through Yoga

Our yoga practice is a multifaceted gem. It’s like a prism that reflects a different color depending on how the light hits it. Our practice can reflect back to us different emotions, feelings, or thoughts depending on how we approach it.

Yoga can draw out parts of ourselves we know exist but have difficulty accessing at times, such as strength, flexibility, balance, trust, love, and gratitude.

These are often physical traits we tap into on our yoga mat. Interestingly, we often find after practicing that we have access to them on a mental and emotional level as well. >>

 

THE BLOG CONTINUES

<< I first noticed this transformative quality of yoga while practicing backbends. The steadiness and strength they require revealed to me the power and the past housed in my back body. The more I allowed this opening process physically, the more I was able to allow myself to open more fully to the people in my life. Seeing this natural evolution, I started adding intention to the mix.

I often bring to my backbend practice people or situations I’m having difficulty “loving.” I visualize them through my practice and try to allow myself to soften and open to them mentally as I soften and open physically.

I’ve been able to transform how I relate to many challenging relationships in this way.  >>

 

BEING GRATEFUL

<< Gratitude is a powerful quality we can develop deeply through yoga. This is especially helpful when we experience times in our lives where we don’t feel so grateful. Maybe our lives or loves just fell apart and we don’t feel grateful for anything.

This is when our yoga practice can help.

Great gratitude comes ultimately from a place of great humility. Replacing expectation with awe, we see the world through childlike eyes. Everything is a gift, everything is alive, everything is thrilling.

We let the quality of life fill us up instead of the quantity. >>

 

YOGA POSES

<< In yoga poses it’s easy to forget the quality aspect sometimes also. The quality of our breath, the quality of our skin, the quality of our heartbeat.

In poses that require strength, when we simultaneously relax our hearts, minds, and bodies into the muscles that are holding us up, it feels vulnerable. It also feels liberating, delicious, and open.

We now have a fertile space for true gratitude. Gratitude for our bodies, for our minds, for our lives, for the floor that supports us and the air that inspires us.

In that space we can plant seeds of gratitude, love, trust – whatever we need in our lives. We can notice where we are taking things for granted and we can connect with the whole part of ourselves that allows us to give freely.  >>

 

PEACE AND JOY

Developing a quality of gratitude can infuse our lives with deep peace and joy. I like making gratitude lists, especially on occasions like birthdays. Try it on your next birthday. Make a list of the 20 or 35 or 45 things you’re grateful for.

Dig deep for gratitude and you will often find gold. It’s always right in front of us, but we can’t always see it through the dust of daily life that makes it look ordinary and unimportant.

I leave you with this gratitude poem and a sweet gratitude practice by Jeanie Manchester  >>

GRATITUDE POEM

I am grateful for my limits
that teach me patience and pace

I am grateful for challenge, defeat, and loss

They teach me hope is not a light at the end of the dark tunnel
It’s the ember burning within me that I forgot to fan

I am grateful to my teachers
for introducing me to myself

I am grateful for my past
that has delivered me to my present

I am grateful for all I have found and all I have lost
Both remind me I can live with and without

I am grateful for silence and for laughter
And for my ears that can hear both

I am grateful to my heart
that beats and breaks and heals

I am grateful for the fullness of my life
For the brief, heartbreaking, heartwarming fullness of life.

 

I highly recommend Jeanie Manchester’s Gratitude Flow as a practice for cultivating gratitude. Enjoy!   >>

Monique Minahan is a writer, yogi, and lover of life. She’s inspired by nature’s simplicity and the healing power of love. She finds true liberation in living life fully from the inside out. Her intention is to offer her heart to the world through words that motivate, inspire, and encourage. You can visit her at her blog, mindfulmo.com >> 

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Pay It Forward on Your Yacht Charter

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What kind of random acts of kindness can be done while you are on your private luxury yacht charter?

Going ashore?

  • Perform an “Operation Beautiful,” where you write a message of love and beauty to someone on a post-it note and put it in a public place (or on the back of a diet book, for example).

    Photograph of a post-t note on the mirror of a women's bathroom.  The post-it note reads "your flaws make you perfect. <3 yourself...you ARE beautiful" with a smiley face.

  • Give a sincere (and unsolicited) compliment to a stranger.
  • Buy a meal or cup of soup for someone who is begging or is in need.

  • Is it mid-December?  Go into the local post office and pick up a “letter to Santa.” Buy or send gift(s) to the writer and have them delivered for Christmas!

    Photograph of Santa Claus holding 4 letters from children

  • Walking with your kids?  Have a race to see who can pick up the most litter.

  • Leave your change in the soda machine as a surprise for the next person.

  • Drop coins in a garden. The next time it is weeded, someone will find a nice surprise.

    Photograph of a tiny plant growing out of the asphalt.  The tree is surrounded by a pile of coins of all denominations.

  • Have especially good service (or friendly staff, etc) somewhere you’ve been? When you get home from your Bahama yacht charter or Virgin Islands yacht charter, write a letter to management commending the establishment or the person(s), by name.
  • Stopping in a cafe or coffee shop?  Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you. They’ll be so shocked and surprised when they get to the register!
  • Want to spread the word about “Pay It Forward?” Go to the Pay It Forward website and order bracelets. Take them on your Feadship yacht charter, and as you practice Random Acts of Kindness, give a bracelet to the recipient who thanks you, so that they, too, will Pay It Forward!

    Photograph of Pay It Forward bracelets in a stack. There are 6 bracelets, and they are all different colored. All have white text that says, Pay It Forward, in all caps. Silicone bracelets.

    When you rent a private yacht, don’t forget to practice Random Acts of Kindness on your trip and Pay It Forward. Your trip will be so much more rewarding for you and for others!
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    What is your favorite Random Act of Kindness to perform while on a yacht charter or traveling in another land?  Contact us HERE and let us know!

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Seabirds Eating Plastic At Alarming Rate

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National Academy of Sciences Report

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

 

AREAS OF IMPACT

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

 

WHAT PLASTIC IS FOUND IN BIRDS?

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.

 

COMPANY PRESIDENT COMMENTS

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.”

 

WHAT DOES 2050 LOOK LIKE FOR SEABIRDS?

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.”  

 

YACHTING INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT

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.”

 

SWAPPED WATER BOTTLES BY 1-800 YACHT CHARTERS

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 COMMENTS

Sheeder is confident the tide can be turned. “The report by the National Academy of Sciences paints a grim future.  Consequently, 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 CONTINUES

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. Many prefer to stick their heads in the sand rather than being role models and making a difference.”

 

 

 

 

SHEEDER ENCOURAGES OTHERS

She encourages others to be the change and leave all areas better than you found them. Additionally, pick up trash. Properly dispose of your own trash.  Moreover, give back to the environment, to animals, and to others.  Subsequently, practice random acts of kindness (RAK’s) to people, animals, your community, and the environment.  Finally, 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!

 

CALL FOR ECO-HEROES

Calling all eco heroes!   Comment on this post and include your email address.  Expect contact from us.  We immediately send your own customized totebag.  Be  an #eco-hero with us!

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Superyachts Deliver Aid To Needy

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Aerial photograph of motoryacht SEAWOLF. underway. There are multiple tenders and jetskis in motion toward the center and back of her right side. She is facing the upper right side of the photograph. The tenders and jetskis are headed toward the upper right side of the photo, as well. She has a dark blue hull and a white superstructure.

Superyacht SEAWOLF delivers aid to help others

People think owners of multi-million dollar luxury yacht charter vessels are selfish and self-absorbed.  This incredible story will surprise you.

Presenting SEAWOLF.  She is one of the largest yachts in charter. The nearly 200ft motor yacht just delivered humanitarian aid in Panama. This validates the trend of luxury yacht owners getting involved with global aid efforts.

The 193 foot luxury mega yacht charter motor yacht SEAWOLF is the second of two large, high-profile superyachts bringing aid to the Islas Secas area of Panama.  An expedition yacht charter vessel,  M/Y SEAWOLF delivered supplies for underprivileged residents at Islas Secas on March 4, just two weeks after motor yacht LADY LOLA delivered aid to the same location in mid February.

The 62 meter Oceanco yacht LADY LOLA, well-known throughout the Caribbean yacht charter marketplace, was first to deliver school aid from Panama City to the Islas Secas area of western Panama in the Gulfo Chiriqui.

We would like to extend a hearty thank you to the captains, crews and owners of both yachts for acting as a catalyst to inspire others to do good things.

Perhaps such altruistic actions will help change the perception of the superyacht industry.

Pay it Forward with Random Acts of Kindness, Captain’s orders…

 

INFORMATION ABOUT HELPFUL YACHTS

Motor yacht SEAWOLF accommodates up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms and rents for USD $180,000 per week.  

Motor yacht LADY LOLA sleeps 10 guests and is available for charter at a weekly rate of Euro €290,000.  All running expenses, items such as food, fuel, bar and dockage, are extra.  

 

HOW TO BOOK A YACHT CHARTER

To reserve your own private luxury yacht, contact 1-800 Yacht Charters at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/

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Trash in Luxury Yacht Charter Marinas. It’s Simple to Make a Difference.

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Photograph of various pieces of debris picked up on dock in a marina. Items include a metal washer, piece of rope, a silver bolt, a length of fishing line, and a piece of plastic. The background of the photo shows multiple superyachts docked, with palm trees in the background.

Please be an eco-hero and remove trash from our waterways

SICKENING PHOTO

This is a photo from the beautiful Yachts Miami Beach Boat Show.  Our inspections included several private luxury yacht charter vessels docked at the Deep Harbour Island Gardens marina, near downtown Miami, Florida.  As we walked along the docks, I noticed our company President, Jana Sheeder, often pausing, bending down, picking up something, and putting it in her “Eco-Hero” tote bag.  I asked Jana what she was picking up, and she paused and poured a few of the contents of her bag onto a locker box on the dock.

“Take a look,” she sighed. “This debris can easily end up in the water where it becomes part of the ocean pollution problem, as well as a threat to birds and marine life.”

 So, I snapped the photo you see here.

THE IMAGE

When I look at this photo, I see beautiful superyachts that serve as a gateway to experience the wonders of our oceans.  I see a segment of the tourism industry – private luxury yacht charter – that generates millions of dollars of revenue annually.  I see a support network of thousands of crewmembers, dockhands, marina workers, and maintenance and repair staff.  They all support their families from a livelihood that is inextricably dependent upon healthy oceans.

For me, the trash in the photo is a harsh reminder that the refuse we see floating in marinas and along the seawalls and walkways is a direct threat to the health of our waterways. It is also, therefore, a threat to our own livelihood.

As you read this blog, I can guess what some of you are thinking.  “I’m not part of the problem – I would never throw trash in the water.”  Good intention, but you or someone you know might still be directly responsible for pollution in our waterways.

 

MYTH BUSTING 

It’s a common misconception that most trash comes from people throwing things directly into the water.  

“Believe it or not,  much to the trash in our waterways comes from litter thrown out of cars, litter that blows from surrounding areas into the waterways, illegal dumping, and this item really irks me – cigarettes left on the ground,” says Jana.  “During a big rainstorm, all that junk ends up in the watershed, and some of it eventually makes its way down to the bays, harbors, marinas, beaches, and worse – onto our fragile coral reefs and into the stomachs of marine life (like fish and turtles) and shorebirds.”

 

CLEANUP  EFFORTS

Efforts are underway to rid our waterways of trash.  In Baltimore, Maryland, two (rather cute) trash wheels are pulling debris from the harbor before it flows into Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Trash Wheel (male) and Professor Trash Wheel (female with eyelashes) are solar and hydro-powered trash interceptors in place in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Over a million pounds of trash has been pulled out of the water by Mr. Trash Wheel since it was installed in May 2014 (Professor Trash Wheel was installed in December 2016).

Mr. Trash Wheel in a marina

 

Professor Trash Wheel - with eyelashes

John Kellett (a true ECO-HERO!) invented the trash wheels and tracks the debris collected.  Since May 2014, when Mr Trash Wheel went operational, almost nine million cigarette butts and over 300,000 plastic bags have been collected.   Additionally, Mr. Trash Wheel picks up an average of 14,000 Styrofoam containers a month – second only to cigarettes.

Kellett echoes Jana’s thoughts that the problem starts on shore.  “I thought we were being ambitious with the harbor, but now people are talking about cleaning up the ocean,” Kellett said. “But I think the most effective solution is to get the trash before it gets there.” 


WHAT YOU CAN DO

No matter where you live, you CAN make a difference and help protect our natural resources.  Let’s review some simple steps we can all take:

  • No butts about it!  Are you a smoker, or know someone who is?  Don’t throw your cigarette butts out of your car window or onto the ground.  It takes just a second more to locate an ashtray or garbage receptacle.
  • Say “NO” to single use, disposable plastic products.  Reusable shopping bags are available everywhere!  They’re affordable and many places give them away as promotional items.  Please think twice when your grocer asks you, “paper or plastic?”  Say no thank you to either option, and hand your grocer a reusable bag.  Many stores give discounts (Target and Whole Foods, for example) when you use them, and you can turn your discount around and donate it to charity, through the store!
  • Pick up at least one piece of “someone else’s trash” and properly dispose of it today.  If everyone did this, it would make a HUGE impact and keep trash from finding its way into our waterways and environment.  It’s amazing how many people just don’t care…  (Many people refer to picking up refuse left by others as “karma trash,” or cleaning up poop at dog parks as “karma poops.”  It’s just good KARMA to help the earth and the environment!)
  • Be the change you want to see in the world.  If you have children, lead them by example when they are young and/or are especially eager to learn.  Show them that you refrain from disposable plastic bags… Get them to drink from reusable water bottles and not plastic water bottles.  Take them to the beach and show them the pollution that washes up on the shore and share with them how it harm the birds, creatures, and corals in the sea.   Track down a video of a sea turtle eating a plastic bag (thinking that it is a jellyfish)…or a seabird or sea lion with a plastic six-pack ring around its neck (which can easily eventually kill the animal).  They will follow your lead!

What do I hope will happen?  I look forward to the day that Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel are forced to take days off because there is no debris for them to clean up!

Jana Sheeder sitting on the aft couch of a yacht in a marina

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters and 1-800 BAREBOAT, with Eco-Hero Reusable Tote Bag

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If you are ready to make a difference, text HERO to 305-720-7245 and we’ll send you an “Eco-Hero” tote bag – just like the ones Jana carries with her and also uses at boat shows.  It’s Jana’s gift to you – from Jana and our team at 1-800 Yacht Charters!

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