Captain John Ward Jr. presides over Affinity Charters’ trio of seaworthy vessels, which slice through Charleston Harbor’s surging whitecaps during boat tours, charters, and fishing trips. Ward Jr. holds a 100-ton Masters License from the U.S. Coast Guard, and his overarching goal is to provide guests with experiences that are safe, exciting, and productive.
During fishing trips, Captain Ward Jr. taps his more than 25 years of experience navigating Charleston's aquatic arteries to usher fisherpeople through the nutrient-rich ecosystem. Attendees cast their lines for numerous seasonal species, including sea bass, Spanish mackerel, and the increasingly rare leather boot.
Dolphin-encounters tours put seafarers face-to-bottlenose with an undulating army of slick-skinned mammals splashing through their natural habitat. Alternatively, information-hungry patrons can climb on board for an eco tour, where Captain Ward Jr. imparts facts about the harbor’s ecological ebb and flow, as well as its vibrant panoply of blacktip sharks, barracudas, and mer-senators. The harbor and sunset cruise allows drifting duos to observe the sun’s incandescent descent into a kaleidoscopic loch of rippling reds, oranges, and yellows, which glint off of downtown Charleston.
Jeffrey Cohen and Andrea Boyd know that yoga's lessons stretch far beyond the reach of the studio mat. By applying Jivamukti tenets to all aspects of their lives, these advanced certified teachers endorse continual compassion, self-awareness, and Satsang—the practice of gathering with those who inspire you. Beneath their physical teachings lie lessons on character, which promote behaviors such as humility and compassion. They also demonstrate the power of generosity by holding annual "Help Send a Student to Teacher Training" fundraisers. As they strive to extend yoga's core values into their everyday lives, they and their students hope to become "agents of change in the world," an underlying goal highlighted in their 2008 Yoga Journal feature.
This holistic approach to yoga is evident in their classes, in which they blend breath work, meditation, chanting, and philosophy into innovative formats. They fuel posing sessions with soundtracks that range from Led Zeppelin riffs to spoken-word stanzas and use hands-on assists to support guests who suddenly decide to crowd-surf.
Voted Golf Course of the Year by the Charleston Golf Course Owners Association in 2009, Dunes West Golf Club's scenic par 72 teems with 200-year-old oaks and bermuda-covered dunes in a diamond-shaped layout designed by Arthur Hills. Frank Moore, a PGA member with more than 20 years of teaching experience, uses close observation and video analysis in one-hour lessons to give each attendee a more confident swing and a more intimate understanding of life from a sand trap's perspective. In addition to 10 sessions of swing instruction, golf students can enjoy four rounds on the 6,871-yard course, stopping occasionally to admire the Dunes West clubhouse's classic southern architecture.
When children begin to explore their surroundings, they usually stick to the backyards and winding streets of their own neighborhoods. For Captain Addison Rupert, growing up in South Carolina's Lowcountry meant exploring a seemingly endless system of rivers, creeks, and marshlands. His passion for the local landscape has led to a career guiding others through the beautiful and rugged wilderness.
Captain Rupert wields a certification from the US Coast Guard and leads guests on tours aboard a 17-foot Maverick Master Angler Flats boat. On each fishing expedition, he works with guests to track down species such as red drum, speckled trout, flounder, sheapshead, and tarpon. Captain Rupert's fishing and sightseeing tours are tailored to meet the needs of each customer, typically providing all of the necessary gear and mermaid traps.
Skin Therapy Center's Dr. Zeyi Chen draws upon years spent as chairman and chief dermatologist of the Dermatology Department at Shanghai Medical University to buff away bristle and leave skin seductively smooth. Hair-removal sessions utilize the table-model TF-2000 laser to purge unwanted fur from nearby kiwifruit or any area of the body. Clients lie comfortably as a clinician passes the device over target areas, sending out focused pulses of energy that absorb into the melanin in the hair follicles, heating them up to permanently destroy the root and inhibit regrowth. Hair removal takes roughly one hour, depending on the size of the area and how tightly the hair is braided. Six treatments are typically recommended for long-lasting hair hindrance, so Groupon holders may opt to purchase two Groupons and redeem them both for a single area.
Elite Dance International Studio & Apparel teaches a variety of social and competitive dancing styles in an olive-green studio ringed with golden lights. Students glide across a glossy wooden floor during group classes, private lessons, and Friday Fun Nights, which blend a beginner class with refreshments and open dancing. The studio also hosts first wedding dances for couples who prefer starting on the right foot rather than stepping on Aunt Milna's foot.
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