Winter’s First Sail

Useppa Sandpiper Race
January 25, 2014
By Race Committee Chair Bob Stevens
We got lucky Saturday!  The breeze from the north was just right at the start, diminished a bit, but held on enough for a fun “race-around-the-Island”  to start the season.  It simply went away during the afternoon.
Six boats were on the water for the delayed start at 10:30.  The trip around the Island took the lead boat about an hour.  Charlie Chapin, with crew Kim Lockhart, sailed Buttercup with his usual wisdom, and won handily.
Charlie started on the beach side of the starting line, made a tight beat to North Point, where Buttercup’s centerboard left a line in the sand in the shallows, and led the way around the west side of the Island.
Jay Taylor went too far north at the start, but made up considerable distance rounding the south end of the Island, and with his crew Ginny and Linda O’Connell, finished second, sailing the Millers boat, Seacat.
Walt Corbin, with Jim Doherty as crew and tactician in Osprey, made up a lot of distance after, too, going out to far at the start, and finished in third place.
The others sailing were Wiggy captained by Charles Shook with his wife Rhonda aboard, Amrita with Mike Albert at the helm and Dan O’Connell as his crew, and Cats-Up skippered by Suzy Trino and crewed by husband Vic.
Hamburgers and hot dogs, chips, cookies, and peach pie made for a delightful Bill’s Grille on the beach.  Kay Chapin, Amy Lockhart, and the Swigerts, with help from Rhonda Shook, provided the lunch.

 Photos by UseppaGin

A Snapshot from Christmas Eve

Glimpses of Christmas Eve on Useppa

Story and Photos by Useppa Gin

Christmas Eve on Useppa was especially busy this year.  It began with the Annual Employee Christmas Party at the Tarpon.  Then Santa came by boat from the mainland and was met on the beach by the island kids and Captain Randy on the fire truck.  After cake and ice cream, Santa went back to work delivering presents round the world, and the children, their parents, and other Useppans went to the Collier Inn to sing Christmas carols and see old friends.

More pictures to follow….

Butterfly Garden Fall 2014

Useppa Butterfly Society volunteers joined Rachel S to plant butterfly friendly wildflower and grass seed in several island locations.

Last summer, Karen Kaufman researched and ordered four seed mixtures appropriate for Useppa’s saline, sandy conditions.  Recommended by the Florida Wildflower Growers Cooperative were Butterfly and Hummingbird Mix, Beach Mix, Avon Park Wet Flatwoods Mix and Florida Super Nova Scrub Mix.

Early one morning, the Chris and Rachel’s team cleared small plots of ground for seeding around the Reclamation Pond adjacent to the Butterfly Garden; behind the seawall along the beach; at the entrance to the Village behind Landscaping; and in the Butterfly Garden itself.

Paul Webb-Martin contributed his agricultural knowledge and produced a barbecue load of wood ash to blend with the seeds to help dispersal.  With the direction and guidance of Judith Sear and Rachel Stack, Donna Anderson, Ginny Amsler, Pat Symonds, Suzy Trino, and Kathy Stevenson raked, scattered seeds, put down protective wire mesh and watered.
According to Judith, “There’s no guarantee that the seeds will come up–wildflower seeds being notoriously variable in germination–but we’ve given it a good shot. Everyone looked like a professional horticulturalist out there. They should be proud of their efforts. I am.”