Summer 2015 Doldrums

Summer Doldrums

Story and photos by UseppaGin

Air wet as water, theatrical thunderstorms, beach wide tides, bright flowers, and melodramatic sunsets are all part of August on Useppa.  A lumbering tortoise, perching lizard and wading shorebirds are the backdrops.  Early morning walks, golf cart conversations, and late afternoons by the pool, maybe a drink at the Tarpon Bar or dinner at the Collier…nothing needs to be hurried in the doldrums of summer.

2015 Martial Arts University

Bows, Fishing Rods, Coaches and Outstanding Students

Story and photography by UseppaGin

On Useppa, we know him as Captain Jeff Gosnell.  He runs the barge, the boat parked at the end of the Collier Inn dock that brings supplies from the mainland and takes off our trash, furniture no longer needed, anything too big to on the launch.  Last Saturday, August 1st, he was Coach Gosnell, and he brought twenty-five members of the Martial Arts University’s Archery Team with him to spend the day on the island.  The students were here to learn safety, conservation, and survival skills.  Their ages ranged from 8-55, and they arrived with fishing rods and archery bows.  They hiked Useppa, fished off the Collier dock and the docks on the old airstrip.  They played chess, had a picnic, and swam.  They explored a different life than the one they are used to on the mainland.

MAU has been open in Cape Coral, Florida, for thirty years, and is directed by Retired Deputy Jeff Santella and his wife Leela.  They have taught fifteen styles of martial arts to over 18,000 students.  Both Captain Jeff and his son volunteer there.  Captain Jeff and Bert Rapp coordinated Saturday’s trip.  The young students were polite, confident without arrogance, disciplined and helpful.  When they left, the chess pieces were back in proper positions.  Except for a lingering delicious smell and a grill, there was no sign of a picnic.  The pool toys were put away, and the fish relieved that those well-armed adversaries finally gone from the docks.

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