New Friends, The Lady Chadwick, The Collier Inn, & the Barbara Sumwalt Museum – words and photos by UseppaGin – The Lady Chadwick was back in service after an eight-week boat yard project. The Barbara Sumwalt Museum was still undergoing a remodel, but open for this unique group. The Collier Inn hosted a special buffet luncheon. The Island pool and patio area were closed and blocked off for reconstruction. The logistics of getting from the Collier to the Museum confusing and circuitous. BUT…. The Sandollars of Naples were welcomed by all. Our visitors and their good humor made the day fun for everyone. It was like the first day of school – high levels of enthusiasm, and if something went wrong, everyone just grinned and readjusted. Golf carts and their drivers were requisitioned to avoid the added distance and stairs between the Collier Inn and the Museum. Men and women who needed extra help maneuvering smiled cheerfully and accepted a ride. Everyone was patient and in a good mood. After a long hot summer with few visitors, Red Tide, and reconstruction; the first guests of a new season were welcomed by all of us on Useppa. According to its website, Sandollars of Naples was formed to provide a social and informative setting in which lasting friendships can be built and nurtured. When the Sandollars re-boarded the Lady Chadwick to head back to Sanibel, we waved good-bye to each other. New friendships had begun begun.
Island Walkabout – Words and photos by UseppaGin – Blue skies above, blue waters below, birds everywhere, a long sandy beach waiting for children. Useppa is back to the Island we love. The pool and patio are still under reconstruction, but that means parties happen inside the Collier Inn or down at the Marina’s Tarpon Bar. Welcoming hugs on the dock, grandfathers and grandchildren in golf carts, sunrises savored with a cup of coffee, sunsets toasted with a cold drink. Island life continues.
The Quiet Time – Pictures and Words by UseppaGin – This is the peaceful time of year on Useppa. A few members and friends stop by for a visit, but mainland Islanders are getting back into their fall routines, and winter residents are enjoying their northern falls before heading south. There are only a few of us here to watch the season’s last rainbow-colored sunsets. Captain Dane is leaving us to follow a different path, and while good-byes are hard, Dane is off to new adventures leaving only good memories behind. New Captains Randy and Kevin are already part of the Useppa family. The Collier patio and pool will be closed for October for needed work and the Museum is still undergoing remodeling. The Collier Inn is open, and the Tarpon Bar at the Marina’s edge will have new hours beginning October 19th. Boxed lunches are available through the Joseffa Boutique. This time of year, it’s almost as though the ancient spirits have retaken the island and we are their guests.