Memorial Day Weekend 2023 Part II

Memorial Day Weekend on Useppa II – Pictures and Thoughts by UseppaGin – Families on the beach, at the pool, the patio, in the Collier Inn, and at the Marina celebrated on Useppa. Flags honored memories of Islanders gone, of men and women who fought for our country. In old fashioned and wholesome ways, we observed and toasted Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day 2023 Part I

Welcome Back to Useppa, Memorial Day Weekend Part I – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – For the first time since Hurricane Ian struck in September, Useppa Island could welcome everyone back. Boats could dock at the Marina again. Glasses were raised at Friday night’s Happy Hour. Lunches and dinners were served in the Collier Inn. The pool was open. Lunch was served on the patio. Thank you to all who made it happen. Thank you to all shared in the celebration. On a somber note, a humble thank you to the men and women who gave their lives so that we have this freedom.

Collier Inn Reopens 2023

The Collier Inn Is Open – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – On May 25th the Collier Inn reopened for dinner eight months after being hit by Hurricane Ian. On May 26th families and friends dined inside and outside on the Collier patio, swam in the pool, and enjoyed a soda or cocktail at the poolside bar. Hurricane recovery isn’t over, but thanks to management, loyal hardworking employees, and supportive Useppa members and homeowners, the island is becoming once again the place we love.

Cheers 2023

Cheers!!! – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Progress continues on the Marina Crow’s Nest, and drinks are served again poolside for the first time since Hurricane Ian. The Bocilla Marina welcomes everyone coming and going to the island. Reconstruction of beach side homes continues. Life on Useppa is tipping forward.

Mother’s Day 2023

Thank you Moms – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Thank you to all the mothers and grandmothers on Useppa – residents, guests, members, and staff… The island wouldn’t be the same without your tender care. Tucking little ones in at night, showing them how to drive a golf cart, run a boat, supporting middle schoolers and teenagers through years of fun but also years with anxiety, college age grownups and young marrieds…. Mothers teach by example. We are lucky Islanders to have a community of wise and loving women. Thank you to the staff who worked on Mother’s Day. Your mothers can be proud of you.

Derby Day 2023 and More

Derby Day Celebrations, Island Happy Hour, Crow’s Nest Reconstruction & More – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – The 2022/2023 season is winding down, but there is still lots happening on Useppa. The annual Derby Day Celebration was quieter this year, but new and old friends shared tables and conversations while enjoying Tarpon Bar specialty cocktails. Friday Happy Hour regulars gathered inside and out at the Tarpon. Families enjoyed each other’s company on the island. Goodbyes were said to seasonal friends. And… Reconstruction of the Marina Crow’s Nest destroyed by Hurricane Ian began in earnest. Nothing was there two weeks ago. Now it is more than halfway done.

FEMA Returns to Useppa

FEMA on Useppa – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – For the second time the Vietnam era boat Lil Mo returned to Useppa. FEMA was on the island for its second and last visit to dispose of Hurricane Ian construction and landscaping debris. Trucks loaded and hauled the garbage to the beach where it was then transferred to Lil Mo and handed over the side to a waiting barge. This went on for over two weeks and finally…. an empty field, the barge and Lil Mo left. Job well done! Thank you to all who made it happen.

Museum Adventures

A Museum Adventure – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – On a recent spring morning Useppa islanders boarded the Captiva Cruises boat Santiva and headed off for a day of exploration and fun. First, south of Useppa, the historic old fish houses were investigated. Then it was off to the Tarpon Lodge on the mainland for lunch and afterwards a personal tour of the University of Florida’s Randell Research Center – the place where a city of 800 to a 1,000 Calusa Indians lived on Pine Island. On the way home cast nets were thrown the way they’ve been for generations. A thank you to the Useppa Historical Society, Captiva Cruises, the Tarpon Lodge, and the Randell Center for making it happen. A new tradition has begun.

A Bunny and Butterflies

A Bunny, Egg Hunt, & Butterflies: Easter on Useppa – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Ian, Useppa’s Croquet Court was no place for the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. Bunny looked around and decided why not join the butterflies? Why not hide eggs in the Butterfly Garden? And so, on Easter morning while everyone was at the Sunrise Service on the beach, Bunny hid eggs and asked volunteers to bring snacks and crafts for Useppa’s children. Great idea Bunny!! Everyone old and young had fun.

Easter Sunrise 2023

Sunrise Easter, Sunrise Hope – Thoughts and Photographs by UseppaGin – Useppa is still recovering from Hurricane Ian. The island’s Easter service is all inclusive. Everyone is welcome, everyone is part of a thoughtful celebration of community. On Easter Sunday as the sun rises beyond the gazebo, we lift our voices in prayer and song. We share the gift of fellowship and hope for a better tomorrow.