Useppa Kids Thanksgiving Izaak Walton Tournament – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Standing on one foot, eight eager anglers took the Izaak Walton Kids Fishermen’s Oath promising to release unharmed all fish and to help their fellow fishermen when needed. Twenty-three fish were reeled in, measured, and set free. Trenton caught the 1st Fish. Britton reeled five in for “The Most Caught.” Henry caught “The Ugliest.” Grouper, Snapper, a Flounder, and more were caught in Useppa Island’s 2023 Kids’ Thanksgiving Tournament. Instead of prizes, the awards for everyone were ice cream certificates from the Joseffa Boutique. Thanks to Captain Ken Horney, Jasmyn Al-Shimary, Sam Smith, and Kyle Corey for making it all happen.
Thanksgiving on Useppa, Thanksgiving for Family – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Island families gathered for Thanksgiving at the Tarpon and in each other’s homes. One family has been coming to Useppa for over thirty years. Once little boys catching fish are now grown men still fishing. A new member came with his family. He grew up coming here. When he recently joined, he was given his family’s original number from the 1970’s. Boats stayed at the newly electrified Marina. The hospitality and welcome given to all by the men and women working here could not have been better. The island is still recovering from hurricane destruction, but we are and always will be a family. We share the gift of Useppa.
Loved Ones – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Scenes of the island we love and pictures of people we loved. Memories of our time on Useppa. An album of gratitude and remembrance. Recollections of people and place, a thank you for our time together on Useppa.
Halloween Prize Winners and Prize Capture – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Call it coincidence or Halloween. Legendary island pirate Jose Gaspar was captured at the Bocilla Marina. Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy John Armato was there after returning a lost purse to a grateful Useppa resident. A boat pulled in, its captain recognized and handcuffed. Gaspar who has illuded capture for over 100 years was arrested. That night at the Tarpon Bar justice and Useppa were celebrated in a spontaneous Halloween gathering of neighbors and friends. Cheers to all, and a special thanks to Deputy Armato for finding a purse in the sand and tracking down its owner.
Useppa Emergency Response Training – Thoughts by Useppa Fire Department’s Marc Mascarelli and Pictures by UseppaGin, Doug and Taylor Ryan – The waters of Lee County oftentimes require a multi-agency approach to many types of operations. This also proves true for island-based structure fires, brushfires, and any incident type which requires a force multiplier; this is why the Marine Emergency Response Team (MERT) was established and works well for the Southwest Florida area. MERT assets met at Useppa Marina last week for an Island walk-through discussing and identifying Useppa Fire Department capability and needed MERT response in the event of a structure fire. Similar responses were discussed about nearby islands including Cabbage Key, Upper Captiva, Mondongo, Burgess, and Cayo Costa. All islands in Lee County which have residential structures and need multi-asset MERT response. Lee Med Flight helicopter landed and demonstrated their transport capabilities and answered questions from the group. In the afternoon a drill was conducted using all Fire and Law Enforcement assets. The drill was a mock scenario of a mass casualty incident which involved getting treatment and transport of several patients to the Marina and off the island. Participants included Lee County EMS, Lee Flight, Lee County Dispatch, Lee County Sheriff, Charlotte County Sheriff, BOCA Grande Fire Department, Useppa Fire, Pine Island Fire, Iona McGregor Fire, Cape Coral Police, Cape Coral FD, US Coast Guard, and students from FSW Florida South Western College. Thank you to all who participated.
From Day’s Beginning to Day’s End: Fun on Useppa – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – From sunrise to moonlit night, time on Useppa is a gift. Walking the beach in the morning, yoga by the gazebo, tennis below the Collier Inn, Saturday and Sunday breakfast and brunch at the Tarpon, boats arriving… another day begins. Afternoons by the pool, relaxing in the hot tub, the days unfurl. Then conversation and cocktails at the Tarpon, sunset and dinner overlooking the Marina. How lucky we are to be part of the Useppa family. Hallelujah!
Fall Serenity on Useppa – Thoughts and pictures by UseppaGin – Happy Hour at the Tarpon Bar, Sunday candy from The Fudge factory for workers and kids, a soft sunrise and a morning sail, a pool party birthday, and so much more…. Useppa in the fall is a gift the Useppa family shares.
Columbus Day Weekend on Useppa – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Families large and small gathered on Useppa to celebrate the beginning of Island fall. On the dock, in the Tarpon, in the pool… smiles everywhere. Recovery from Hurricane Ian isn’t finished yet, but for the weekend, grins replaced worries and frowns. Useppa is mending.
Fall on Useppa – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – It’s the peaceful time of year on the island. It’s a little cooler, a little quieter. The colors of sunrise are golden. Old friends reconnect. Families have the pool to themselves. Hurricane Ian and Idalia recovery continues, but progress is being made one day at a time, one roof, one yard, one home… We are lucky to share this beautiful place. In 10,000 years of habitation, we are only its most recent guests.
Labor Day Weekend on Useppa Part II – Pictures and Thoughts by UseppaGin – Families, friends, hardworking employees, boats, cocktails, and devilishly good poolside music sum up Labor Day Weekend on Useppa. It’s been a long time since so many members gathered on the island. Hurricane recovery is never easy. We aren’t back to normal yet, but one day at a time, one weekend after another, Useppa is starting again to feel like the place we all love.