Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

2022 Members and Visitors Guide for the Punta Gorda Area

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Page 100 of 143

2022 Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce Members & Visitors Guide Page 101 too fast for the former pres- ident. He missed his target. Roosevelt attributed his miss to not allowing for the manta's speed and the boat traveling in the opposite direction. Roosevelt gathered up his harpoon and prepared himself for another try. The hunters did not have to wait long for a second opportunity, for within a few minutes a small group of devilfish was spotted a short distance away. These mantas were not swimming but rather lying close to the water's sur- face, probably easier targets for the inexperienced former president. Roosevelt again positioned himself at the front of the boat, harpoon in hand as the vessel crept forward to get into striking range, Coles at his side with a second harpoon. As Roosevelt raised his arm to throw the harpoon Capt. Charley Willis shouted "Iron him, colonel!" This time Roosevelt "ironed" his target. He hit his prey and immediately after Coles threw a second harpoon into the manta, and the real struggle began. The male ray swam away furiously, dragging the boat and crew behind. This part of the death struggle lasted 11 minutes, and in this time the manta dragged the boat and crew a half mile. Eventually, the beast tired and Roosevelt was able to jab the lance into it twice killing the manta. That the struggle lasted eleven minutes was a testament to the strength of the devilfish, as Roosevelt's harpoon penetrated the heart. The crew dragged the manta to the nearest beach and dropped him off far enough that the tide would not take it away, and headed out to capture another. Within a few minutes the crew was out in the gulf and had spotted another prey, and this was a larger female speci- men. The manta was heading straight at the vessel a couple of feet below the surface. Like the first ray, both Roosevelt and Coles had harpoons ready as the vessel approached the prey, and both men hurled their irons into the devilfish. It was fortunate that both men threw harpoons because Coles' did not stick; in response the crew brought the Sun file photo President Theodore Roosevelt's arrival in Punta Gorda on March 25, 1917, drew a crowd of about 1,000 people. The former president is pictured at right, in the back seat of a car owned and driven by C.M. Carrier. Continued on page 102 Looking to Buy or Sell? Let me help you! Lorrie Tanksley Realtor SWFL Resident Since 1979 Serving all of Charlotte & South Sarasota Counties Specializing With: First Time Buyers Second Home/ Vacation Home Waterfront Homes Acreage 2815 Tamiami Trail Punta Gorda, FL 33950 941-815-1198 • 800-409-9657 Lorrie@HomeInSWFL.com Harbor Realty adno=3823442-1 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda, FL (Across from Fishermen's Village) Gallery & Gift Gallery Hours: Mon & Fri 10a-4p, Tue - Thu 10a-7p, Sat 10a-2p | 941.639.8810 | www.VisualArtCenter.org Explore the Arts... Get Inspired, be Creative! at the Visual Arts Center Beach Chairs Before the Storm by Debra Peterson Three major galleries with national and regional exhibits, indoor and outdoor art markets, art classes and workshops in all media, a gift gallery with unique artwork by local artists, an art resource library and art supply store. Creative programs for all ages and skill levels, including summer camp for ages 8-18. Opportunities for artists to enter exhibitions. For more information visit www.VisualArtCenter.org. adno=3822095-1

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