Put-in-Bay Island Diary: January 2021

Fri., Jan. 1st – It rains all day. At The Forge, there’s a steak and eggs brunch, plus champagne toast brunch special. Registration for those wanting to participate in the 2021 Put-in-Bay Road Races Union in September opens.

Sat., Jan. 2nd – West Shore resident Marc Burr celebrates his 70th birthday. The weather station, Station SBIO1 – South Bass Island, at the SBI Lighthouse hasn’t been working since just a couple of hours before 2020 became 2021. Sue and Mike Byrnes are out for their first kayak paddle of 2021. During a drive around the island, a lone fisherman in a small boat fishing off the West Shore. Roger Miller out for a walk and four deer are spotted.

Sun., Jan. 3rd – Mother Mary from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has her first online service of the new year. After the worship ceremony, Chalking of the Doors takes place in the afternoon.

Mon., Jan. 4th – Miller Boat Line runs two ferry trips in the morning and two in the afternoon. The Village Council holds a committee meeting to discuss options for funding the low pressure sewer line going down Sybil Blvd. to the water treatment plant. Meredith Snyder from the West Shore is one of 32 women on the popular television program, “The Bachelor.”

Tue., Jan. 5th – After a snap decision by the Ottawa County Health Department the day before, 50 islanders get Covid vaccine shots. Shots go to the EMS, police, volunteer firefighters, teachers and a few essential ferry workers get the shots. For island meeting buffs there’s a Village Council workshop at the Town Hall, plus a ZOOM session with PIB Chamber of Commerce members. At the Chamber meeting they hear about getting students from overseas who need J-1 visas for work on the island this coming season.

Wed., Jan. 6th – Miller Ferry runs for their last day, crowded with vehicles coming and going. Doug Wilhelm is shopping at Sam’s Club to get supplies for the spaghetti dinner fundraiser scheduled for the 9th. Dustin Heineman transports a load of vintage pinball machines on the winery’s stake bed truck.

Thu., Jan. 7th – After the events at the Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Village Administrator Anne Auger says there are no plans to beef up security around the Put-in-Bay Town Hall.

Fri., Jan. 8th – Islanders begin to preregister for the Covid vaccine on the Ottawa County Health Dept. website. Susan Byrnes and Lisa Brohl go out kayaking and encounter a bit of ice in the lake. Cliff Fulton has a 4-wheeler accident and is Life Flighted to Toledo. Fortunately, he had no internal bleeding or broken bones, just a big headache.

Sat., Jan. 9th – Susan and Mike Byrnes and Russ and Lisa Brohl kayak to Starve Island and Susan gets some great photos. There’s a carry-out spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the PIB Vol. Fire. Dept. station. Islanders pull into the parking lot and are directed how to get their meal just like at a McDonald’s drive thru. Seven hundred is the magic number for meatballs needed for the event. The first PIBYC 2021 Rolling Raffle Ticket is pulled online, Ben Paselsky is the winner.

Sun., Jan. 10th – It’s a frosty morning with ice forming in the Bay, but it doesn’t last.

Mon., Jan. 11th – Island kids go back to the classroom after Christmas vacation and a week of virtual classes. The last ferry of the season runs from Marblehead to Kelleys Island. For residents of Pelee Island there’s a drawing for a Mini Key Lime Pie.

Tue., Jan. 12th – Billy Market announces one ferry to the mainland in the morning and a trip back in the afternoon, plus two trips in the morning and two in the afternoon on Tuesday.

Wed., Jan. 13th – Chef Marie Schroeder has creamy Reuben soup with potatoes and rye croutons and diced Swiss for garnish and a Mexican chicken chili with black beans and fresh cilantro and crispy tortilla strips as a garnish for $10 a quart available for delivery. She also has chicken pots pies. Yummy! The ferry comes into PIB harbor in the late afternoon and sounds its horn, but there are no fireworks. Happy birthday to Sue Thwaite.

Thu., Jan. 14th – A group of volunteers recruited by Sue Cooks is taking down the Christmas decorations in DeRivera Park. Sue and Mike Byrnes and Lisa and Russ Brohl kayak from the yacht club ramp out to Buckeye Island and back.

Fri., Jan. 15th – A wintery mix keeps planes grounded. The virtual Progressive Cleveland Boat Show & Fishing Expo opens with an interview of Agnes Dubbert and Emily Deeks from the Crew’s Nest. As part of the show, Eric Booker is at South Shore Marine in Huron selling lobster bisque from the Boardwalk. If you join the Park Place Boat Club at the Keys, you can join with no initiation fee.

Sat., Jan. 16th – Mother Mary at St. Paul’s wakes up to furnace problems in the church. In spite of “thick” water, the M/V Wm. Market makes a quick passengers-only afternoon trip from the downtown dock to Middle Bass, then to the mainland and back. Across the border on Pelee Island they are having a curb side pick up fundraiser dinner at the Legion. Get a load of this menu: Shepherd’s Pie. Squash Soup. Caesar Salad. Garlic Bread, plus your choice of dessert, pumpkin whoopie pie or cranberry orange cake, for CD15 ($11.70). Commodore Marcia Ashley draws the second ticket in the PIBYC’s Rolling Raffle. Past Commodore Brian Leonard is the winner. She reminds everyone there are many more raffles to win and tickets are still available at https://www.pibyc.org/upcoming-events/

Sun., Jan. 17th – There’s a pre-game Browns Backer tailgate party at the home of Carmen and Melissa Fiorilli on Duff Rd. Justine Bianchi celebrates her 99th birthday. She watches the Browns game and enjoys a shrimp cocktail, sirloin steak, avocado/tomato salad and cake & ice cream for dinner. Amanda Goaziou from the Candy Bar, Ryan Stoiber from Frosty Bar and Michael McCaffrey from the Roundhouse are at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the Browns game.

Mon., Jan. 18th – Light snow on the ground in the morning. Gwena Market (PIBHS Class of 2018) turns 21. There’s a sign up sheet at the Hardware Store for the island seniors who want to get their Covid vaccinations. The Forge opens in the evening for a pop up martini Monday and to cheer for Meredith “MJ” Snyder on The Bachelor.

Tue., Jan. 19th – Jerry Bingham from the Ottawa County Health Dept. tells us there are 167 island seniors who have signed up to get Covid shots.

Wed., Jan. 20th – Shawn Dages posts on social media that he’s got his 16th coyote kill on the island in six years.

Thu., Jan. 21st – The Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay leaves the east side of Middle Bass where it spent the last couple of nights. With no ice to break, you have to wonder what the crew does anchored off Middle Bass for two days. Greg Dobos celebrates one year as Put-in-Bay Vol. Fire Dept. chief.

Fri., Jan. 22nd – The PIB Village Council meets in the morning to review an audit of its operations, discuss the proposed sewer line for Sybil Blvd. and hire a new full-time police officer. At the Pelee Island Legion post, they’re fixing Chicken Wing Day orders!

Sat., Jan. 23rd – There’s ice in the Bay, but not enough to write home about. COVID testing for islanders experiencing symptoms becomes available at the Put-in-Bay EMS. If you feel you need a test please call the station at (419) 285-2401 to set up a test. All testing done on the island must be approved by the Ohio Department of Health. The PIB High School girls Panther basketball team played well and beat Harvest Temple Christian Academy 46 to 38. Due to Covid restrictions, there were no fans in stands, but the game was live-streamed from the island gym.

Sun., Jan. 24th – There’s a lot more ice on the lake – ice in the Bay, ice between PIB and Middle Bass and even some off the West Shore. Islanders sadly learn of the passing of Pam Hughes from the Island General Store and the Bayshore Resort on Saturday. Elora Hubner and Lyla Steidl are delivering dinners to senior islanders as part of a community service project from school.

Mon., Jan. 25th – There’s ice, but don’t hold your breath. With a wintry mix and wind predicted for the evening, things may change by the morrow.

Tue., Jan. 26th – On this date in 1921, 100 years ago, Albert Riedy won the distinction of being the first Kelleys islander to skate to Put-in-Bay that season. Overnight, Shawn Dages bags his 17th coyote. The ice between Put-in-Bay harbor and Middle Bass is gone, gone, gone. On the island grapevine, there’s mention of the Ottawa County Health Department might be coming to the island on Feb. 2nd to vaccinate those over 65. We’re not rolling up our sleeves quite yet!

Wed., Jan. 27th – Overnight Shawn Dages bags another coyote, his third coyote of the new year. At lunch time there are hundreds of seagulls sitting on the ice in the harbor. Mayor Dress opens the Chief of Police position for new interviews. Island seniors begin getting calls from the Ottawa County Health Dept. to set up appointments to get Covid vaccine shots on Tuesday, February 2nd. Sue Ferguson is at St. Paul’s re-potting some of the plants used for the Garden of Gethsemane each Maundy Thursday.

Thu., Jan. 28th – With northwesterly wind and temps in the high teens and low 20s, the windchill makes it feel like it’s below ten degrees outside. There’s a Coast Guard icebreaker anchored near the entrance to the Lonz Marina on Middle Bass. On this date in 1921, 100 years ago, eight Kelleys Island men walked to Put-in-Bay where they were working on the Catholic church being erected. The rehearsal dinner for Amanda McCann and Bryan “Gilly” Gilles is held at The Forge.

Fri., Jan. 29th – It’s report card day at Put-in-Bay School, plus is the last day of “Spirit Week.” Students are encouraged to wear the school colors, blue and white. Among others, Aaron “Vern” Schroeder ventures onto the ice for a little ice fishing in the harbor. Gilly and Amanda are married at Mother of Sorrows. A reception for the newlyweds is held at the Round House, very elegantly decorated with white tablecloths and red rose centerpieces.

Sat., Jan. 30th – The island kindergarten students attend a birthday party for Teddy Koehler. Marcia Ashley and CC Wisniewski draw lucky winner #4 of the PIB Yacht Club’s Rolling Raffle. Pelee Island Legion Post #403 is cooking up Chicken Alfredo. There’s no way we can cross the ice from PIB to enjoy this yummy feast.

Sun., Jan. 31st – A brisk wind from the northeast is pushing the ice around on the east shore and leaves open water off the West Shore. Air transportation to and from the island are grounded due to poor visibility and low ceiling. There’s ice between PIB and Middle Bass.


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