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Island Diary January 2022
Sat., Jan 1st – The temperature is in the 30s, but doesn’t drop to the freezing point all day. There’s a brunch at Ryan and Jenni Stoiber’s home. Miller Boat Line runs one trip off the island at noon and then heads to the Bay where fireworks welcome the last ferry to its winter dock where it will stay until service resumes when the ice is gone. It rains late, which later turns into sleet and ice. Sirens are heard in the evening as the volunteer firemen head to East Point where there’s a small chimney fire at the Wertenbach’s home.
Sun., Jan. 2nd – Islanders awake to the first real accumulation of snow on the ground, about one inch. Last night’s rain froze and there’s ice underneath the snow. Island Air Taxi flies several round trips to the mainland, officially marking the beginning of winter.
Mon., Jan. 3rd – Put-in-Bay Gazettes are hitting newsstands in the afternoon, fresh off the printing press in Sandusky. The Browns Backers are at Topsy Turvey’s in the evening to watch the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. On this day in 1918, four boys skated from Marblehead to Kelleys Island. They encountered a severe Northeast gale on their return. Only one of them made it. The three who perished were 12, 13 and 14 years old.
Tue., Jan. 4th – It’s the first day of the season for the winter freight barn at the PIB Airport. Bobbi Kowalski Dobos is attending the packages this year. The two new members of the Put-in-Bay Village Council, Jeff Biery and Craig Cox, are sworn in at the first meeting of 2022. In the evening, Barry and Phoebe Koehler and kids are socializing at the home of Brian and Justine Cultice and their daughter Evie. High temp for the day comes in at just over 38 degrees at 11 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 5th – There are angry southwest winds blowing 35 mph for most of the day, with gusts reaching up to 50 mph. Island Hardware announces they have more new grocery items in stock, adding lunch meats, bread, chips and frozen dinner items. There’s still no sign of ice in the Bay. There are high winds from the SW.
Thu., Jan. 6th – There’s light snow in the afternoon. The water temperature has dropped to 34 degrees. That’s down 4 degrees in the past week. The West Shore shoreline is covered with ice, but no ice in the lake. Mother Mary from St. Paul’s in doing her annual chalking of the doors. The Holiday Concert that was postponed before Christmas takes place in the school gym in the evening.
Fri., Jan. 7th – Snow falls again overnight, replacing what has melted in the last week. Pancake ice is starting to form in the downtown harbor. If the stump carving statue of Jose DeRivera in the downtown park could tell you what he sees, he would tell you there’s a light snow cover over the park’s grass, the Christmas decorations in the park are still up, there’s ice inside the city docks, but no ice cover in the harbor. Kevin Dailey from the Boathouse is celebrating his birthday. Also celebrating is Harper Scarpelli who had a 9th birthday party at the Town Hall. At dusk, the state park dock is completely locked in with ice. We’ll be seeing shanties in no time!
Sat., Jan. 8th – There’s a mix of ice and open water all around the islands and in the Bay. The PIB Panthers girls were hard pressed to keep up with the undefeated Margaretta Lady Bears freshman basketball team and lost 28 to 57. Former PIB Panther basketball player Joe Byrnes (PIBHS Class of 2020) was the announcer at the game. Island Hardware makes a big announcement about now selling fresh produce! It’s a busy night at the Yacht Club with chef Dave serving up meatloaf. Pilot Dustin Shafer sells two antique Piper J-3 Cub airplanes to some gentlemen from the mainland.
Sun., Jan. 9th – In the morning, flights off the island are delayed due to weather. Duff Spatafore is celebrating a birthday. Matthew and Rob Stacy are fishing off the dock at Miller Marina. They catch their first fish of 2022, a bite size perch that could be mistaken for a minnow. Looks like the sacrifice to Ullr the Ice God may be paying off after all. Our apologies to Billy for the harsh editorial about Ullr in last month’s edition. Thanks to Mark Wilhem, there’s a new story at the Put-in-Bay StoryWalk Trail in memory of Justine Bianchi. St. Paul’s is looking for homes for several colorful poinsettia plants that the church used for the holidays. Taylor’s Tae Kwon Do, Tumbling & Dance is on the island for its first winter session at the Town Hall. The USCG Cutter Morro Bay is seen in the waters southeast of Put-in-Bay in the afternoon. Former Fox’s Den resident George Hirkala celebrates his 80th birthday.
Mon., Jan. 10th – There’s skim ice covering the lake as far as the eye can see, plus there’s a phenomenal sunset over the ice in the evening.
Tue., Jan. 11th – The first French Club meeting takes place at the school. The date is announced for the annual Kurt Rohrbacher Ice Fishing Tournament. This year’s date will be Feb. 5th. Ice and weather guru Billy Market predicts some great skating and ice boating in the next 10 to 14 days. Little does he know his prediction will actually come true. Marie Schroeder is delivering her delicious homemade lemon chicken rice soup and ham and potato and ham corn chowder.
Wed., Jan. 12th – The ice holds up on the West side and in the South Passage after last night’s wind. Andy Mohn (PIBHS Class of 2008) is celebrating birthday number 32! The PIB Village Council holds a special meeting about its salary ordinance and bid award for the sewer service line to the water plant at the end of Sybil Blvd. The PIB Chamber of Commerce Executive Board has a meeting in the early afternoon. The Euchre players are at the yacht club in the evening. It’s the first night of dart league at Topsy Turvey’s.
Thu., Jan. 13th – There’s a lot of black ice all over the island. Island Hardware gets the Girl Scout cookie order sheet up at the store! The Put-in-Bay Girl Scout Troop members will also begin door-to-door selling this weekend as well. Yoga at the Nature Center returns. The George Gradel and John Francis are seen passing through the South Channel. Happy Birthday wishes go out to Sue Thwaite who turns 65.
Fri., Jan. 14th – An ice rink is being made at the school basketball court by the PIB Vol. Fire Department. The Village Council meets over the lunch hour to hold an executive session to discuss police personnel matters.
Sat., Jan. 15th – The first ice shanty is planted off the West Shore ramp by Travis Kowalski. On shore by the ramp are a couple more itching to feel ice beneath their runners. There are three basketball games at Put-in-Bay School. The only team to win is the Panther Girls team, who defeat the Bowling Green Christian Lions 45 to 24. The island boys were no match for the guest team and lost 48 to 12. Our junior high team lost to Fasset Middle School 39 to 37 in a heartbreaker. There’s a dinner pizza special at the yacht club.
Sun., Jan. 16th – And so the ice season begins! A few ice shanties and ice boats appear on the ice. Susan and Mike Byrnes are bucket fishing off the West Shore with the temperature just below freezing and a relatively light wind. Tom Duffy is giving free Jiu-Jitsu training lessons at the Town Hall to individuals 16 and over. In the afternoon, Meredith Cooper is selling Girl Scout Cookies door to door on East Point. Barry Koehler and his children Teddy, Piper and Greta are spotted playing on the smooth as glass ice near Squaw Harbor.
Mon., Jan. 17th – The PIB Vol. Fire Dept. begins a week-long Volunteer Fire Course in the morning for 15 new volunteers at the fire station. Happy birthday to PIB Village Fiscal Officer Courtney Blumensaadt!
Tue., Jan. 18th – The new PIBVFD volunteers are practicing getting the gear on as part of their training. The Put-in-Panther cheerleaders accompany the Panther boys basketball team to their game at Genoa High School on the mainland. Tom Thanasiu is sailing in the harbor with a big “Frosty the Snowman” in front of the mast on the bow of his iceboat.
Wed., Jan. 19th – Up on Pelee Island there’s a Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic scheduled. Five shanties are seen off the West Shore and one off the State Park dock. Spectrum service goes out on part of the island. There is no internet for many except those who can still use their smartphones.
Thu., Jan. 20th – With temps and wind speed both in the high teens, Tom Thanasiu enjoys some ice boating on the smoothest ice in the Bay since 2016. Sharon Cox stops by with cookies for those taking the fire class.
Fri., Jan. 21st – With near-still winds and overnight temperatures in the mid teens the South Passage freezes over night and appears to look mirror flat all the way to Kelleys Island. This is highly unusual. Dustin Schafer from Island Air Taxi reports seeing about 20 shanties off the West Shore with ice as far as one can see. The ice off the ramp is reported to be about a half of a foot thick. As he flies over the South Passage, he can see the reflection of the sky and clouds on the ice below. Members of the PIB Ice Skating Team challenge the Kelleys Island Ice Skating Team to see who can beat each other to each other’s island.
Sat., Jan. 22nd – Both the girls and boys Put-in-Bay Panther basketball teams lose in games at the Jim Poulos Gymnasium. The boys go down with a score of 54 to 21 against Oak Harbor, and the girls lose by a score of 46 to 24 to the Emmanuel Christian girls. There’s lots of activity on the ice with ice skating, ice boating, sail skating and ice fishing. Nora Ladd watches her mom Heidi and sister Macy ice skating in the Bay in her dorm room at college via the Stone Lab webcam. The Put-in-Bay Volunteer Fire Department is having a fundraiser spaghetti drive-thru dinner at the fire station in the evening.
Sun., Jan. 23rd – Let’s talk snow. It covers the entire island and the surrounding ice-covered lake. Patty Bauer credits her snowglobe for finally coming through with the white stuff. Families with children of all ages enjoy sledding down the hill by the cabinets at the State Park.
Mon., Jan. 24th – Many schools on the mainland have a snow day, but not the kids at PIB. On this date in 2018, members of the PIB Vol. Fire Dept. spent the evening training on the airboat.
Tue., Jan. 25th – Dustin Mulligan and Jake Dunfee from Rescue Marine on Marblehead run an airboat to Monument Bay on the south side of South Bass Island in the morning. They encounter a lot of thin ice. Most of the ice is only a half of an inch thick to about three-inches thick. There is still open water east of the Islands.
Wed., Jan. 26th – At 9 a.m. it’s 2.5 degrees at the SBI Lighthouse weather station. Don and Tami Dress are on the ice fishing and don’t go home empty-handed. Some of those who attended the fire fighting class last week are taking the final test. All three Put-in-Bay Township Trustees (Matt Miller, Chris Cooper, and Eric Engel) are attending the Ohio Township Association Winter Conference. The yacht club opens in the evening for dinner, euchre and entertainment for the kids. Topsy’s is packed for dart league and a slew of visiting ice fishermen.
Thu., Jan. 27th – Theresa Finney catches a catfish through the ice. Sara and Joan Booker are spotted iceboating in the harbor near The Boardwalk.
Fri., Jan. 28th – PIB postmaster John Domer counts 101 shanties off of the South Bass ramps and even more people bucket fishing. The last of the students who took the fire class pass the state test to officially become volunteer firemen. Everyone in the class passed the test on the first try. A big thank you goes to the EHOVE Career Center for the phenomenal class. Newly certified PIBVFD firefighters are on the ice off the yacht club and Crew’s Nest docks performing ice rescue training.
Sat., Jan. 29th – A group meets at Topsy’s at noon to stage a caravan of 37 ATV’s and Snowmobiles across the ice to JF Walleye’s on Middle Bass. Bryan and Amanda Gilles are celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. There’s a surprise 50th Birthday party for Jason Cooper at the Yacht Club in the evening.
Sun., Jan. 30th – Griffing Flying Service has the PIB Airport freight room open in the morning so islanders can pick up packages that didn’t get over to the island due to the recent high volume of passenger flights. It’s Teddy Koehler’s 7th birthday!
Mon., Jan. 31st – In preparation for the predicted Groundhog’s Day winter storm, the PIB Gazette is printed in Sandusky three days ahead of the scheduled print date.
Putinbay.com is proud to present the Put-in-Bay Gazette’s Island Diary for January, in the February 2022 issue of the Gazette.
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