Put-in-Bay Island Diary January 2023

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Island Diary January 2023

Sun., Jan. 1st – The ice that surrounded the West Shore just a week ago is all but melted, it’s now all open water to Green Island. The snow has melted and Sandy Funtel is out taking photos in the Morrison Woody Preserve on this relatively comfortable day. Jake and Renee Market host a New Year’s day get together with friends at their home on Bayview Ave. Fr. Bob Solon hosts an open house at St. Paul’s.

Mon., Jan. 2nd – Barry Koehler is out kayaking around the east point of the island. The fog coverage makes for some eerie photos. All flights to and from the island are canceled for the day due to fog. The average number of fog days for Put-in-Bay in January is one.

Tue., Jan. 3rd – Dense fog covers the island for the third straight day and flights are once again on hold. Peter Huston gets off the island despite the pea soup fog thanks to Rescue Marine coming over from the mainland by boat. It’s the first day of school after the holiday vacation and several of the staff are stuck on the mainland due to the fog. There’s no mail delivery either. On this day, Jan. 3rd, 1918, four boys skate from Marblehead to Kelleys, but encounter severe Northeast gale on the return. Only 1 of them made it.

Wed., Jan. 4th – There are signs that the fog is lifting. A coyote is spotted on Middle Bass in the mid afternoon.

Thu., Jan. 5th – There’s finally no fog. Shelbi at Griffing Flying Service reports she’s been in contact with FedEx Ground and expects the delivery problems will hopefully soon be worked out.

Fri., Jan. 6th – That really nasty looking ice is still around the islands. It’s that way because of how the water churned up the decaying algae and then froze. The Bay is clear of ice. A group of Middle Bass Islanders is enjoying themselves in the Florida Keys, so whose running the ship while they off island.

Sat., Jan. 7th – The visibility is good around the islands with temperatures hovering around the freezing point. A Panthers Boys Basketball Game take place in the morning. Brittany Nesbitt and her son Zayden explore the Scheeff East Point Preserve. They are able to walk the reed to Buckeye, plus they spot two Bald Eagles. Members of the PIB Vol. Fire Dept. are testing out their new survival suits in the icy water at the State Park Dock. They also ran the department’s airboat. Harper Scarpelli celebrates her 10th birthday.

Sun., Jan. 8th – The biggest excitement on the island is watching the Cleveland Browns lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is the last day of 2022 operations for the Kelleys Island Ferry.

Mon., Jan. 9th – The 2023 Bash on the Bay line-up is announced. The water temperature at Put-in-Bay is a refreshing 35.1°F. Based on our historical data over a period of ten years, the warmest water on this day at Put-in-Bay was recorded in 2016 and was 37.4°F, and the coldest was recorded in 2015 at 30.9°F. Water temperature in Put-in-Bay is expected to drop to 33.4°F in the next 10 days. January average water temperature in Put-in-Bay is 33.6°F, the minimum temperature is 30.6°F, and the maximum is 40.8°F.

Tue., Jan. 10th – The PIB School Board meets. One day after the line-up announcement for Bash on the Bay, Rob Hard reports the Black Squirrel is sold out for the event.

Wed., Jan. 11th – Members of the PIB Vol. Fire Dept. speak to PIB School students about ice safety. The PIB Village Council meets to discuss police services for 2023. On this date in 1942, Lonz Winery on Middle Bass Island burns to the ground. The Put-in-Bay Panthers take on Horizon Science Academy in an away game.

Thu., Jan. 12th – Raymond and Pati Arth from the West Shore celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. It’s Put-in-Bay Day at the Progressive Cleveland Boat Show. Some of the staff from The Boardwalk are serving bowls of delicious lobster bisque, plus they have frozen bisque to take home. Two PIB favorites, Pat Shepard and Westside Steve Simmons, are among those performing. WPIB – PutInBayRadio.com is broadcasting live from the show in the afternoon.

Fri., Jan. 13th – Ty Burgess has several guests over to help celebrate his 87th birthday. Among the guests are Ray and Shaena Kowalski, Ed Heineman, Chip Duggan, Tim Luecki, Walt Duff, Gloria Kindt, George Stoiber, Rich Roberts and KC Seaman. Today is the last day to apply for a seasonal maintenance position at Perry’s Monument. The air temperature slips back into the 20s.

Sat., Jan. 14th – The Sunglass Ladies are at the Progressive Cleveland Boat Show with their dog Teddy. The Crew’s Nest is sponsoring Nashville Crush on the main stage in the evening. Fairport Harbor overpowers the PIB Girls Basketball Team by a score 47-25. Over on Kelleys Island, the KI EMS crew is having a fundraiser dinner. There’s a little excitement when U.S.C.G. helicopter 6569 from the USCG Detroit Air Station arrives to assist the KI EMS to get a patient off the island after all other means of transport are exhausted.

Sun., Jan. 15th – Shaena Kowalski, Jessie Greene-Hill and Missi Kowalski are among those who check out the window pane ice at the Scheeff East Point Preserve. In Key West, islander Laura Fogg, Brad Ohlemacher and Jackie Taylor run in the Key West Half Marathon. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church holds its Annual Meeting after the morning service. It is livestreamed over a zoom link. The Annual Report can be downloaded or mailed on request.

Mon., Jan. 16th – PIB Village Fiscal Officer Courtney Blumensaadt celebrates her 40th birthday. Eleventh grader Lyla Steidl is out and about taking ice photos. Tragedy strikes Pelee Island when the Co-op Store reports the 2% milk didn’t arrive with day’s dairy order. The good news is that it should be coming on the morrow and available to pick up in the late afternoon.

Tue., Jan. 17th – The high temperature for the day is 48 degrees at noon. The average high temperature at Put-in-Bay in January is 31 degrees. The PIB Girls Panther Basketball Team plays Woodward. The game is live streamed.

Wed., Jan. 18th – There is open water with some leftover ice in Bay. The Words & Wine Book Club has a wonderful group of eight ladies for their meeting at the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club. On this date in 1919 it was reported that Kelleys island paid the highest teacher salary in Erie County – $91.25 a month. That’s $1,641.38 in today’s money.

Thu., Jan. 19th – The high temperature in the late afternoon is 50 degrees. The annual mayors breakfast is held in Leamington, and Pelee Island’s mayor Cathy Miller attends. It got us to wondering, do the mayors of Kelleys Island, Put-in-Bay and Pelee Island know each other?

Fri., Jan. 20th – The overnight winds from the west send any ice in the lake to Buffalo. The PIB Township Board of Trustees meets to discuss and approve payment for housing and equipment that the Ottawa County Sheriff needs to police the Township. It’s the beginning of two days of basketball in the Jim Poulos Gymnasium. The elementary school kids enjoy playing in the Panther All-Stars basketball game. Coach Adam Danes’ young players use a 7-ft basket instead of a 10-ft. One. The Panthers lose to the Horizon Jaguars 55 to 46. Joe Byrnes, former Put-in-Bay School Panther, is on hand to do the play-by-play announcing! J.F. Walleye’s is open on Middle Bass. Courtney Blumensaadt has a fish fry with island friends to celebrate the special birthday she had on Monday.

Sat., Jan. 21st – Panther Basketball continues with another round of games with the Horizon Jaguars and Monclova Christian Academy. The Lady Panthers beat Monclova 24 to 11 with Ava Heineman scoring the first six points. The PIB Vol. Fire Dept. has a drive-thru fundraiser spaghetti dinner, and at the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club the first winner of the 2023 Rolling Raffle is picked by Club Manager CC Wisniewski. Julene Market hosts a party at the yacht club to celebrate Marsha Parker’s 70th, yes 70th, birthday. Among those in attendance are Marsha’s mother Annie Parker, Sue Seaberg, Sue Cooks, Suzanne Kostura, Anne Auger, Joan Booker, Heidi Ladd and Donna Steinbach.

Sun., Jan. 22nd – There’s a good inch or so of snow on the ground. It is the wet kind that’s good for slurpy snow cones. In the mid afternoon, there’s not much visibility as it begins snowing again.

Mon., Jan. 23rd – Spirit Week begins at Put-in-Bay School. It’s “Biker vs. Surfer” day. Patricia Fisher has a Community Chair Yoga session in the morning and a Restorative Yoga in the late afternoon at the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center.

Tue., Jan. 24th – As part of Spirit Week at PIB School, it’s Adam Sandler Day. Students can dress like one of Adam’s characters. Up on Pelee Island, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 403 is holding a general meeting in the evening.

Wed., Jan. 25th – There are no planes and no school due to a great amount of snowfall. Wendy Chambers from the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce is at the Hilton Columbus at Easton accepting Ohio Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau’s (OACVB) Star Award for the Chamber’s 2022 Marketing Campaign. PIB took first place in the Budget Category (Under $399,999) for its “Visit Put-in-Bay – An Everyday Island Getaway” campaign and runner ups for social media and island guide. Beckett Dobos celebrates his 10th birthday.

Thu., Jan. 26th – It’s a gloomy afternoon at the Bay as light snow is still in the area. As part of Spirit Week, it’s PJ Day at Put-in-Bay School.

Fri., Jan. 27th – It’s Superhero Day at school and everyone is welcome to wear their favorite cape. The Shanty Bar at the Forge opens for the weekend after being closed for more than a year due to repairs to the building. The excitement never ends on Pelee Island. The slush on the Co-op store parking lot froze overnight making it very slippery. Customers are advised to be careful.

Sat., Jan. 28th – The Panther Basketball teams’ last-season senior players, Macy Ladd, Alec Sharp, McKenna Stacy, Alice Lentz, Lilian Fredrick and Doug Steidl were honored at the games in the gym. Bowling Green Christian Lions came to the island and flew home with wins in two out of three games. It’s Fish Fry Night at the Yacht Club. You have your choice of perch or walleye.

Sun., Jan. 29th – There’s rain in the morning as temperatures for this time of year remain higher than normal. The lake is ice free, but there’s still hope!

Mon., Jan. 30th – There’s a bit of fresh snow on the ground, but still no ice. Teddy Koehler is celebrating his 8th birthday.

Tue., Jan. 31st – The PIB Gazette’s resident weather guru predicts very cold temperatures in early February that will provide just enough ice fishing for the “brave at heart.” But any ice in the lake will be gone by the end of February.


Putinbay.com is proud to present the Put-in-Bay Gazette’s Island Diary for January 2023, in the February 2023 issue of the Gazette.

To subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette please visit their website by clicking here.

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