Put-in-Bay Island Diary: March 2021

Island Diary March 2021


Mon., March 1st – Tom Thanasiu takes one last ice boat ride before packing it up for the season. There’s open water on the east side of the island, off East Point looking out to Ballast Island and in front of Lonz Winery on Middle Bass.

Tue., March 2nd – Doug Rank, from the mainland, is the only ice fisherman fishing off the West Shore. Island seniors are getting their second Covid vaccinations from the Ottawa County Health Department at the fire station.

Wed., March 3rd – There are some islanders having bad reactions to the second covid shots given yesterday at the fire station. Mike and Susan Byrnes enjoy a little kayaking off the east side of the island. PIB Vol. Fire Dept. volunteers are doing rescue training on the ice in the harbor in the evening.

Thu., March 4th – Congratulations to Pat Dailey who is celebrating his 80th birthday.

Fri., March 5th – Patty Bauer from Tipper’s tells us there is still enough snow in the drifts around the island that she can collect some for her freezer and bring it out in July.

Sat., March 6th – Scott Market leaves the island and heads to Superior, Wisconsin, to check on the progress of the new ferry, M/V Mary Ann Market. John Ladd flies off the island to take his dog to the vet for a shot. Jeff and Kendra Koehler leave PIB to head for St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.

Sun., March 7th – Barry Koehler and his daughter Piper kayak to Starve Island which is piled high with ice shoves. One lone ice shanty is spotted off the new ramp on the West Shore.

Mon., March 8th – Put-in-Bay School students return to the classroom after a week of remote learning following the winter break. Some of the Miller crew head back to work to get the ferries up and running. The PIB Chamber of Commerce holds its monthly meeting via Zoom. Chamber Board members Dave Schafer, Paul Jeris, Brian Cultice and Chamber staff Kim Stoiber and Tina Rogers are together for the meeting in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.

Tue., March 9th – There’s a Village Council meeting at Town Hall in the morning. Todd Blumensaadt is running his airboat around the harbor to help break up the ice that keeps the ferry boats trapped at their winter dock in Squaw Harbor. The sound of the airboat is indeed a welcoming one. Interim Police Chief Jim Kimble is attending Human Trafficking Investigation Training on the mainland.

Wed., March 10th – The ice in the Bay is gone except for some areas along the shoreline and around some of the docks. Miller Ferry announces they will begin service on Friday, March 12th. Parents voice their opinion on starting preschool at 8 a.m., rather than 9 a.m, at the Put-in-Bay School Board meeting in the afternoon. In the evening the PIBVFD is practicing drills with their ladder truck at various locations on the island. Amanda McCann is seen climbing to the top of the ladder above the Tree Bar on Delaware Ave.

Thu., March 11th – The PIB Twp. Park District meeting is held via Zoom. Members Kendra Koehler is in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, Kelly Faris is in Perrysburg, Ohio, Lisa Brohl is driving in a car on the mainland, and Courtney Blumensaadt is on Put-in-Bay.

Fri., March 12th – Miller Boat Line begins running for the 2021 season with three trips in the morning and three in the afternoon. Mo Mary Staley is onhand for a blessing to start the season for all those who travel, work and play upon the waters of our lake. Things are looking up for this season getting back to normal.

Sat., March 13th – Jordan Market leaves the island to begin Army basic training. The contest to guess when the snow will melt from St. Paul’s parking lot is decided. In the morning there’s a small patch about two feet long and an inch deep. It’s gone in the afternoon. Tom Thanasiu wins a box of the chocolate covered peanut butter Girl Scout cookies. There’s a fundraiser drive-thru meatball sub dinner at the fire station.

Sun., March 14th – Daylight savings time leads to a later sunrise in the morning, but what a beauty it is! Put-in-Bay Township Park District’s annual report is finalized in the afternoon. The Forge opens after dinner for a “swim wear and winter gear” send off party for Meg Stanard. Meg is going to Costa Rica for the summer.

Mon., March 15th – “Little Linda” Ostrander from the Boardwalk celebrates her birthday. On Pelee Island they’re finishing up making maple syrup. John Ladd tells us they use to do that at Put-in-Bay when he was young, but we don’t know of anyone on the island today who does it. As a group lays out the new trail in Benjamin Woods wild leeks are starting up through the leaf litter. This is a sign spring is about to begin!

Tue., March 16th – Three inches of new “spring ice” forms in the Bay overnight and Tom Thanasiu is seen ice boating off the Boardwalk Dock. There’s a nice sized crowd of participants for Trivia Night at Topsy’s.

Wed., March 17th – Billy Market is doing his weather prediction thing again and posts on social media that the next two days will be nasty with nor’east winds of 35 mph and gusts above 50. “Batten down the hatches!” Several brave souls jump off the dock into the icy water in front of Put-in-Bay Winery to carry on the traditional polar plunge. There’s live irish music at Topsy’s all day in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Thu., March 18th – Miller Boat Line’s print schedule begins, but only two ferry trips are made in the morning and none the rest of the day due to strong northeast winds.

Fri., March 19th – Morning ferry service is delayed due to the continued bad weather. The Put-in-Bay Port Authority holds a special meeting at the PIB Airport terminal to discuss the Bash on the Bay concerts in August. There’s a birthday celebration for Bryan Gilles at Topsy’s in the evening.

Sat., March 20th – M/V Put-in-Bay leaves PIB harbor for the first time this season. A reminder goes out to the island ice fishermen that they need to get their minnow carts pulled at the Miller’s downtown dock. The island men’s poker group is having their annual Spring Equinox tournament in the evening. There’s a going away party for Meg Stanard from The Forge in Shaffer’s barn.

Sun., March 21st – Happy Birthday wishes go out to Howard Martens from High Shores who is celebrating his 90th today. The new Miller ferry, M/V Mary Ann Market is at Fraser Shipyards in Superior and floats for the first time. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is allowed to welcome parishioners inside the building again after Covid restrictions are modified. There are seating pods that are each 6 feet from the others. The first tourists on golf carts are spotted for 2021.

Mon., March 22nd – Details about who will be performing at the 4th Annual Bash on the Bay in August are announced in the morning. The weather is perfect and numerous fishing boats are seen off the West Shore in the direction of Rattlesnake Island. Dustin Heineman heads to North Bass on the Heineman Winery boat to check out how their vines and houses are looking. For those keeping track, sunset at Put-in-Bay is at 7:46 p.m.

Tue., March 23rd – Prep work for the seawall restoration project at the Monument begins with the removal of three trees in the park. Two of the trees are on the nort east side of the park along Bayview/Route 357 will be removed along with a tree at the east end of the south wall.

Wed., March 24th – Tornado sirens are heard in the morning. But nothing is to be feared, it’s the annual statewide tornado drill day in Ohio. Staff from the Monument are continuing work on cutting down two trees along the north seawall.

Thu., March 25th – Paramedics Rogers and Devos from the Put-in-Bay EMS put on a Trauma class for all Put-in-Bay EMS, Police and Fire Department members at the fire station. This is an example of the training that the island’s emergency personnel take part in to help keep everyone on the Bass Islands safe. A lightning and thunder storm hits the island just before midnight, continuing into Friday morning.

Fri., March 26th – The Middle Bass General Store opens for the season. The Put-in-Bay School Environmental Club announces they are selling “Saved Cooper’s Woods” T-shirts! Half of the proceeds will go to the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center and the other half will go to the Environmental Club. The fundraiser closes April 4th. Islanders gather for a foosball tournament in the evening.

Sat., March 27th – It’s a great day for Ella Kostura and McKenna Kowalski; As they leave the island, they both drive cars on the ferry boat for the first time. About 50 new golf carts come over on the Miller Ferry in the mid-morning. Many residents are day-tripping to the mainland to get their vaccine shots at Camp Perry in Port Clinton.

Sun., March 28th – It’s another windy day. The last trip for Miller Boat Line off PIB is 4 p.m. in the afternoon rather than 5 p.m. Miranda Krueger announces a half marathon fundraising event for Tommy Dailey that will take place on May 19th, at 10 a.m.

Mon., March 29th – The precise time of the full moon over the Bass Islands is at 12:19 a.m. It’s probably the same over Pelee Island, but then who really knows for sure?

Tue., March 30th – Looking back 10 years on this date: Just what the is-land needs…SNOW! Fortunately, it’s just a little at evening time. Did you see the Border Patrol boat off Middle Bass today? We hear they caught some drug smugglers bringing in cheap prescription drugs for American seniors from Canada.We should always remember that when it comes to drug addiction it is always better to seek the help of alcohol rehab at WhiteSands as it can promote both personal and social wellness.

Wed., March 31st – PIB High School seniors Talli Steidl, Elena Schroeder, Nora Ladd and Lucy Schneider leave the island for their senior class trip to Utah.


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