Put-in-Bay Island Diary: November 2020

Sun., Nov. 1st – There’s a small craft advisory in effect through Monday morning with southwest winds 20 to 30 knots and gusts to 40 knots. That translates to waves 5 to 8 feet. There’s a gale watch for northwest winds 25 to 30 knots with gusts up to 40 knots with wave heights of 7 to 10 feet. The last ferry for the day leaves the island at 2 p.m. Bob Bahney reports a 57 mph gust of wind at his home on Peach Point, plus there are reports of snow flakes in the air. A waterspout is spotted off the north side of Kelleys Island. Hooligans has its closedown party.

Mon., Nov. 2nd. – A crew is closing down Hooligans for winter.

Tue., Nov. 3rd – Islanders head to the Senior Center to vote. It’s a bit different this year…baggies for gloves and no “I Voted!” stickers. Caroline Jackson and her children, Liesl and Cal, take a walk along the beach on the southeast side of East Point. They spot something in the water swimming into shore from the direction of Kelleys Island. It’s a big buck. He comes ashore and skirts off into the brush. Jake Dunfee and his crew are on Miller Boat Line’s M/V Islander pulling Camp Perry’s firing range buoys from the lake for the winter.

Wed., Nov. 4th – The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce meets at the Fishbowl in the early afternoon. You can hear the rumbling from the west where ARES, Inc., a High Technology Engineering and Manufacturing Company at the Lake Erie Business Park at Camp Perry on the mainland engaged in weapon systems design, development and manufacturing, is testing firing. Since its establishment in 1971, ARES has participated in a variety of programs ranging from small arms to medium and large caliber automatic cannon and artillery systems. The ARES lake impact test range extends 12,000 meters out from firing bays into the lake.

Thu., Nov. 5th – Ed Hubner pulls his boat, “Old Faithful,” for the winter. Mike and Susan Byrnes are out kayaking on this beautiful day. At the Erie Islands Library, librarian Sue Duff is videoing another kitchen chemistry activity using balloons, dish soap and skewers.

Fri., Nov. 6th – Ryan Stoiber drops his long-handle fishing net out of the back of his side by side between Frostys and his house and is hoping someone finds it and gets it back to him. Report cards go home from PIB School. One of the classes at PIB School is putting on a pizza fundraiser. Lots of islanders of all ages are participating in an island-themed scavenger hunt put on by Bobbi Dobos. You need to know your island history for this one! There were more than a dozen teams. First place winners are Kira, Kate and Elora Hubner and Tammy Jones; second place JR Domer and Patrick Rogers; and third place Phoebe and Piper Koehler, Madeline Pugh and Addison Dress.

Sat., Nov. 7th – It’s a beautiful day with a few golf carts and many walkers from the mainland on the roads. The Put-in-Bay Port Authority holds a workshop meeting at the PIB Airport Terminal in the morning to discuss capital improvements for the three airports on the islands and the North Bass dock. Mark and Karen Wilhlem take one last ride on their boat for the season. Diane Nemec was also spotted taking a boat ride on the lake. Both Topsy Turvey and the Forge are doing a brisk business in the afternoon. Raymond Arth from the West Shore celebrates his birthday. At Island Hardware it’s Ladies Night. Men are even on the invitation! Christie Ontko’s Freshwater Remedies on Airport Rd. is also open in the evening for a little holiday shopping, plus Julene Market is there selling the 2021 Lake Erie Islands Conservancy calendars. Over on Middle Bass, the 2020 Schmidlin Construction Employee Dinner is taking place. On Pelee Island there is a beach cleanup going on.

Sun., Nov. 8th – Another beautiful day at the Bay! We think we witnessed the smallest antique car parade ever. There were only three vehicles.

Mon., Nov. 9th – You can hear the duck hunters’ guns across the still lake in the morning before the first ferry leaves the island. If there was ever a perfect November day on the Lake Erie Islands, this has to be it…shorts and T-shirt weather with lots of warm sunshine.

Tue., Nov. 10th – PIB Village Council meets shortly after noon. One of the last votes was to approve the retirement of PIB Police Chief Steve Riddle at the end of the year. Scott Market is beginning the renovation of the historic Chamber of Commerce kiosk he acquired the museum fundraiser auction in 2019. Billy Market and Nate Seaberg are raking up the leaves at St. Paul’s.

Wed., Nov. 11th – Liam Market sports his new “Chewbacca” mask on his way to school. Members of Put-in-Bay’s American Legion Post meet at Commander Dan Skoufos home to celebrate Veterans Day.

Thu., Nov. 12th – The island’s triplets, Amanda, Elizabeth and Patrick McCann celebrate their birthday. Rob Stacy and his daughter McKenna are fishing off some of the glacial grooves under a night sky filled with stars.

Fri., Nov. 13th – The Coast Guard removes the “red can” off the north side of Gibraltar Island. The Chili Cook-Off at the fire station did not take place due to Covid issues.

Sat., Nov. 14th – What a joyous mix! There are both Christmas lights and Presidential Election yard signs spotted around the island. Master weather predictor guru Billy Market warns of gale winds and low water for Sunday the 15th. On Kelleys Island, Emily Beal from Middle Bass and Jackie Taylor from PIB run 10 miles to benefit the pollinator planting project on Kelleys Island. Members of the Kelleys Island School’s Running Club join them for part of the way. Jackie and Emily run the 10 miles in an hour and a half. $2,000 was raised for the Kelleys Island Pollinator project

Sun., Nov. 15th – The southwest wind is strong enough to lower the water level in the harbor about 4 1/2 ft. Bob Bahney records a wind of 56 mph. The water temperature in the lake is just slightly below 50 degrees. The bottom of Pinky’s Pond is exposed and a pinch of Alligator Reef is exposed. Billy Market says this may be the lowest water level since December 2015. When the water goes down, there are treasures to be found. Heidi Ladd and her daughter Nora find and salvage a big old ship’s wheel under her seawall. The wind takes out part of the fence around the backyard at St. Paul’s. Over on Middle Bass the General Store closes for the season. The ferry does not return from Catawba for the last trip to PIB and stays overnight at the Catawba Dock.

Mon., Nov. 16th – The bird seed for the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy is delivered to the island today. A big shout out goes to Titgemeier’s, Miller Boat Line, Heineman Winery and Russell Brohl for all their help. Thanks also goes to Mike Byrnes, Talii Steidl and Elora Hubner for helping to get started with deliveries. Chip Duggan and Bob Glauser help out Mother Mary at St. Paul’s getting her fence back together.

Tues., Nov. 17th – There’s a bit of hail in the morning. The temperature never gets out of the 30s all day. We just noticed that there are Christmas decorations on the Village’s telephone poles and a Christmas display in DeRivera Park.

Wed., Nov. 18th – Benjamin William Bolyard, the baby son of Austin and Caiti Bolyard, gets his first ferry boat ride as he comes home to the island.

Thurs., Nov. 19th – Missi Kowalski’s class at PIB School watches live on YouTube projected on a large screen as Meredith Engel (PIB Class of 2016) gets to choose the ship she will serve on as an NROTC midshipman. The Village Council votes to draft a letter of support for raising the resort gross receipt tax limit to lawmakers in Columbus. Islanders enjoy going to the Butterfly House’s Shopping Day in the afternoon. The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy is there selling calendars, birdseed, totebags and more. Stone Lab’s larger boats go to winter dry dock.

Fri., Nov. 20th – Miller Boat Line’s M/V Wm. Market is at the shipyard in Cleveland for her five year inspection/repairs. Noreen Hahn celebrates her 70th birthday with her husband Rich at their island home on Mitchell Rd.

Sat., Nov. 21st – There’s discussion on Facebook about which internet provider and cable service are best on the island.

Sun., Nov. 22nd – If you like rainy weather with a cold breeze out of the northeast, you’re a happy camper. If you’re watching weather radar you can’t help but notice the snow to the north, west and south of the islands.

Mon., Nov. 23rd – Matt Fuchs and Jeremy Koebel (PIBHS Class of 1997) are out cleaning the leaves out of the yard at the Put-in-Bay Winery. There’s a “Lunch and Learn” Zoom forum on emotional health resources for islanders taking place in the afternoon. A maintenance crew from the Put-in-Bay Utility Dept. is working on the sewage lift station at the corner of Delaware and Catawba. It’s a pretty nice day for the third week in November.

Tues., Nov. 24th – Marisa Rence, owner of Yellow Tree B&B on Put-in-Bay Rd., is celebrating her birthday at St. Croix Cellars, the only local winery in the Virgin Islands. The M/V Wm. Market is spotted leaving Cleveland after passing her fifth year hull inspection. The community Thanksgiving celebration takes place at Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church. Islanders gather as the PIB Community has for the past 125+ years to give thanks to God who has blessed them with crops and visitors.

Wed., Nov. 25th – There’s no school at Put-in-Bay, and it is not because of the rain. Island kids get a 5-day Thanksgiving break.

Thurs., Nov. 26th – It’s really quiet on the island. Melinda Myers, Maryann McCann, Don, Rosi and Pam Stephens and Marylou and Richard Ramsbottom enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner together at the old Slatmeyer house at the Crew’s Nest. Russ and Lisa Brohl and Mike and Susan Byrnes are out kayaking. Simona Michael and her children, Emil and Emma, are taking in the natural wonders in Utah.

Fri., Nov. 27th – Miller Boat Lines’ post-season extended schedule begins. Sally Duffy from Squaw Harbor celebrates her 80th birthday! GC Bristol Bay is at anchor between Put-in-Bay and Kelleys.

Sat., Nov. 28th – Compass Pointe at Island Hardware has some really beautiful Christmas tree ornaments for sale. Check them out at at www.compasscoastal.com. Kathi and Jack Spayde from Fox’s Den celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

Sun., Nov. 29th – Islanders enjoy the last fairly nice day before wintery weather sets in.

Mon., Nov. 30th – The 40th anniversary edition of the Put-in-Bay Gazette is printed in Sandusky. The first winter storm of the season hits the island in the evening.

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