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Published: Saturday, 4/6/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Lake Erie community ready for springtime

Ferry boats and charters gearing up

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
“I was always in anything that floats from the time I was 9, 10 years old,” Don Steiner of Mansfield, said. He and his wife, Kris, were in Port Clinton on Tuesday to touch up the paint on their boat. “I was always in anything that floats from the time I was 9, 10 years old,” Don Steiner of Mansfield, said. He and his wife, Kris, were in Port Clinton on Tuesday to touch up the paint on their boat.
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PORT CLINTON — Ferry boats and fishing trips are sure signs of spring in this Lake Erie community, where residents and visitors are prying away winter’s icy grip and embracing warmer weather.

Spring is slowly sneaking up, supplanting snow with sunshine and springtime activities.

“Winter hung on a little longer than usual,” said Julene Market, a co-owner of Miller Boat Line. “I really think we are going to see a lot of cottagers and visitors here this weekend because the sun is out, and it is just starting to feel like spring.”

The Miller ferry began service to Put-in-Bay in mid-March, followed by trips to Middle Bass Island, which started at the end of last month. Schedules are weather-dependent.

Ms. Market said island activity gears up over April weekends as attractions, bars, and shops begin to open.

Today’s weather should bring partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid to upper-50s in Toledo, with cooler temperatures along the Lake Erie shore, said Will Kubina, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. Expect warmer temperatures approaching 60 degrees on Sunday, though there’s a chance of scattered showers throughout the area, he said. The normal temperature high for this time of year is 55 degrees.

At Drawbridge Marina in Port Clinton, boaters began to emerge with the sun to ready their vessels. Assistant Manager Cindy Martin said activity really starts to roll when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees. She expects more bustle in the next couple weeks.

“We’ve already sent out big fishing boats with people on them,” she said.

Its charter fishing trips resumed on Good Friday through Shore Nuf Charters.

Put-in-Bay Boat Line Co. is scheduled to begin its Jet Express ferry service out of Port Clinton on May 3, and from Sandusky later that month.

Jill Bauer, spokesman for Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center with locations in Port Clinton and Sandusky, spotted posts on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter from people who are getting their boats in the water.

Spring break travelers arrived to visit indoor water parks and other attractions, and now seasonal residents are beginning to return to open vacation homes.

“We are really right now focusing on getting ready for the big spring season,” Ms. Bauer said, including the Biggest Week in American Birding, which starts May 3 and features events across the region, including at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area on Ohio 2 west of Port Clinton.

Don and Kris Steiner of Mansfield were in Port Clinton this week taking advantage of the weather to touch up the paint on their 28-foot aluminum Marinette boat.

Mr. Steiner said he has been refurbishing the boat since January.

“I was always in anything that floats from the time I was 9, 10 years old,” he said. “Water is in my blood.”

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.



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