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Thread: Another Whittier ramp rant

  1. #1

    Default Another Whittier ramp rant

    Sunday afternoon was a zoo. It's not the crowds I mind (I'm one of the crowd), it's the lack of organization and patience. Two ramp "supervisors" but no supervision. Coming to the ramp to retrieve and all ramps have a mixture of retrievers and launchers. One commercial guy launching in the lane on the far right as you look down from the top of the ramp which was fine. But that's where you have to carefully work your way between the two lines of boats to get out. Must have not been patient because he blasted out of there playing bumper boats as he went along. Hit some guy's boat and when the guy said something about it the comm guy yelled that he should put out fenders. After my boat's out, I ask one of the two "supervisors" (the one who yelled at me Friday when I launched my boat, telling me I need to wait for someone to tell me it's ok...I was ready and others were still getting ready, so why wouldn't I go? Plus, I'd gone because the other "supervisor" told me to go) how someone would know when they're coming in to retrieve which lane(s) are for launch and which are for retrieve. She told me the two left lanes (as you are looking down from the top of the ramp) are for retrieving. I don't think she understood I was asking a hypothetical question. I rephrased the question. Suppose I was coming in to retrieve and nobody told me which lanes are retrieve and which are launch. She said the two left lanes are always retrieve on Sundays. News to me. I asked how someone would know that. Is it posted somewhere? On some web site? Nope. She said they used to have signs but they kept blowing over. I suggested they get a bunch of cones. Paint one side red and one side green. Put them at the top of the ramps and at the ends. If you see red, you don't go that way. If you see green, you can go that way. Simple and there's no need to read anything. Weigh the things down if you have to. The Whittier harbor website says
    "NOTICE TO BOATERS
    Please observe the directional markers when launching or retrieving a vessel from the East Launch Ramp." Really?
    Anyway, it was a good weekend, boaters were in a good mood (except for the one), and a good time was had. Even if it was a zoo.

  2. #2
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    Seward is just a little further and is a real town, with real helpful people, nice launches, and plenty of local businesses to support... that actually want your business.

  3. #3
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Whittier's always been a train wreck. Really wish they would take some of that mega cash they get from us and build a new useable harbor. And I agree, Seward is a great place to launch. That's why we take a month break each July and get a transient slip in Seward.
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    Welcome to the world of dealing with Whitidiots ! I had one of the dock nazi's ask me if i needed help getting my boat on the trailer, i say thanks but i'm good, then half way up the ramp she stops me and says that i am retrieving on the launch side ???? not 1 minute ago she wanted to help me ??? This was on a weekday when you could fire a cannon in any direction and not hit anybody. I just kept going up the ramp. That whole town needs a trip to see the wizard (if i only had a brain).

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    Seward is just a little further and is a real town, with real helpful people, nice launches, and plenty of local businesses to support... that actually want your business.
    Amen. Just went out of there for my first time yesterday. I was thoroughly impressed with the setup and the awesome town. Once I can figure out how to catch a halibut down there it will be a regular visit for me.
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  6. #6
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    I've seem a bow picker do the exact same thing; put, and drive right out the middle hitting everyone along the way.
    Way to promote good will between the Comm and Rec fleets!

    As for the launch at Whittier, here's what I've deciphered over the years. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    | Parking Lot |
    | Dock Dock |
    | +Lane 1 Lane 2 + Lane 3 |
    | + + |
    | + + |
    Lane 1 is always launch
    Lane 2 is launch in the morning and retrieve in the evening
    Lane 3 is always retrieve
    I love the sound, If I could get there reasonably without going through Whittier, I would.

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    Well, I made a nice little diagram, but it took all my extra spaces out.
    I guess you get the idea.

  8. #8

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    Yep, got the idea, and yes, your diagram is my experience as well.
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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Were they not just using orange cones labeled In and Out earlier this year?? They had one set at the top of the ramps and another set at the end of the docks.
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  10. #10
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Were they not just using orange cones labeled In and Out earlier this year?? They had one set at the top of the ramps and another set at the end of the docks.
    They have not done that on the retrieve end for a couple of years. I asked why and the little attendant told me they kept blowing in the water. I suggested that they weigh them down with sand bags and she gave me a very confused look. Perhaps I had a booger hanging? That place never ceases to amaze me.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    We decided to come back a day early from our trip this weekend, given the number of boats we saw around the sound it was a wise decision. We just missed the 8pm tunnel opening Saturday night, but coming to the retrieve line and only having one boat ahead of us sure was nice.

    It's an amazing place, once you leave the dock.
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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    They have not done that on the retrieve end for a couple of years. I asked why and the little attendant told me they kept blowing in the water. I suggested that they weigh them down with sand bags and she gave me a very confused look. Perhaps I had a booger hanging? That place never ceases to amaze me.

    Perhaps it was the shells on your eyes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    Perhaps it was the shells on your eyes?
    Or that fact that you were towering over the "little attendant" but at least a couple feet. Ya probably scared her.

  14. #14

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    Actually it is quite amazing even in town....If you call that amazing....LOL....
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    We decided to come back a day early from our trip this weekend, given the number of boats we saw around the sound it was a wise decision. We just missed the 8pm tunnel opening Saturday night, but coming to the retrieve line and only having one boat ahead of us sure was nice.

    It's an amazing place, once you leave the dock.

  15. #15
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The town is amazing, in it's own way

    The sad thing is it's got so much potential, but apparently inhabited by people unable to realize that.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  16. #16
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Whittier can be a pita sometimes but I have experianced same issues elswhere. Couple weeks ago in Homer I had a guy back down the ramp and block me. He just sat there waiting for me to retrieve my boat. Three other lanes were wide open... Nothing like having to make a pit move around a Dbag to get up the ramp.
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  17. #17
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    Perhaps it was the shells on your eyes?
    Ha! You could be on to something there.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Whittier's always been a train wreck. Really wish they would take some of that mega cash they get from us and build a new useable harbor. And I agree, Seward is a great place to launch. That's why we take a month break each July and get a transient slip in Seward.
    Thank the WBOA - Whittier Boat Owners Association.
    Any improvement that costs money gets them all stirred up.
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  19. #19
    Member Tyin 1 On's Avatar
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    I agree they are not very organized there but do believe there are alot of people that need training on how to launch and retrieve. Should take no longer than 1-2 minutes. Been to Homer on a busy weekend and that place has boaters that actually know what they are doing!!

  20. #20

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    OK, so here's another one. Yesterday in Whittier I talked to the other gal (not the one in my first/original post), the one with the hair dyed red, about how someone would know when approaching the ramp to retrieve, which lane to be in. Of course I got a different answer from the one I got previously. I won't go through all of the details about my questions and the strange answers and quizzical looks I got, but apparently the one sure way to know which lanes to be in is this: If the front of the boats are pointed toward the ramp, then those boats are retrieving. If the front of the boats are pointed away from the ramp, then those boats are launching. So there you have it. It's all quite simple. I did mention again the idea of cones painted red on one side and green on the other and she said that was a good idea. The next time I go to Whittier I fully expect to see lots of cones out. The top halves of the cones will be red and the bottom halves of the cones will be green.

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