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Thread: Whittier - Not "user friendly"

  1. #1

    Default Whittier - Not "user friendly"

    It's always an adventure when I go to Whittier. Friday morning I was getting ready to launch. As soon as I approached the ramp, I was approached by the gal I've seen working there for the last few years asking for the launch fee. Fine, no problem. My fenders and lines were set up on the port side and I told her that's the side I'd like to launch on. She seemed confused, but said ok but to just let her know before I launch. I followered her to the ramp and she and another worker told me I could use either of the two lanes (the ones closest to the break wall). So far so good. I start to back toward the ramp and decide that since it's low tide I need to walk down and see where the ramp ends. I walk down and the same gal asks where I'm going to launch. I tell here right here and point to one of the two lanes I was told I could launch at. She says "no no no you can't launch there" and I say you just said I could and she says "no no you can't" and again I say you just got through saying I could. Then she says "oh, yeah yeah yeah that's fine". I think if I'd told here the sky was blue she'd say it was otherwise. Geesh.

    As I was coming back to the harbor after 3 days out I called the harbormaster to ask if the pumpout station was working. The one by the harbormaster office went out last year. It used to be free. So last year they said you had to use the city's pumpout station at the city dock and that it would cost $75 I believe. So when I asked her this time she said the city dock station could be used. I asked what the price was. After a long silence she said that her boss told her to tell me that it would be a nominal fee and that I would find out when I got to the station. I told her no thanks, I'll take care of it elsewhere. So how hard would it be for them to tell me the price? If they know it's a nominal fee, then they know or can find out what that nominal fee is. And what's nominal? $75?

    But hey, the weekend and water was great and I just had to kind of laugh it all off. Just another day in Whittier on my way to/from someplace better.

  2. #2

    Unhappy yup...

    As much as I love the Prince William Sound I seldom go there because of dealing with the boat ramp, harbor and parking situation.

  3. #3
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    I have no idea what you guys see in launching out of Whittier. Went there once and doubt if I ever go back again.
    Tennessee

  4. #4
    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    Yep don't know why we do it. I got a flat just driving through the parking lot this weekend!
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

  5. #5
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    The wife and I both thought it went pretty smooth this weekend. We launched Saturday morning at about 9:00 and retrieved at about 5:00 this evening (Monday). The only issue we had was the kayak charter butting in front of us when I was getting ready to back down the ramp with the empty trailer. But I don't think that was the City's fault.

    For the record.... CUTTING IN LINE IS NOT COOL. Just because you're getting paid for your services does NOT mean you have priority at the dock. And because of your rude behavior, I know I won't be sending any customers your way any time soon. Idiots.

    Oh, and if there are any commercial guys on here that were fishing south of Esther on Saturday morning, I wanted to formally apologize to the lot of you. The flotilla snuck up on me, and before I knew it I was way too close to (read... in the middle of) your operations. I finally made my way around it, but I think I made a few of you guys a little nervous. Sorry. I wasn't expecting there to be so many of you out there. Caught me off guard.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  6. #6

    Default yea...

    We were behind you waiting to pull out and had to wait while the Kayak hauler was blocking the ramp loading up their gear and kayaks... /sigh...

    Was a pretty weekend though!

  7. #7

    Default

    Whittier is what it is....I know that sounds stupid, but it is a little dinky town with few services, businesses, at the end of a tunnel that shouldn't even exist. In fact I am really surprised it survived at all after the war. And people down that way like it like that and are resistent to any changes. That is ok too, as it really is their town - not ours.

    There is no arguing its potential. I could be the biggest trendy touristy place of them all. It is the gateway to the sound, beautiful as scenic as it gets, and oh so close to a major population center. If any buildable land down that way was actually developed and sold, it wouldn't take any time for a number of folks to move there. And that would be the start of what the people of Whittier don't want - a bunch of changes, people everywhere, and the overall busy feeling that it would no doubt have.

    Give it time, it will slowly change, get bigger and busier, and you will like it even less.......

  8. #8
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Yes, it was a comedy of errors at the East ramp Sunday. We came in late morning just before noon, the West ramp was closed. We pulled into the only designated pullout float at the East ramp; the other two were for launching. We were 4 boats deep but in no hurry. The second boat back all of a sudden shoved off, guess he managed to launch amongst all the boats waiting in line to be retrieved. Right on, shorter wait! But this guy starts driving erratically and backs into the motor of the first boat, than he guns it and rams into the floats on the other side, than back into the stern of the same boat again. Heís driving from the flying bridge so everyone can see him. At one point my wife is yelling at me to put down bumpers and attempt to fend off this idiot, Iím thinking know way; Iím not putting myself in harmís way against this 27 to 28ft fiberglass battering ram,,,no way. It sounded like he was throwing the throttles stop-to-stop. Finally he settles down and starts apologizing to everyone before motoring away; I wonder what his blood ETOH was.
    So the first boat pulls out and I am #2, I run for the truck to get in line. As I approach the ramp with the truck the boat in front of us is pulling out, but wait, another truck is backing down the ramp. I get out of my truck and walk up to this guy to point out Iím at the front of the line, my boat is ready to trailer out. He tells me the lady told him to go first because I wasnít there yet. So his buddy pulls his boat around 4 boats waiting in line; what up with that?
    None of this really matters in the big scheme of things; it was still a wonderful weekend for us. Shrimp, yellow eye, rock fish, salmon, butter clams and a great hike; Whittier is just a small distraction.
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  9. #9
    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Solution? Buy a $100,000 "condo" slip... Stay away from the ramps.

  10. #10
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    Whittier is what it is....I know that sounds stupid, but it is a little dinky town with few services, businesses, at the end of a tunnel that shouldn't even exist. In fact I am really surprised it survived at all after the war. And people down that way like it like that and are resistent to any changes. That is ok too, as it really is their town - not ours.

    There is no arguing its potential. I could be the biggest trendy touristy place of them all. It is the gateway to the sound, beautiful as scenic as it gets, and oh so close to a major population center. If any buildable land down that way was actually developed and sold, it wouldn't take any time for a number of folks to move there. And that would be the start of what the people of Whittier don't want - a bunch of changes, people everywhere, and the overall busy feeling that it would no doubt have.

    Give it time, it will slowly change, get bigger and busier, and you will like it even less.......
    You are 100% right on.
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  11. #11
    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Default That is one solution

    I have a slip in Seldovia for that very reason. I love my Spring bear and shrimp in the Sound. The ramp lady would be much more of a help if she was more consistent in her "orders" and if she had any boating sense at all. I watched her on several occasions on Monday while I was waiting to retrieve my boat impede the whole launch and retrieve process. It was not all her though. Some people need to be more efficient in there actions at the ramp. Or they need to have a rookie lane and a pro lane. Just because you can drive a boat does not mean you should.

    As a side note, I knew to stay well away of the guy with his Hiway "oversize" sign still on in Culross passage.

  12. #12

    Default Whittier Services

    Completely Agree. Wouldn't let me launch Friday in a completely open lane. When I came back in on Saturday, tried to dock at the small dock. The lady and a guy with orange vests on waited until I completely docked my boat to tell me I couldnt retrieve it from there and had to move to the large dock. Why couldn't they radio me prior to me docking, they were standing at the end of the dock the entire time. The entire show is a circus, the parking facilities are horrible and it is all very expensive. But, there are no better options unfortunately to getting out into PWS from Anchorage. My synopsis, Whittier Harbor could not be much worse. It is a comedy.

  13. #13
    Member dbull66's Avatar
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    Default Parking

    Talk about parking. That lady had me park in 4 different places before she was happy. I was quite ANGRY by the time she made up her mind, meanwhile my boat is at the ramp with others waiting for my to leave.

  14. #14
    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    I watched Sunday afternoon as the guy played pinball leaving the dock. In case you missed it, I thought the name was very fitting "miss stress". There was no room at the haul out float so I watched from a slip a few floats away. When he was leaving my wife kept saying there's room now why don't we go get in line? I wasn't going near the place until he was gone! We got his AK numbers if he damaged anyones boat.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

  15. #15
    Member Maast's Avatar
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    It was a zoo last friday, too dang crowded launching and when I came in around 6PM the cones on the ramp dock didnt match the cones at the top so you've got people who are scowling at each other thinking the other isnt following the flow.

    And of course launching wasnt helped when I realized I'd forgotten my hip waders and jumped for the suburbans bumper only to miss and I took a complete full underwater dunking. That waters COLD! Everybody laughed.
    Of course on sunday launching and retrieving went like clockwork but nobody was there to watch....

    At least I finally got a halibut in PWS.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

  16. #16
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    Maybe a continual flow of "constructive feedback" to the harbour master's office would help. I doubt they spend much time on here checking out their performance reviews

    My unique work schedule allows us to come and go during the week and I have seen a marked difference when your not out their with the folks who have limited opportunities. Also, in my dealings with the ladies in the harbour master's office I have no bad words for them.

    You have to understand and appreciate the locals resistance to change, heck if I lived there I'd be one of the worst! And, as already mentioned, you'd not like it anymore if they became thouroughly modern either!
    Mike

  17. #17
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    Default Boat launch

    I read the post's, both good and bad not many were good. I am already thinking i will start going to other location for sure to fish. I have not had a chance to use the ramps yet this year and will be home for a few months and have been dreaming of being back on the water down there. The sound is such a great place to see that you just can't beat it.

    Whittier puts these folk down there to run the ramps and i am sure have no idea what the big picture really is on how to run a boat ramp with the variety of size boats that come in there. There only motivation is getting the money now, as what it used to be you just did a money drop and get the boat in the waterÖ Itís all about the money now and to heck with a good service. The Kayakerís have always been a thorn under the blanket there do to there I have more rights on the ramp than you mentalities. Whittier should have set up a place for them to launch by themselves long ago.

    As far as the city wanting to grow or not to grow the marina is still a business and they provide a service that they are getting paid for. If that service is not being provided in a quality manor then the folks that are using the marina for slips or boat ramps need to complain about it, until then there will never be a fix at the end. Enough people head up to the Harbor Masters office and complain.... something will happen.
    Regards

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  18. #18
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As I've mentioned before, for the $50 you get dinged for the tunnel, launch fee and parking, you can spend it on the fuel to keep driving to Seward, launch for $10, park for $5.

    Due to not having the deal with the tunnel, and parking right by the boat launch, you hit the water the same time you do as launching in Whittier. You can also get into good fishing much closer to the harbor. The downside to Seward is it can be rougher than Whittier, and there aren't many hidy holes. That said, for day fishing trips, Seward is my port of choice.

    For multi day trips exploring the islands, you can't be PWS and the time and $ spent in Whittier is soon forgotten.

  19. #19
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default whiners

    What a bunch of whiners - this happens here every year - starting to be a ritual. If you don't like it don't go.

  20. #20

    Default

    Or just don't read the whiney posts.

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