Horseshoe Bay ferry

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by jk, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. jk

    jk Paddler

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    I'm leaving today from Nanaimo for three weeks heading to Desolation Sound then down the Sunshine Coast to Howe Sound. I'll be returning by walk-on ferry at Horseshoe Bay back to Nanaimo. I'm curious if anyone has walked on at Horseshoe Bay with a kayak. The passenger walk-in isn't designed for kayaks, as I recall, and going through the vehicle booth would be a major headache. Logistical advice would be appreciated so I'm not wandering completely aimlessly.
     
  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    It's been a while but the last time I walked on at Horseshoe Bay with my kayak I purchased my ticket at the foot passenger wicket and then walked through a gated pathway on the outside of the terminal that leads to the slip. Pretty easy and direct.
     
  3. rider

    rider Paddler

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    What Dan said. The hardest part sometimes is explaining the BC Ferries person at the ticket booth is that you have a kayak and them trying to find the computer designation for it.
     
  4. jk

    jk Paddler

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    Plan change. Wind knocked out the crossing from Lasqueti to Hornby so I turned south and I'm just outside Squamish now. I'm going to go to Desolation via Sechelt Inlet. So the real question I should have asked: has anyone wheeled across Sechelt?
     
  5. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Haven't wheeled across the land at Sechelt but on the occasions when I have been there I have noted specifically if it could be done and I think it would be pretty easy. You've got a portage of about half a nautical mile on flat land -- certainly doable with a wheeled cart. There is a dock and boat launch at the end of the Inlet where put in access should be easy (might have to pay to launch - I don't know) -- check it on Google Earth.
     
  6. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    On the BC Marine Trails, we've noted that Wharf Ave would connect the two portage endpoints - just west of the wharf on the sea and then directly north along Wharf Ave (what a name coincidence, heh heh) to the marina. If the marina charges are too steep there also look like options (slightly farther, though) just around the bay eastward.
     
  7. jk

    jk Paddler

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    Yup, I figured out how to connect the dots, actually did the crossing once before in reverse but got a lift, no need to walk it. The concern was the Sechelt side on Trail Bay. When I launched I remember it was a rocky steep beach, the kind where to clear the stern you're already waist deep in water at the cockpit. With 1-2 foot wind waves it was an ordeal to launch. So I wondered if anyone knew of a better landing/launch spot. I suppose I should have asked that, but typing on a cell phone limits your vocabulary.

    For posterity and a footnote for the BC Marine Trail if the goal is to legitimize this as a route:

    In a southerly wind can blow straight into Trail Bay and making a surf landing dangerous if not impossible. There is a protected boat ramp southeast of town but it'll add over a km to your kayak walk (about 2.75 km total). So it's achievable, but not desirable. I'd put a big warning sticker on any promotion stating people should attempt a landing or launch on the Trail Bay side in light conditions only.

    Also, the nearest campsite is 15 km away (South Thormanby). So paddlers should factor that in if a crossing goes awry. An unplanned 15 km could be a problem especially if conditions are gnarly.

    One last observation: the best all-weather established campsite on South Thormanby is north of Lemberg Point. In a strong southerly the wind will create surf. In a spring tide (as it was Thursday at about 7 p.m.) the beach will disappear as it is clogged with driftwood. The tide in this case was high enough to dislodge several rows of drift logs, so they were crashing onto the beach. Landing here would have been impossible at that time.

    So imagine an extra 15 km in bad weather to get to a campsite then not being able to land. Yikes. Would have been the case for me but fortunately I arrived two hours earlier. Phew.
     
  8. Jon Wescott

    Jon Wescott Paddler

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    Too late for you at this point, but if anyone is checking this at a future date, there is a separate walk-on area for cyclists, kayakers, people walking on w/dogs, etc. It's located on the opposite side of Bay St. (shoreline side, of course) from the ferry terminal and has a double gate, a major pain in the butt. When you purchase a ticket and explain that you will be walking on w/a kayak, they will give you a number code for the 1st gate. When you reach the gate, I would suggest putting down your kayak, getting a couple of bungie cords or something else to use to hold the gates open, open the gates and secure them w/your bungies before trying to walk through.

    Of course, if there's a 2nd person, then one person can simply hold the gates open while the other manuevers through the gates.