Swartz Bay Drop-off Access

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Tootsall, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    I'm wondering if there is public vehicle access to that parking lot just off Barnacle Road (for the "government dock") for the purposes of very short-term vehicle unloading/launching (< 1 hr).

    Thanks in advance.

    Ed
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    During the weekends the lot is often full but even then you probably could temp park your car right near the dock entrance while you unload. If you have a cart, it's down hill all the way from the road and you could even stop up there.
    That's from last year, others might have more up to date info. But in general, I wouldn't worry about it just to unload.
     
  3. Reef

    Reef Paddler

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    I agree.
    It has been fine to pull up to the end and unload. It is not a bad launch too, as long as the tide is not too far out. On big big low tides, I seem to remember it gets a bit messy.
    or I suppose you could launch from the dock if you are crafty.
     
  4. Jill

    Jill Paddler

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    Been there a couple of times ...seems pretty casual to me. You should be fine!
     
  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Half the kayakers launch from the beach, the other half from the dock. (I say the dock has got to be easiest in and out - easy roll down and up, clean, lots of space to load/unload up, etc etc)
     
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Thanks. I'm not launching...going down there to to meet a group that includes some family members from Vancouver who are headed to Portland for the weekend (if I don't end up on the same ferry as them on Friday morning).
     
  7. Jill

    Jill Paddler

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    I believe the lot is private and not for public use. Public parking is on the side of the road.
     
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Thanks Jill. I appreciate that info.
     
  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Just got back from seeing them off (with more than a bit of envy given the superb weather for this weekend!. There is a private, fenced parking area just off Dolphin adjacent to the Seaspan lot. Folks I saw using that seemed to be using the water taxi out to one of the other islands (they probably have a monthly "pass" or something...I didn't bother reading the signs). There is also some "right-angle" parking on Barnacle that, if you're lucky, will have a spot or two empty. At least you could use the space there for launch or recovery. I saw vehicles that seemed to have been left there for a day or so. All parking along the side of Barnacle or Dolphin seemed to be signed "tow-away".
     
  10. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Tootsall, your observations are correct. The gated area belongs to 150 or so residents of Pears Island and only they have access to it. Right angle parking on Barnacle is available (for fortunate few that manage to get a spot). Surrounding streets are marked as being available for residents only. That leaves few options to us, kayakers.

    For dropping off and picking up, parallel parking on Barnacle is ok. What to do after is anybody's guess. Hopefully, one of the parking spaces will become available. If not, overnight pay ferry parking is the option. Alternatively, parking on Vancouver side and wheeling kayak on the ferry is another option.

    Some kayakers launch from Ardwell Avenue, or Fifth Street at Roberts Bay in Sidney and park overnight on one of the streets. In my case, my dear wife drops me off and picks me up for overnight trips.

    The subject of overnight parking for paddlers in Sidney has been discussed with various agencies over the last few years with no solution in sight. In the meantime, the Gulf Island National Park Reserve remains without viable access option.
     
  11. pattersr

    pattersr New Member

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    Paddled to Fulford H dock & back via Russel/Portland on Fri Oct 11/13. Parked for approx 4 hr in the nose-in parking on west side of Barnacle Road (several empty spots at approx 10:00 hr) with no problem. The signage on the E side of the road (the brushy lot side) is confusing. It says " NO PARKING PAST THIS POINT" at the Dolphin/Barnacle corner on the east side of the road. One could take it to mean no parking AT ALL on Barnacle Road, but this is clearly not the case, since most of the cars right-angle parked against the fenced lot west of Barnacle had been there some time and there were no "PARKING PROHIBITED" signs hung on the fence. The parking sign in question must refer to parking prohibited only on the E side of Barnacle, presumably to allow emergency vehicle access to the dock. So I rolled the dice, assuming they were not some type of crypto-permit parkers and it worked. I didn't get towed or even ticketed, which was an immense relief with my Alberta plates on a long weekend Friday afternoon. Just have to pick low season, midweek or colder days to get probably guaranteed parking I guess.