A ray of Sun

The largest newspaper, west of the Canadian Rockies, has a feature on west coast tugs in today’s Business section. It features an optimistic outlook by the regional operators after several years of hardships – no pun intended.

Seaspan is featured in the story, as is the Catherwood, Jones Marine, Smit, Pilots and others. An interesting read overall, but the history side is of course nothing new to those plying these waters, such as myself having faced the economic downturn first hand.

The optimism in the industry is the main focus of the piece. I am not yet convinced a big time recovery is in the works, but with a major part of the workforce quickly reaching retirement, even a mild increase in operations might turn into something worthwhile for young professional seafarers on this coast. Although in typical west coast – Canadian – fashion, it will be accepted with a fair dose of trepidation and resulting foresight.

You can read the Vancouver Sun feature here. In a related story, the Vancouver Sun published a piece on the forestry sector’s anticipated recovery this year. Well its not really a recovery of sorts, more of a “to the victors, the spoils of war” story. The paper reports prices for lumber are to rise sharply as demand grows. But why they will rise so sharply, is that there is nobody left to cut it, mill it, or move it for that matter. Its great news for the investors!

Picture: Ernie Catherwood, owner of Catherwood Towing Ltd. of Mission aboard Sea Imp VIII on the Fraser River, has seen a major diversification in the kind of work his company has taken on. Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun

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