Vancouver is Canada's gateway to the Pacific and the Far Last, boasting one of the world's largest and finest natural harbours.
Vancouver is Canada's gateway to the Pacific and the Far Last, boasting one of the world's largest and finest natural harbours. Open to navigation year round, it is land locked, well sheltered and spacious -- deep enough for the largest ships afloat. Over sixty deepsea steamship lines maintain regular services to and from Vancouver.
As well as the big ships that ply the seven seas, four hundred small and large tugs and five hundred scows and barges make Vancouver just about the busiest seaport in North America. With movement by water still the cheapest form of transportation, big and small industries have settled around the Vancouver area to take advantage of the water highway afforded by the creeks and inlets running into the harbour area.
There has been a quiet revolution in coastal shipping in British Columbia in the past few years. Coastal ships are losing their freight to barges pulled by the harbour work horse -- the tug boat. Vancouver boasts more tug barge registration than any port in North America.
The tugs berth the big freighters from all over the globe --- tow the railroad freight cars from Vancouver to Vancouver Island -- tug loads of coal, pulp, lumber - log rafts from northern waters to the mills along the southern coast. The big ocean tug Cambrian Salvor has made several trips from U.S. and Canadian Pacific ports to Japan with "big tows" -- old ships to be refurbished in the Japanese shipyards.
The comic looking little tugs are always on call, waiting for the ocean giants to ask for aid -- to push, pull and settle them in their berths -- to unload and load the wealth of nations -- a small cog in the wheel of trade reciprocity.