|Log boom off Clover Point in Victoria, July 04, 2012|
The Strait of Georgia was a salt water highway for the industry, and tugs towed rafts hundreds of meters long in an often perilous journey. Quickly changing weather, fog, strong tides, and rocks were constant threats, and many a log were lost on the trip.
Up until recently, the only log booms in transit I have witnessed were along the Sunshine Coast on Georgia Strait. Therefore, I was surprised to see a large boom off Clover Point during a recent visit to Victoria. Judging by the crowd that was gathered to see the tugboat maneuver the boom along the shore, it is indeed a rare sight these days.
Prior to the late 1980s, log booms entering Sooke Harbour destined for the old mill on Goodridge Island could be seen frequently.
|Log booms at Sooke Forest Products mill, Goodridge Island, in the 1970's
Photo: Sooke News Mirror
The Sooke Forest Products mill closed its doors for good at the end of the 1980s, which signaled the end of the logging era in the small coastal town.
As the most lucrative old growth becomes increasingly rare, logging is in decline. You are more likely to see a bulk whole log carrier shipping second and third growth trees overseas, than tugs towing booms along the salt water highway.