From year to year one never knows which way the wind will blow with respect to the local marine industry. This business can certainly be a fickle mistress at times, and halfway through 2014, she hasn’t disappointed.
At the beginning of every year we hope for better weather than the previous, but it never seems to happen, and this year was no exception. Weather, both at sea, and across Canada effecting rail cargo, created a back log of cargo vessels in the port of Vancouver and around southern Vancouver Island. Anchorages quickly filled up as ships waited for their turn to load, and at one point all 8 Cowichan Bay and the 4 Plumper Sound anchorages were completely full.
The spring brought another cruise ship, the Pacific Princess, to the Esquimalt Dry Dock for some refit work. This contract, along with others involving commercial fishing boats, vehicle haulers, and barges has kept the dockyard busy and many employed. We look forward to more dry dockings later this year and into 2015.
June saw the return of a proud US naval vessel, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, to the local waters around Victoria. The last visit by a US carrier was in 2010 when the USS Ronald Reagan joined in the Canadian Navy’s centennial celebrations. Having the Nimitz and her crew in town was a boon to the local economy, and was a great testament to the enduring friendship of our two countries. We look forward to welcoming her or one of her sister ships back in the near future.
Summer is in full swing now, and that mean the cruise ship season is underway. Victoria expects to receive about the same number of vessels as last year which is just over 200 visits. Our agents are being kept busy running between the office and the docks making sure that every need of these great ships is taken care of.
So far 2014 has been a positive year for the local marine economy, and we expect this trend to continue. Next year’s numbers look even stronger, and we look forward to continuing our role as premier ship’s agents in the port of Victoria.