Frazer Bay Log Sort
acrylic on canvas.
Log sorting grounds are always a beehive of activity. The roar of immense logging trucks, large diesel loaders and boom tug dashing back and forth make for a busy place. Not the most beautiful of sites, it nevertheless serves the logging industry well.
All the land vehicles seem to precariously slip along the rock shoreline without sliding into the “salt chuck”.
But it is the job of getting the log to the market. Traditionally, a log was felled from the side hill and slid into the water. Then the logs were boomed together and floated to the mills. Basically a boom is a group of longer logs chained together forming a floating pen that will contain shorter logs .
These booms would be slowly pulled by tug boats up and down the coast. Many books and stories have described harrowing experiences on boom tugs in fierce B.C. coastal storms. The boat were
relatively small but very powerful. However, the chance gales can overtake them in a flash.
Today, a moving log boom is almost a thing of the past. Logs are just too valuable to risk a long water journey to the mill in the water.
More than enough homes and camps on the BC coast were built from the lost logs when a boom “broke up”
The coast is notorious for wild storms that blow up from nowhere. Unless you can move your boom very quickly to a shelter out of the wind, you can lose the whole load and suffer a huge financial disaster. A log in a storm has a mind of its own.
But you may still see a boom, where logs are being held for a later shipment.
Near mills you may spot a boom storing logs about to meet the saw blade. The key worker near a sawmill is the log scaler. His job is to grade the quality of the
logs, and sort them by size. He’s the guy that determines what a log is worth.