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#1 4x4mudrat

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 10:41 PM

I'd really like to continue our Comox Valley/Port Alberni conversation, however without destroying the original thread in the process.

I noticed you're an Industrial Electrician, Is there much industry up there outside pulping and sawmills? What sort of work did you do at the Port Alberni mill?

All up I spent nearly a week on "The Island", thoroughly enjoyed my time. Nanaimo and Victoria were great (although I did find Nanaimo a little . . . how should I say . . . heterosexually challenged?). I also went to the Sunshine coast, home of the Howell Sound mill and Scookumchuck - I'm a mad keen kayaker.

Howell Sound was very impressive, however like the Norske mill at Port Alberni our environmental constrains are much tighter downunder, ie my mill doesn't stink.

Anyway I'm interested to hear from you and anyone else from the area.

#2 Vanislru

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 12:18 AM

I'd really like to continue our Comox Valley/Port Alberni conversation, however without destroying the original thread in the process.

I noticed you're an Industrial Electrician, Is there much industry up there outside pulping and sawmills? What sort of work did you do at the Port Alberni mill?

All up I spent nearly a week on "The Island", thoroughly enjoyed my time. Nanaimo and Victoria were great (although I did find Nanaimo a little . . . how should I say . . . heterosexually challenged?). I also went to the Sunshine coast, home of the Howell Sound mill and Scookumchuck - I'm a mad keen kayaker.

Howell Sound was very impressive, however like the Norske mill at Port Alberni our environmental constrains are much tighter downunder, ie my mill doesn't stink.

Anyway I'm interested to hear from you and anyone else from the area.

Yes Canada's very lax with it's reg's[one of the worst globally, even the US], the really bad stuff happens in Alberta were any oil company can vent gasses and excrete waste as they please, kind of "self regulated". There's been sabotage and deaths in many areas from hard feelings over how "buisness" has been carried out. I've worked on some really nastie oil refineries and tar sand oil mines. The work I did in Port Albernie's mill was mostly maintenance, with a few upgrades to motor controls here and there. Nanaimo's screwed, classic example of a resource town with no jobs and then a shifted central buisness area due to big box mega malls forming a "new down town" All the older areas are going ghetto, nobody wants to rent commercial space there now.
SKOOKUMCHUCK is nuts, I dream of hooking up with a friend and a jetski so I can pull into some of those standing waves on my surfboard. have you kayaked them? Where I live now on Quadra Island there are some channels that have 14 knot currents and standing waves but they are too crazy to even consider going out in.
I would like to go dawn to Australia and especially NZ, mostly for surfing, although there's a few people that I suppose I should look up.
Do you plan on coming back to the Island?
Things are going to be nuts around here in the next 5 years as construction ramps up for the Olympics adding to the boom that's talked about right now.

#3 4x4mudrat

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 08:36 PM

Construction's just booming everywhere on the Lower Mainland. My family are farmers in the Fraser Valley, the land's just being gobbled up and spat out at an alarming rate. I remember it from when I was a kid, and I've shed tears to see the landscape change so much.

I remember even when I was in Whistler earlier this year everyone was just so hyped about the Olympics. Fair enough I say.

Speaking of Albertan industry, we've a few ring-ins from the Peace River mill. Of course they all say it's excellent over there, but if it were so great why are they living here?!? From what I have seen though Alberta does have a very strong industry-driven economy.

Skooks rocked. I was there on a 12.5 foot tide, it was 4 hours of heaven in a kayak. It's great cos the Australian Kayaking community's so small I could meet up with all these awesome boaters, even a few locals.

I do know where Quadra Island is, but I've never been there. Isn't there another mill up there, Powel River (sorry, everywhere I go I'm looking for the Mills!)?

I was hoping to get another junket over there next year but I've just gone on a flying visit to Chile and I'm heading over to Sweden in a few weeks so maybe not. The Travel Budget can only be streched so far.

We'd love to see you come down under - New Zealand is an awesome place too, bit cold for surfing though! Oh that's right, Tofino . . . You should like it then!

#4 Vanislru

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 10:54 PM

4.5 hours at Skookumchuck must have been unreal! Someday I'm going to get it together and session that place. The closest mill to Quadra is Elk Fall Norske pulp mill just across the water outside of Campbell River. I try to stay out of the mills unless it's new construction, otherwise it's just not worth the money.
Do you have the same user name at ausubaru? I'm on there a bit too tho not so much right now cause things are really hectic with the move/electrical company startup/baby being born etc.
I used to love Whistler when I was younger, even moved there after highschool and bought a condo with my brother. But it's fast living and I got burnt out, good times but it's hard to relate to the place now it's gotten so huge and crowded. Like everywhere else around BC, if the Olympics have the impact that everyones suggesting... I don't know if I want to think about that right now. Real estate is going up on average 20-25% a year, which is great if you're selling and moving out to the sticks where land is cheap, but otherwise it means more taxes.
I can relate to your feelings about the current rate of development in the lower mainland, it's like we're desperate. All this beautiful farmland and we pave and sod it for suburbia, thousands of cars leaving every day for their commute 1-2 hours into the city. The islands the same, nobody wants to develop any land that might need to have geotech. survey's done or anything more than a quick hit with an excavator to clear. I don't feel old but every where that I remember being fields or forest around towns and cities is gone. It's nuts, time to build up/higher density, less white trash suburbia. Sorry for rambling on this is a sore spot for me.

#5 4x4mudrat

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 05:43 AM

Rambling on? No, I agree with you. It's hard for me. Cos I live away, I've got this picture in my head of how the valley should look, or how the lake should look, but it's just gone forever. Now I'm not a "greeny" or a "tree hugger" by any stretch, even a conservationist, but they're raping the land. I go "home", but it's not my home anymore. Chilliwack has become a suburb of Vancouver.

Skooks: Do it man. But remember, the water's freeeezing!!! Make sure you get in on a big tide, I think you've only got a window of 3-4 days per cycle.

As for the mills, it started off as just a job. I'm a fairly competant engineer and the money was good, I guess I just got sucked in, now I just love the job, love the process and love the company I work for.

BTW: We need sparkys in Australia. If you ever want a job down under please ask and I can make some calls (ie I will give you a job, complete with residencey, visas etc). Pay's good too. A sparky working construction can take make well over 100K, but regular salaries are between 40-80K.

Yes, I'm 4x4mudrat on Ausubaru too, but you can call me "Forum Nazi".




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