Large boats near Chemainus have been raising a few eyebrows.

Large boats near Chemainus have been raising a few eyebrows.

Large ships anchoring near Chemainus/Ladysmith

  • Mar. 18, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Large ships off the coast of Chemainus are again raising a few eyebrows.The four to five ships (depending on the day) have anchored around two months after a large ship carrying uranium concentrate appeared in the same area.On Friday, March 18, a ship-tracking website listed some of the ships as the Don Frane Bulic, Kang Qiang, De Ming Hai and the Global Forwarder.Most had their destinations set as Vancouver.The Nanaimo Port Authority harbourmaster, Edward Dahlgren, said while he has no jurisdiction over the area and can’t confirm why the ships are there, he knows things are backed up in Vancouver.“Vancouver is backed up for two reasons … coal and grain,” said Dahlgren.Coal was backed up because one of the loaders was down in one of the coal terminals, which has since been fixed said Dahlgren. Recent flooding in Australian mines has also added to the pressures.“These ships are given their orders months ago. They arrive, if there’s not a slot, they have to wait.”Droughts in major grain-producing nations has meant increased demand on Canadian grain, said Dahlgren, adding more pressure on Vancouver’s harbour.“We are exceeding our normal exports,” said Dahlgren of the grain.It is a positive story for Canadian exports, said Dahlgren, but added even snowfall in the Interior and avalanche concerns can slow operations up in Vancouver.Dahlgren doesn’t believe the backlog has anything to do with what has happened in Japan.“This chain of events started six months ago.”