By Gina Forsyth
Harry Olafsen, Engineer on the Orca Chief, is one of the Marine Harvest employees who has made shift work a regular part of his life. But his commute takes him from the coast he loves to his home in the Okanagan Valley, east of Vancouver, one of the driest regions of BC. “I’ve got the best of both worlds,” he said, a smile evident in his voice.
The Orca Chief, one of the Marine Harvest work boats, moves fish to farm sites and also plays a part in grading fish for size. Harry maintains the vessel and as part of this, he’s responsible for ordering equipment and overseeing its successful installation.
Upon leaving high school, Harry became a third generation commercial fisherman, based in his home town of Richmond. A friend who Harry fished with told him about a temporary vacancy for an engineer on the Orca Chief. Harry applied and six years later, he’s more than content with how the opportunity worked into a permanent position.
Harry made the move from Richmond to the Okanagan in 1975 and originally settled in Vernon. He now lives in Winfield, near Kelowna. He and his wife of 28 years, Sue, not only have three grown sons but a small hobby farm as well. Harry’s fruit trees take some upkeep of course but they’re clearly something he’s devoted to.
He loves sharing the fruity wealth from his Okanagan home with his co-workers whenever possible.
I don’t mind the drive to get home for days off, especially since I’ve got SIRIUS satellite radio, said Harry.