Nightfall on English Bay

Downtown Vancouver from Across English Bay at Night

We had no camera with us as we slipped onto the water under a cloudless twilight, still pink in the west toward Vancouver Island and intensifying to a midnight blue over the city. The photo above, like the one at the foot of this post, was taken more than an hour after our moonlit paddle had concluded — after the kayaks were carried back to the house and the boats, our gear, and we had been properly showered. Only then did I return to the beach to capture what remained of the drama of the nightscape; and by then its crystalline perfection had melted to a lovely, if less breathtaking softness. The glassy surface of the water had become pocked by the slightest whisper of wind and a gauzy haze obscured the late-rising moon in the east. So you’ll just have to close your eyes and imagine.

If ever there was a flawless nightfall on English Bay, this might well have been it.

Drawing a kayak through mirror smooth water has a deeply satisfying sensuality all its own, but not entirely unlike slicing into a crisp summer cucumber, lengthwise, with a perfectly honed chef’s knife.

We paused momentarily to watch the serrated silhouettes of the Coast Mountains fade slightly in the deepening gloaming, while a curious harbor seal kept an equally close eye on us, before paddling to the middle of English Bay through the still waters of the slack tide. As the last light of the day was extinguished in the west, a formation of perhaps thirty geese swept low overhead and the full “strawberry moon” rose in a flaming orange ball over Kitsalano.

And because, on an evening such as this, nothing less than perfection would do, as we began the paddle home, a series of gentle swells rose from nowhere to usher us swiftly in.

Full Moon Rising over NW Marine Drive at Locarno Beach - Spanish Banks

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2 Responses to “Nightfall on English Bay”


  1. 2 smita 19 June 2008 at 11:17 pm

    And here I thought our California moon was exquisite last night….


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