Firsts are always so exciting. There are the ones you don’t remember: first steps, first words, first time rolling over by yourself. And then there are the adult firsts, which is when you really start to appreciate the excitement that comes with the precipice of something new: first love, first apartment, first time leaving your comfort zone.
Before I went to Vancouver, I had never been on the West Coast of North America before. Despite travelling up and down the East Coast my entire childhood, other than what I saw on TV, the west was equally as foreign to me as Australia or China. The first thing I knew I wanted to do once I arrived in Vancouver, was to touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
I had looked up the weather for Vancouver before I arrived and it looked bleak. Everywhere I read said that summer in Vancouver was very similar to the summers I had experienced in Scotland. Cloudy, and very damp. Luckily for me, this was not the case. Vancouver was sunny, and warm, and the water was a welcome relief. It hadn’t even occurred to me that the weather would be nice enough to swim in the ocean, but it was, so I bought the cheapest bathing suit I could find, then headed to the beach.
There’s a lot of coastal walking in Vancouver, and opposite the ocean, the walkways were lined with blackberry bushes. On our way to the beach, we picked as many decent blackberries we could find to snack on later, and placed them in the bag my bathing suit had come in. Once we reached a decent looking beach, we took turns hopping in.
It was a bit odd swimming in the salt water with huge tankers anchored off in the distance on one side, and looming pine trees on the other. But I loved the green of the trees and the hills surrounding and enclosing the bay. Tropical islands are a dime a dozen. Swimming in the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver was unique.
English Bay Beach
Beach Ave between Gilford St and Bidwell St
Near Stanley Park Drive and N. Lagoon Drive
Stanley Park, Seawall
Photographs – Diana Eastman
Follow Diana on Instagram at @thedianaeastman