Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Busy waterway

We found ourselves in East Vancouver, errands completed for the day, and the sun still blazing; I had a hankering for air, green space, quiet, preferably with a beach. We consulted the map. Burrard View Park was just a few blocks down the hill, New Brighton Park a short drive to the east, by the water.

Burrard View Park was a square of dry grass, with scattered trees.

Burrard View Park

But it lived up to its name; we could see the inlet.

Second Narrows Bridge*.

Burrard Inlet cuts almost straight east, starting from Point Grey at the west end of Vancouver and reaching to Port Moody, 25 kilometres inland. It is deep enough for large ocean-going ships, even close to shore. As a result, much of the shoreline is industrialized.

The inlet is constricted in two places, appropriately named the First Narrows and the Second Narrows; the space in between these widens out, making a protected port area. The Lions' Gate Bridge crosses the First Narrows.

*The bridge over the Second Narrows was originally named the Second Narrows Bridge (unimaginatively, but accurately), but in 1994 the bureaucrats in the provincial government renamed it the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing in honor of 19 workers who died during its construction in 1958. The thought was kind, but the name was belated and wordy; we still call it the Second Narrows Bridge.

Getting back to Burrard View Park; from there we could see North Vancouver on the far shore, and above them, the twin peaks we call the Lions. To the west, the Lions' Gate Bridge is faintly visible, as are two piles of sulphur waiting for shipment. (Vancouver exports 5 million tons of sulphur annually.)

The Lions, above all.

Sulphur piles.

Directly below us, a sailboat made its way up the inlet, between storage facilities and loading equipment. The long grey roof behind it is part of Lynnterm Terminal, which handles forest products, steel and "break bulk".

Ocean of luck, Panama. A grain carrier.

Saga Horizon, general cargo, woodchips, etc.

There was no way down to the shore from here, so we went on to New Brighton Park. It was another expanse of brown mowed grass, with even fewer trees. But there were kites:

Dragonfly kite, over the Lions.

Brown grass.

And more industry: New Brighton is almost in the shadow of the Second Narrows Bridge, separated from it by Viterra grain elevators and loading facilities, only a few metres from the playing field.

Viterra, with pigeons.

Across the fields, we found a pocket-handkerchief beach.

Water-level view of Burrard Inlet.

The wind blew off the water, waves lapped at the stones. Beside a log, a man sat carving a piece of driftwood. Yesterday's dog came and went. We watched a tug hauling an empty barge downstream.

And a pair of white-winged scoters dove for fish.

Ahhh! That's what we were looking for!


No comments:

Post a Comment

If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!