One of the best kept secrets of the city of Vancouver is the the tiny beach at the entrance to Stanley Park, at the start of Lost Lagoon Drive, where the Pacific kisses the sandy log strewn shores. The beach, some say, earned her name because of it’s size, others say because it’s the best place in a city of dozens of beaches, to see women in bikinis.
The West End of Vancouver has a long history of bohemian lifestyle, where once upon a time Errol Flynn sailed in and brought his legendary crew, the Rat Pack soon followed and other celebs such Audrey Hepburn all walked the same path, that leads to a stone staircase and descends to the smallest but cutest little swimming beach in the world.
For over 80 years this one little beach has been ocean access for daily swimmers years round and to this day it is purported that two sisters swim each day, both are over eighty years old, still habitually tread those stairs and dive in to the Pacific from Bikini Beach (also known as “Cowabunga Beach”). Surrounded by the embrace of both the forest and Stanley Park on one side, and the West End metropolis of Vancouver on the other.
Bikini Beach makes claim to the warmest water in Vancouver but this is a silly debate because the Pacific is so massive and so ever changing that one day is totally different to the next but please realize the the actual water temperature, called Sea surface by NOAA really doesn’t vary much, over a twelve month period. So the swimming at Bikini Beach can be as pleasant in July as March. Maybe more rewarding the worse the day in the middle of the winter.
My life in the middle of summer, is complete when I have made the trek, which from my Lost Lagoon pad takes about 7 minutes, to reach the sea. Then I relax, chill out and watch the water. Listen to the waves and cleanse away my random access memory by preparing myself for the moment when I dive in. Everything is both new and the same, instant and ancient, the feeling of swimming in the Pacific renews me.