For more than 15 years, I lived in Ottawa completely oblivious to Britannia Beach. I’d visited Mooney’s Bay, Lac Phillip, Meech Lake and scores of others, but none came close to the Lake Huron beaches of my childhood growing up in London. Then one happy summer, we discovered Britannia Beach, and it’s just not summer without at least a few easy trips out to enjoy its wide sandy beach and surprisingly clean water.
For all the times we’d visited Britannia Beach during the day, though, it never occured to me until this summer that it would make a spectacular spot to watch the sun set. It’s free, it’s close, and it’s a perfect end to a pretty summer day.
Saturday night we checked it out ourselves. The evening was so perfectly clear, there was nothing to inhibit our view as the sun slowly dipped toward the horizon directly across the river from us.
Boys being boys, they didn’t have quite the attention span for the setting sun that I did. Lucas led the chase after some feathered friends.
The big boys were more interested in climbing the boulders on the breakwater.
There were huge boulders and gravel, but not a lot of skipping-sized stones. That didn’t stop the boys from enjoying the timeless pastime of throwing rocks into the water, though.
(I love how his feet are clear off the ground!)
I don’t think we could have chosen a more perfect night to watch the sun set. There were a few other families out there, but not nearly so many as you might expect, had you known that you’d get to watch this.
It didn’t take long for the sun to disappear almost entirely, leaving one last kiss of sunshine on the horizon.
(Tip: to make sure your camera registers the tones and saturated colours of a gorgeous sunset or sunrise, meter for the sky just to the right or left of the sun.)
After considerable debate, I chose this one as the picture of the day.
This is one little adventure we’ll be adding to our regular repetoire of local favourites. Matter of fact, I can see making a full-day adventure out of a hike around Mud Lake, a picnic dinner, and then sunset on the beach. Who needs a cottage or camping, anyway, when you can have all this and still sleep in your own comfy bed?
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