I was in Vancouver for a few days for work and I managed to catch up with my buddy Mark when I arrived. He suggested to me a good opportunity for shooting the floatplanes is at the end of the day from Brockton Point in Stanley Park. I had only shot them from the shore near the convention center (other than an opportunist shot or two while walking in the park and that doesn’t count) so I was interested to see how this location worked out. I managed to get out of work at a good time one evening and the weather was looking very nice so it was off to the park for me.
This location is a lot of fun. In the evening, the light is well positioned and, at this time of year, the sun is lower and the light is nice and just gets better and better as the evening sets in. The aircraft were arriving from the east so they were very distant but it is the departures that we were after. The planes head along the shore from the base and then turn towards you and start their run. Often, they are pointing straight at you for a while.
Depending on the type and the pilot, they can climb steeply or can keep it nice and low as they come by. Sometimes, there might be a boat on their preferred take off run and, since they have to divert to one side which can result in a nice turn back towards you as they round the point and head to Lion’s Gate. The Otters are the most common type with the Beavers coming second. There are still some Twin Otters but they are a lot less common than they used to be so they end up being more interesting when they show up. How can it be that I get complacent about seeing Otters on floats? (The fact we have them in Seattle too probably doesn’t help!)
Mark certainly called this one correctly. Brockton Point is a nice place to hang out on a sunny fall evening in any circumstances but the addition of a steady stream of floatplanes to this makes for a wonderful combination is you are someone like me. What’s more, it is a reliable option. Until the winter light stops flying at the end of the afternoon, you have scheduled departures to rely on so this is not a case of turning up in the hope of seeing something. You will definitely get plenty of planes.