‘Gasped with joy’: Islanders awestruck after Monday sunrise

'Gasped with joy': Islanders awestruck after Monday sunrise
Submitted photo
Rick Le Noury captured this photo from a boat in Victoria's Inner Harbour, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.

It was another sunrise for the camera roll in Greater Victoria and beyond, where even amateur photographers had to snap some photos of the morning spectacle.

Barry Beckner was driving across the Gorge Bridge when he pulled over to take in the orange, yellow and purple hues reflected in the water early Monday, Jan. 29.

“As soon as I left work on a delivery, I went back by the bridge and took a moment to take that picture because it was spectacular,” said Beckner, who lives in Victoria.

“It was absolutely the bomb!”

In Victoria’s Inner Harbour, where Rick Le Noury works, the sun was captured on camera rising behind the downtown city skyline.

“I’m one of the harbour patrol boats for the Inner Harbour, and it was such a beautiful morning with the sun coming up. I just took a snap,” said LeNoury of North Saanich. “It’s one of the best jobs in the world, I think.”

‘Best possible birthday gift’

On central Vancouver Island, Nanaimo’s Julie Boyer is so inspired by sunrises that she frequently posts about them on her online blog.

Monday’s dawn was no different.

“It wasn’t until I pulled into a parking spot that I gasped with joy. The best possible birthday gift lit up the sky in front of me!” wrote Boyer in an email to CHEK News, noting she captured the photo at Pipers Lagoon Park.

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Barry Beckner captured this photo near the Gorge Bridge, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (submitted photo)

Julie Boyer captured this photo at Pipers Lagoon Park in Nanaimo, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (submitted photo)

CHEK News last spoke with Boyer on Dec. 13, 2023, when she and numerous other people from across the Island emailed in their sunrise photos.

“It was a ‘pinch yourself’ morning,” said Boyer at the time. “All I could think about was how incredibly lucky I am that we get to live here to see this.”

Later that day, Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan pointed to pollution, like smoke and pollen, saying it adds to the eye-popping colours.

“There is always salt and dust and a base amount of pollution in the sky, and that is why you will always see those colours in the rising and setting sun,” he said. “Here, the wildfires, the volcanic ash, those will accentuate those reds and oranges.”

But rainy weather often takes the beauty out of sunrises, especially here on the Island. So, most times, it’s “in the eye of the beholder,” according to Castellan.

“We have, typically, a lot of low clouds because we’re right next to the Pacific, and we get a lot of moisture, and we’re renowned for it,” he added in the previous interview.

“On those rainy days, we don’t get much of a sunrise or sunset. When we get one, maybe it seems of a higher quality.”

CHEK News has reached out to Environment Canada for an interview about this morning’s sunrise.

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Barry Beckner captured this photo near the Gorge Bridge, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (submitted photo)

Bill Moncur captured this photo at Rithet’s Bog Park in Saanich, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (submitted photo)

Crystal D. captured this photo in Victoria, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (submitted photo)

Photo captured in Langford, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (submitted photo)

Sue Fast captured these two photos on Gossip Island, which is east of Galiano Island, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (submitted photos)

Boyer was equipped with a camera and tripod, adding, “My hands shook as I set it up, not wanting to miss the spectacular dawn colours. The sky seemed to be on fire.”

“Overwhelmed with gratitude, I even began singing Happy Birthday to myself!” she said, still amazed at Monday’s sunrise.

Castellan recommends visiting the Environment Canada and SunsetWX websites for more information about sunrises, sunsets and weather forecasts.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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