Like the last drops of juice being squeezed from an orange, the sun shines brightly on one of summer’s final days as passengers disembark the Norwegian Sun cruise ship at Ogden Point.
Down the road a ways, a foursome of shorts-clad elderly men bash a tennis ball around the court. And in the Inner Harbour, a mostly full MV Coho drops off another load of passengers and vehicles to the city as a full parking lot of visitors prepare to say so long to Victoria.
As locals and visitors alike say so long to summer 2013 on Sunday with the heralding of the first day of fall, a look back at an awesome summer is in order.
Greater Victoria residents will likely talk about the fabulous rain-free July, with its multitude of events from Northwest Deuce Days and Buskers Festival to Rock the Shores and Canada Day, as a highlight.
But overall, summer has been memorable from various perspectives.
“It’s been great for sure. We had a really, really successful season,” said Ben Duthie, Victoria sales and operations manager for Prince of Whales whale watching.
“In a way, September is my favourite time of year because there’s more whales around than we have people looking to whale-watch.”
In his third season at the helm, Duthie said it seemed more locals took tours this summer. “That was not only due to the good weather, but an increase in awareness for whale watching. We’re trying to reach out to locals more and let them know that this area is globally recognized as one of the best places to watch killer whales.”
Scott Renton, general manager at Canoe Brewpub, which has a large outdoor patio overlooking the Upper Harbour, said they had a “solid start to the summer.”
“It always feels like one of the months is great and one is hit and miss, it just depends on where that month comes up for us,” he said.
While September began rather drearily with grey skies and intermittent rain, he said events such as Great Canadian Beerfest, Rifflandia and others help carry summer out with a bang.
“It’s nice to see all those events in September; nice to see that activity.”
From a weather standpoint, Vancouver-based Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones agreed that July and even early August were “spectacular.”
“June was better than it has been lately, and August was OK, but the standout is July,” he said.
“Lately, we’ve had good Septembers, but by the time we get to Oct. 1, you’re kind of holding your breath waiting for the rain to start.”
So as one season comes to a close tomorrow (Sept. 21) and the typical signs of fall arrive – rain is predicted through the weekend – take a moment to contemplate summer 2013, a good example of why most of us love living in Greater Victoria.
We hope it’ll warm your heart.
• Summer began with about average warm temperatures in late June, but cranked up the heat the last few days, hitting 31 C on June 30.
• July set a record for hours of sunshine with 432.8, beating the old record of 421.5 set in 1985. The rainless month was only the fourth on record for the Capital Region
• August temperatures continued warm, with 22 days at or above the norm of 21 or 22 C. The 31.9 millimetres of rain recorded was above the average of 20 mm.
• With the exception of a few hotter-than-average days last week (the 31 C high on Sept. 11 set a new record), September has so far had slightly above average highs temperatures and about average rainfall.