bioluminescence tour

I hope I spelled that right.

So on the evening of the day that we bought our Dalyan II, NS and I took part in a post-sunset kayak tour of a bio bay near Rum Point. One of NS' coworkers organized it, and the whole group consisted of accountants and their significant others. Trust me, it was fun.

To keep this explanation simple, the bio bay consists of millions of microscopic organisms that give off a fluorescent glow when agitated in the water. Our kayak tour was at night during a new moon, so it was plenty dark, allowing us to enjoy the bay in its full glory. The point is to kayak into the bay, make the water shine a bit, and quietly leave. That's about how it went.

This could possibly be what the organisms look like,
but they were too small to tell.

We traveled in two-man kayaks with Cayman Kayaks. NS agreed to be my kayak partner despite some frustrating experiences in the past. I think we did just fine. I also think he did the majority of the work.

Once we entered the bay, we started to notice that as we paddled, the water we disturbed glowed as our paddles hit the water, stroked through, and then lifted out. Swirling, shining water was left in our wake as we moved further into the bay. Soon everyone was gasping in amazement as the miracle of nature occurred all around us. Our guide demonstrated that if we put our oars deep into the water and swooshed around, it looked like an underwater light saber. I'm not sure how many times I heard "I am your father!" in the ensuing moments as we all tried it.

This is kind of how it looked...

Every so often, out of the corner of my eye, I'd see a streak of light deep under the water. The guide explained: When a fish swims through the bay's waters, his trail is marked with light from the water he agitates. Absolutely incredible.

Of course, NS asked if he take a swim to see the effects. The guide was hesitant, but finally let him and DK swim about 100 yards from a point on shore to the kayaks and back. It was quite the frenzy of splashing, kicking, and glowing - swimming at night sounds less scary than it actually is. Once back in the kayaks, we pushed off to continue back to Rum Point, and immediately we noticed a ton of fluorescent activity beneath us. The guide said there were large fish beneath us - possibly sharks? Definitely some lobster. That news sure added to NS' adrenaline rush!  I think we finally settled on the creatures being tarpon, but shark sounds better in the story.

As we rounded the corner of the bay to take us back into open water, the guide pointed out pulsating discs - jellyfish - on the sea floor beneath our kayaks. How beautiful, like little lanterns for the underwater world.

Soon we were back to our starting point and in our cars heading home. The bio bay tour is one that I'd love to do again, and I heartily recommend it to all readers.




2 comments:

  1. That's something I'd like to do when I come down!

    ReplyDelete