{ Kayaking to Fajardo’s Bioluminescence Bay at Night }

Aaron had planned a special activity for our anniversary day (tomorrow), but we ended up going to it tonight instead. Bioluminescence Bay is located right next to our resort, and for most of the day is remains pretty calm, with just a few boats coming and going. As nighttime approaches though it becomes flooded with people and companies taking tourist on kayak trips into the Bioluminescence Lagoon. What’s so great about this Lagoon? It glows. Yep, glows. In the bay and lagoon are tiny flagellates, which are micro-organisms. They spend their day at the bottom of the bay collecting energy from the sun, but when night comes they swim to the top to feed. In the process of photosynthesis which makes it’s food, a light is emitted when it is disturbed by any movement and causes a glowing effect.

We got there with one other couple from our resort, and loaded up with the hundreds of others there to see this amazing phenomenon. We were instructed to wear our swimsuits or clothes that could get wet, so I decided to leave my camera behind. It was almost pitch black where we were, so I’m not sure that the glow would have even shown up. I will do my best to describe it along with some pictures I can find online.

There was individual and two man kayaks. We of course went on a two person one, and boy was that an experience. Aaron and I have never been kayaking together before, and let me tell you-it’s a real marriage builder. Aaron was in back as the steering guide and I was the front navigator. Not a good idea to put a bossy navigator in front. Let’s just say, by the end Aaron was a saint, and was still okay being married to me.=)

It wouldn’t have been so bad, but by the time we paddled all the way out there, it was pitch black. They gave everyone glow sticks that were placed on the kayaks so we could follow each other out to the lagoon without getting separated from the other members of our group. There were about 20 kayaks total in our group alone. We got loaded up and then had to follow each other through this passageway that would lead into the lagoon. As we were going through it, it kind of reminded me of a dark spooky swamp. There were trees on either side, so it was super tricky to not run unto the side and get stuck in a tree.

The trees that surrounded the banks were for the most part mango trees. The mangos drop into the water and the high concentration of B12 that they contain are what adds to the perfect conditions for this glowing effect to happen. As we were paddling we would hear loud splashes as mangos were constantly dropping into the water. I was just sure one of us were going to be knocked out by a huge mango falling on our heads.

When we were about halfway into the passageway, it was finally dark enough as we were away from the city lights to see the glowing. They had us run our hands through the water and watch. Wow, talk about a super science fiction movie type experience. It was as if your whole hand was glowing. It would last a few seconds and then slowly dissipate.

This picture I found online, and I think is a bit photo shopped, but hopefully you get the idea. I think that the light actually looked more sparkly that a solid light. It was like there was bright fairy dust that was glowing and floating in the water.imageThe coolest thing was when a fish would swim by. It looked like a firework squiggling through the sky. Once we kayaked out to the lagoon, they let us just sit there and play around a bit while we watched. You could scoop up some water, and then watch these glowing water droplets fall off your hand. It was just SO cool. I had no idea what to expect, but it was by far one of our favorite things to see.

They used to let people get out and swim, which would have been super fun, but the sunscreen and bug spray from people are damaging the environment of the water and actually killing off some of the micro-organisms that create this magnificent glow. This picture is a bit more accurate (greeblemonkey.com),this family did get to go swimming, and they have a few more pictures on their blog.image

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