A kayak adventure to light up the night
Imagine watching a firework show…underwater, from a kayak. That’s the closest description of what bio-luminescence is like. Small critters called dinoflagellates emit a brief (10th of a second) flash of light when the water around them is disturbed. Put billions of these creatures together and you get a light show that is simply amazing.
We meet at a local park (with facilities). After a short safety briefing and paddling lesson, we launch our kayaks into the Banana River and paddle up to the mouth of a canal. Beware the flying mullet as we cross a shallow set of shoals on the way! Once in the canal, things really start to get interesting. We’ve seen dolphin herding the mullet into schools to feast on, all the while the waters under us blazing with the light given off by the dinoflagellates. There have been manatees and even an occasional alligator (no worries, he’s been well fed and does not pose any issues). Light rain is a welcome treat as the raindrops make the water sparkle.
Sometimes, we get really lucky and NASA will have a night launch scheduled from the Kennedy Space Center. Since our paddle is just a few miles from the actual launch pad we get to see a rocket launch from just about as close as anyone can.
This is a night-time paddle, and while suitable for everyone, does require an adventurous mindset. The tour last at least two and half-hours.
A special note about bio-luminescence and photography. Everyone wants to try and capture this experience on film (or its digital equivalent). But the conditions make it hard to take pictures that do justice to the amazing event you are about to witness. We don’t discourage you from trying, but highly suggest you just sit back and enjoy the adventure. Remember we run this tour all season. So come back as often as you want, and bring your family and friends!
What to bring, what’s provided
What’s provided: Kayak, personal floatation device (PFD), paddle, drinking water, and chemical lights.
What to bring: bug spray of your choosing, beverages (other than water (please note: no alcohol during the tour)), shoes and clothing you don’t mind getting wet.
2 1/2 Hour Tours Friday – Sunday 8 pm – 10:30 pm