Bioluminescent Kayak Tour

IMGP0915cLast month I was invited* to do something I had heard about, but had not yet tried. As a Florida native, it’s kind of astonishing that I hadn’t tried it at least once, but this sort of thing depends on weather, moon cycles… and is a definite step off the beaten path. What on earth is it? Well, it’s kind of “other-worldly” if you ask me: a Bioluminescent Kayak Tour in the waters of Florida’s Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon.

The first step in our adventure was learning all the right moves for safety and skill The top one on my list to master was The Hula. This move would help counteract swells and other obstacles that “could” lead to going overboard. And while I’ve been canoeing since I was in junior high, kayaking is slightly different and I wanted to have that maneuver down solid!

Kayaks w glow sticksNext up after donning our vests and glow sticks we set out in our kayaks charged with going “straight out” to a particular point before making a hard turn starboard. (Is it even called starboard on a kayak?) My partner Meghan (On The Move) and I ventured out as described then waited for the entire group before heading down the river toward what would appear to be magic!

IMGP0930cDuring the warm summer months the waters of Florida’s Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon come alive with Bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is caused by a chemical reaction producing light energy within an organism’s body. (If you want to know more, here’s an excellent resource.)

So what does that look like when a mullet swims past you, or a manatee glides past you in the water? My first thought was Tinkerbell! If you’ve ever seen a Disney movie, you’ve probably seen the intro where she can be seen swirling through the sky leaving a swath of light behind her.

IMGP0931bFor the entire tour, grown people could be heard giggling like little kids. Squeals of delight ushered a new, yet fleeting, sighting of some creature stirring up the waters and giving us our own mini light show from beneath. On our particular outing we “saw” manatees, fish and even a dolphin!

bio from paddle

The bioluminescent waters proved hard to photograph…

I wish that our cameras could have adequately captured the pretty swirls and glowing affectations. I must have taken 50 pictures of my hands making splashes that looked like radioactive blue milk that night, yet sadly mysterious-looking glow kept its secrets from outsiders, except to those there in person.

If you’d like an adventure like no other, make a reservation with A Day Away Kayak Tours at Haulover Canal Launch and make it soon. The cycle ends as the temperatures drop, which for us means through October.

*I was invited to attend a Biolumiescent Kayak Tour with
A Day Away Kayak Tours at no charge in exchange for my honest review.


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