Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kayaking in the Bioluminescent Bay in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Last December, my family and I went to Puerto Rico on vacation. My uncle and his family joined us, too, from Boston. I had been looking forward to this vacation for quite some time as this was going to be my first scuba-diving trip. But I was even more excited when I found out that among the top 10 bioluminescent bays in the world, 3 of them were in Puerto Rico, and one of them was right in Fajardo, the place we were staying at in Puerto Rico! The bay is located in the Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve and is called Laguna Grande or the Big Lagoon.

We booked our trip to see the bay through Island Kayaking Adventures ( Our tour started at 8:30 pm but we got there about an hour early so we could sign in, go through the informational presentation, and get instructions on how to kayak. To get to the bay, we had to go paddle through a narrow channel, lined with mangroves on either side. That was quite an experience! We were in 2-person kayaks and I was in one with my cousin, Sheela. Both of us were novices at this so we ended up zig-zagging across the channel and bumping into the roots of the trees multiple times. Added to that, it was pretty dark - the only light we had was a small green flashing light on the kayak in front of us.

Here's a map of the route we took through the mangrove channel to get to the bioluminescent bay.

Our trip guide asked us all to be really quite when we got to the opening of the bay. As we slowly paddled into Laguna Grande, I noticed a shimmering glow each time my paddle pushed through the water. I really didn't think much of it until we were in the middle of the bay and the tour guide made us all stop paddling. He then told us to scoop a handful of water into our hands. My hand was glowing green and it looked like I had shimmering stars in the palm of my hand! I kept running my fingers through the water and marveling at the incredible burst of green each time I did that. I threw a scoop of water at Sheela and there were glowing points of light on her chest.

We spent about 15 minutes in the bay before we had to paddle back. I could have spent all night there if I could.

No comments:

Post a Comment