I will hand it back over to Sara to enlighten us about another activity that makes me super jealous. Like, I-need-to-fly-to-Florida-right-now jealous!
Take it away sister….
Todays’s featured Florida activity is: Bioluminescent Kayaking! I highly recommend this activity to everybody! It is so fun! And so mind-blowingly cool! My inner biologist was geeking out. For my friend’s birthday, we went on a guided tour that was $25/person and took place on Florida’s East coast in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It’s about an hour drive from my house in Orlando, but one that is always worth it. During non-luminescent times, Merritt Island is one of my favorite places to go to observe wild manatees and spend some time at the beach! So I recommend a trip to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to anyone visiting the central FL area that wants to see a Florida beyond the theme parks.
Now the strongest bioluminescence occurs in the summer months when the water is the warmest. The bioluminescence is caused by the tiny dinoflagellates in the water that emit light when disturbed. Our tour started at sundown, and I had no idea what to expect. I kinda thought the bioluminescence only occurred in a certain area and we would have to paddle to it. That was not the case! As we’re paddling across the reservoir (and I’m wondering how far of a paddle it is to the bioluminescent site), the guide tells us to run our fingers through the water and, sure enough, I can see sparkles in the water as I do this. Soon we’re in full darkness and the sparkles have become even brighter––every time you put your paddle in the water it leaves a glitter stream! The guide then jokes that if anyone were to “fall out” of their kayak, he would look the other direction. Obviously I promptly jumped in the water. And swam in the bioluminescence! Kicking my legs like mad to stir up the most reaction!
(I’m the one peeking around the girl in the gray hat!)
Once I got back in my kayak, the guide was able to find a school of mullet that we watched light up the water as they swam! Although he also warned that mullet have a tendency of jumping into boats so not to be alarmed if that were to happen. But alas, none of that excitement happened on my tour. But I still had a great time and would recommend this excursion to everyone! Even my sister because you could bring as many snacks as you wanted on this trip 🙂