Thursday, July 29, 2010

We'll leave the light on for you....

Tonight Angela and I set out on another lagoon tour. We, along with Brian from the language school, loaded up in his truck and headed west. This trip was to be different from anything we have ever done before. We were out to see phosphorescent plankton. When Brian pulled into the Best Western we joked that he was going to throw some glow sticks into the pool for us to look at. However, we walked right past the pool and down to the lagoon. It was around 8:30 and getting dark. Angela and I shared a two person Kayak and Brian got in one to of his own. The water near the shore was pretty gross and smelled of dead fish.... actually there were lots of dead fish floating near the shore. As we paddled out, though, the smell and the water cleared. The night got darker and the stars came out as we paddled along in this lagoon. We could hear night birds and occasionally small fish would jump into the boat with us. Angela and I struggled a little with overcompensating in the sit on top kayaks but eventually managed to find a good rhythym. I asked Brian if we could just sit and listen and look for a minute so we were sitting quietly in the boats when Brian said, "Oh look, the plankton is coming out." I didn't see much at first. I thought were would see something faintly glowing on the bottom of the lagoon so I was squinting and peering down into the water. Then I started to realize what I was seeing. The plankton are ALL IN THE WATER and as they are moved around they glow. When Brian drug his paddle through the water it left a glowing streak. We all put on our snorkels and masks and climbed out of the boats and into the water. It was amazing. When you put your face down into the water and brought your hands up to your face, you could see glowing hands ... like they were covered in pixie dust. When you splashed water on the surface it would fall back as glowing droplets. As i watched angela swim her arms and legs appeared to glow when she moved them through the black water. It was like I imagine a crazy drug trip would be like... it seemed so completely unreal. Eventually we climbed back in our boats and headed back to the Best Western beach. We paddled and paddled and paddled... at first laughing and still in awe of the glowing water. After a while, however, we were growing tired and couldn't see Brian ahead of us. The stars were shining brightly overhead but the moon was behind a cloud so it was really dark. He came back for us but said that he couldn't tell where the beach was. He didn't know if we had passed it or if it was still up ahead. We saw very few lights on shore anywhere so we kept on paddling... and paddling and paddling. My arms were burning by now. I joked that we may have to spend the night in the lagoon. We could see a road not far away but we were all barefoot and didn't really want to hike through the forest to the road. We traveled back and forth looking for that damn beach for maybe an hour. Finally we found a beach. Not teh right beach but a beach none the less. It looked to be someone's house. We pulled up and Brian walked up to see what he could figure out. I think he knocked and woke them up because soon here came a dad, mom and son. They said we were only a little ways past where we should be but we weren't sure we could find it (actualy we were sure we couldn't find it at this point!). The man very kindly loaded up the kayaks on his truck. Angela and I squeezed into the front with him and Brian rode in back with the kayaks to keep them from falling off. He drove us the short distance back to the Best Western. Angela went down to the beach to get our shoes and said it was "lit up like a damn christmas tree." We think that we just needed to travel closer to the bank and we couldn't have missed it. Oh well! Another fabulous adventure. Seeing that glowing water is something I will never forget. It was worth being lost and having sore arms. Receiving help from a stranger in the middle of the night felt really great as well. Brian, Angela and I laughed all the way back to Casamar.


  1. - Your mutual sense of direction (or lack thereof) on the water and on your trips causes me concern with your own adventures Stateside. Might you consider alternative methods of finding your way home?
    - Breadcrumbs? String? A light on the top of your truck? Or is that the reason for the title?
    - Dad

  2. yes we have joked about leaving bread crumbs! And yes the title was the old Motel 6 slogan LOL Maybe I need a tiny gps to take with me everywhere.

  3. I wanna see more plankton pics. :-)