How to Set Yourself Alight Underwater!

Trip Start Jul 17, 2008
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18
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Trip End Dec 06, 2008


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Where I stayed
La Posada Vistamar

Flag of Puerto Rico  ,
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yes, this is what I discovered during my very short stay in Puerto Rico (on the tiny island of Vieques to be more specific).  I joined a small group of people one evening where we kayaked out into the middle of Bio Luminescence Bay.  This bay apparently has the highest concentration of tiny little organisms called Dinoflagellates anywhere in the world.  As a consequence when you agitate them in the water they literally light up!  When you jump in the water at night (less moonlight the better) there is an amazing electric radiance effect - I cannot describe just how bright the light was but it was truly magical - yet another once in a lifetime experience.  Well, that's not entirely true, I experienced a similar thing in Thailand but it wasn't nearly as bright or as prolific as this.  The other fascinating thing we noticed as we were paddling out was that the fish that we disturbed left a very distinct light trail as they darted away.  Being Australian, I was a little concerned about sharks and the fact that I was swimming in a foreign ocean at night but I relaxed when I realised that HAD there been a shark approaching us, we would have seen it light up miles away!

Here's the story behind how I ended up in Vieques, Puerto Rico (since it wasn't on my original itinerary and I'd been planning to go to Martinique up until that very day).   Never actually made it to Martinique due to a 4 hour flight delay in Miami (I was to fly Costa Rica - Miami - Puerto Rico - Martinique).  I was only going to stay in Martinique for 2 days anyway after discovering how expensive it was going to be but I was still keen just to spend some time on a French Caribbean island (don't really know why but I just did).  American Airlines put me up in Miami for the night and on the Tues (7 Oct) I flew to Puerto Rico the next day where my luggage had flown the previous day without me.  There were no flights to Martinique so I decided to make my way on a little 8-seater to the lovely little island of Vieques (part of Puerto Rico).  I'd seen something about the Bio Luminescence Kayak tours on the island and I was keen as mustard to check it out - and so I did!

Stayed at La Posada Vistamar on Vieques for 2 nights.  Good little place and not cheap by backpacker standards but was one of the most reasonable I could find at short notice.  Lady running the hostel was lovely (Canadian girl, Lisa, I think) but there was no 'reception' as such so you were pretty much on your own once she did the meet and greet thing.
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