Horizon at Sandy Point

Friday, January 10, 2014

Do you shine?

So, the stay-at-homes have fixed dinner and are awaiting the return of the group that has gone to No Man's Land to see the bio-luminesence. They are taking longer than two hours. They must be having fun! Some standing - balancing on the rocking wave - or kneeling on paddle-boards. Two in a kayak. The night was dark enough - the moon still hidden in its first phase, called new moon but absolutely dark, even though it's at the perigee, closest to earth on its elliptical orbit.

We are waiting to hear from the adventurers about the sea at night.

Bio-luminesence is a phenomenon occurs through chemical reactions that produce light - in creatures that live in water, the sea mainly. If you saw the movie, Life of Pi, you would have seen the magical night scenes in the Pacific with the blue lights of sea creatures mirroring the stars of the sky.

An hour later they return. Bubbling over with amazement. No one fell in accidentally. At first it was windy, and the sea swells made it difficult to stand on the paddle-boards. But the wind went down shortly after the sun had disappeared. The rocking waves became a comfortable rhythm. They rounded Pigeon Point into sheltered No Man's Land where the bio-luminescence was indeed happening! Not content to merely see it, they wanted to be in it. Paddles trailed through the water glowed. Hands and feet dipped in the sea glowed with fairy lights. One or two went swimming.

Apparently, the sea creatures that can light up are always there. But like the stars they need the dark of night to be seen. Einstein taught us that energy is never wasted. And so today, the light of a million tiny unseen organisms shines through the excitement and experience of persons who heard about it, and went to see for themselves, bio-luminesence in a sheltered lagoon off Tobago.

Windsurfers off Pigeon Point, Tobago
The bio-luminesence experience coordinated by Duane Kenny starts at Pigeon Point at sunset. You paddle around the point to the lagoon at No Man's Land. Here, the nutrients in the mangrove and the fairly high density of organisms in the water cause a rich concentration and a spectacular display of "fairy lights" in the water.

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