Well as soon as I heard about a Bioluminance bay and that Puerto Rico has three of the five, David and I made plans to come during the New Moon. Since you are in the Bay in the pitch dark, the darker the better to see it, and a New Moon is perfect for seeing bioluminance! Of all the TripAdvisor bioluminous bay choices, the swimming experience sounded better than the kayak trip. Who wants to kayak thru the glow when you can straight up swim in it! I was honestly not expecting much based upon the stories I heard from others who went to a bioluminous bay, they said they were in Kayaks, and had to hold tarps of their heads to see even the mildest glow.
We will have to add pictures later, because David has a few, but honestly he is going to have to tweak them, even the couple we were on the boat with took pictures, and theirs were better, but they just do not show up on the blog (yet!) they are coming, but I have this one picture of the boat and the glow trail. The captain said even National Geographic had a hard time photographing this experience, so I guess you just have to see it with your own eyes.
The tour picks you up at the hotel in a van, our driver was Hector. It was a 2.5hr drive from San Juan to the sleepy and mostly boarded up town of la Parguera, PR. You could tell this town was an incredibly fun multi colored and muraled vibrant hot spot, with now most bars, restaurants and shopping Covid closed. I would say, four locations were open on the entire boardwalk. We had a quick stop for a drink, and bathroom break, then jumped on a fishing boat similar to a Boston Whaler owned by Captain Jose.
He took us out to a quick stop at a dock to walk around for pictures, then at dark we hoped back in to drive to the bay.
So to visually explain what we saw, when we pulled up into the bay, it was a mild glow on the side, when looking into the water. We stopped mid bay and I jumped in first, because I could not wait, Captain Jose screams with delite because he can see the glow from the splash, and he says I do that everytime because I still am like a kid everytime I see it. The water was warm and we could not touch the bottom, I swim fine, but asked for a foam noodle so I could focus on the glow. I anxiously looked around for the glow, and there it is all around you….it is like swimming in tiny pin like stars, or baby blue laser points, randomly everywhere. You move around and see the pin lights just for a few seconds and then they fade. I honestly laughed or smiled with complete glee the entire time I was in the water, I could see the tiny blue glows clear like a thousand flashlights in the dark. I looked around to see if the captain tricked us and there was a laser on board, but there wasn’t. It only happened when you swished the water, or moved around. My favorite part was holding your arm up from the water and watching the blue specks flow down your arm like diamonds draping and falling away into the water, dozens each time. We did not bring face masks but the couple we were with did and they borrowed one to use momentarily and it was like being in space, with stars rocketing past us as we swam. I could have spent all night there. David said it was like little fireflies swimming in the water or running down your arms.
We had about 40mins to swim, it felt like 15, I loved it. I must admit I did briefly think about sharks, but they did not bother us and when back on the boat, Captain Jose said they do not like the warmth of the bay.
Why it glows… another post future, but hint…. its not radiation.