Do me, Orlando: Bioluminescent kayaking the Mosquito Lagoon




Describe in one word: Trippy

Info/cost: A Day Away Kayak Tours, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville; 321-268-2655;; $35

It lasted: about two hours

It sounds like something you’d do on a vacation to an exotic, tropical locale, but kayaking in a lagoon at night with tiny creatures that create an otherworldly glow when anything moves through the water is something you can do in Titusville. On a recent summer evening, a group of us gathered on the sandy shore of the lagoon at dusk, waiting for our guides from A Day Away Kayak Tours to give us an idea of what to expect (and a quick Kayaking 101 lesson). We put in at around 8 p.m., and for the first hour or so, we saw a couple of manatees, a gator and some dolphins. But a little after 9 p.m., we reached a cove, and suddenly the bioluminescence started – a glow off a paddle here, a ghostly glow to a fish swimming by underwater there. Then, when the dark of night really hit, about 9:30 p.m., the water was a light show. Fish were flying around our boats like neon fireworks, grasses swaying in the water glittered like stars in the sky, every dip of an oar into the water created what looked like a ball of watery green flames. We kayaked back to shore, noting the faint ghostly glows surrounding sleeping manatees and the explosions of bright green when a dolphin or a fish burst from to the surface. It’s otherworldly, it’s trippy and it’s worth every mosquito bite we returned home with.