Bioluminescence near Jenner


Excited chit chat diminished among the paddlers as the black, dense fog hid all the natural night light. Stars and moon were no contest for the moistened breath that blanketed the entire region. Sunset allured the adventurers down the Russian River to its mouth where fresh waters turned salty and banked edges became wide open. The tangled waters swirled about the kayaks and stand up paddleboards leaving the seafarers on a giddy high as their senses guzzled the intoxicatingly seductive beautiful scene.

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Slipping over the non-manmade line from fresh water to salty, the six were led to a vacated beach where massive decomposing trees lay strewn like surrendered broken bones awaiting resurrection. The logs were transformed from earth to smoke as the collection of gathered sticks became the paddlers’ seaside offering and request for warmth.

Group anticipation was high during the seaside, fireside chat. The paddlers patiently awaited Mother’s cue for the moment she would invite the sea to put on its light show. Playful fingers and toes jumped to the waves and began stirring the Pacific pot. Giggles erupted as the waters lit up and began the dance of light. Waves became iridescent, fluorescent, glowing. Footprints glowed and sparkled. Banks of waves pushed toward shore revealing the glowing white caps in the distance, connecting elongated stripes of fluorescent green which laid across the water.Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 10.49.34 PM

The ocean became illuminated as if under a black light expressing itself like magical pixie dust. Each sweeping stroke of the paddle through the darkened water became as a conductor’s baton calling forth a symphonic melody of dancing light under the salty sea.


A few measly lines on a page won’t convey our adventure, but it’s in the recollection of this memory that appreciation deepens for the many intricacies that are happening all around that we are not seeing but are part of nonetheless.

Nature expressed herself brightly, quietly

Humans marveled

Time slipped by

Love, harmony, and beauty appreciated




At night, the waves glow a vivid blue color caused by Bioluminescent Dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates are tiny plankton organisms which live in the sea and obtain energy from sunlight during the day. In darkness, they emit bright blue light in response to movement within the water. The intensity of the light peaks about two hours after dark and is simply amazing to watch.


One thought on “Bioluminescence near Jenner

  1. One of the trippiest, coolest things I ever did was swim with bioluminescent fish in Puerto Rico. My brother and sister and I did this a couple of years ago. I will never forget treading water in the night (wearing fins), a few yards from the tourist boat that had brought us to this special spot, moving our hands very fast under the surface and seeing the sparks fly off of our fingers as they came in contact with the planckton. So cool. Discovering Mother Nature’s treats is so wonderful.

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