Matthew Guest Blogs: Moonlight Kayaking Adventures

Guest blogger today! Well semi-guest blogger.  Matthew and I took a nighttime kayaking trip and about halfway through the excursion it was very obvious that I needed to do a split blog recap.  To catch you up:

For Matthew’s birthday I booked with BK Adventures requesting the nighttime bioluminescence tour.  See illustration below.  We traveled out to the Indian River along the Atlantic Coast for the tour. kayakbio

We arrived at the kayak launch site, signed our waivers, and then I applied mosquito repellent to me a level equivalent to what most people would use on an entire weekend camping.  Mosquitos absolutely love me.  And so Matthew shares his view:

Upon arriving we saw one dude with a van who was very welcoming (he was our tour guide).  I kept my expectations measured as I know not to judge a book by its cover.  The life vests were very comfortable and had a nice LED flashlight.  All equipment was in good condition.  I thought it was really nice that the tour guides had known to bring Rachel a pink kayak (ha).

It was a bit freaky when we first got in the water but once our eyes adjusted to the light it was no problem.  The trip was amazing and fun. The bioluminescence was cool- jellyfish that had electric pulses with a clear membrane.  We saw a giant raccoon the size of a dog scavenging on the shore.  We also saw tons of fish which looked a lot cooler at night…we caught a little see through one which was incredible.  The mosquitos weren’t too bad on the water but we had taken precautions before we left.

A nice big shrimp cocktail sounds good right now.

Hmmm.  Were we on the same tour? Possibly.  Here’s what I remember:

Upon entering the water I immediately realize that I didn’t fully think through how a nighttime tour meant NOT seeing creatures at night. Until they were about to eat you. Keep in mind I had seen this video not too long ago titled “Alligator Jumps in Tourist Boat.”  Pretty soon after we started we came upon tons of golf ball sized harmless jellyfish that lit up in the dark.  Those little fellas were really cool….we even got to hold one.

We headed out to an area called “the Fields” where the water was pretty shallow.  Just that much better for a shark to breach directly into my kayak.  Our super friendly guide mentions how he’d like to take us back towards the mangroves…something he hasn’t done on his nighttime tours.  He and Matthew are talking about how awesome it would be to see the 12 foot alligator or heck any alligators. Florida! Yeah!!! Meanwhile the two of them have paddled significantly ahead. I now realize that I am good at many things but I am definitely an awkward kayaker.  My inner Moana is trying not to die but we push through.  I’ll always have Zumba. 💃🏼

We happen to manuever through a bunch of mangroves into what appears to be an alligator foster home? They seem to be all over (in my mind). Especially the one that has bioluminescent  jellyfish on him so we can watch as he terrifys me by going up and down in the water. Swim away! Freaking swim away!

We head back and try to find some sleeping manatees.  The 6th grader in me cheers but apparently they sleep with the fishes (ha) so we didn’t see any. Maybe next time.🐟  We exit the water and although I was terrified, I’d probably do the tour again with the request for the non-alligator seeking version.  I mean at least in the daytime you can see them, typically chilling but from afar.   More manatees, less alligators.

I must say the experience was super cool and we’d definitely like to come back for a daytime tour with our older boys.  Oldest son was trying to stowaway in the car when he heard we were going kayaking.   Soon my little adventurer. 🛶


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