Bio Bay

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:46
Bioluminescent Bay
The now famous image taken on Bio Bay, (first featured in a blog off Portugal), is on the front cover of a guide book.




The whole reason for coming to Vieques was to visit the Bioluminescent or locally known simply as Bio Bay, to tick yet another page in the 1000 places book. This is perhaps the world's largest and brightest. The luminescence is caused by micro-organisms (dinoflagellates) which glow whenever the water is disturbed, leaving a trail of neon blue. A combination of factors create the necessary conditions for bioluminescence: red mangrove trees surround the water - the organisms feed off the dead leaves; a complete lack of modern development around the bay; the water is cool enough and deep enough; and a small channel to the ocean keeps the dinoflagellates in the bay. This small channel is the result of Spanish ships' attempts to choke off the bay from the ocean's waters. The Spanish believed that the bioluminescence they first encountered was the work of the Devil ('El Diablo') and tried to block the ocean's waters from entering the bay by dropping huge boulders in the channel. The Spanish only succeeded in preserving and increasing the luminescence.


We went ashore and booked our places for that night. The moon has to be half or less to see the best activity. We returned at 18:00 and got transported the short distance from Esperanza to the Bio Bay, thank heavens as the van smelt like a rotting gym bag forgotten in the bottom of a hamster cage. We chose to take single kayaks as I wanted Bear to jump in and me to try and take photographs without him ditching me like the last venture we had in Trinidad.Swimming is only allowed if you wear no mossie spray, which may protect the micro-organisms, but gave us the chance to get eaten between getting out of the van and mincing our way into the mud at the edge of the bay. My teeth were well on edge.  I got on and started to paddle, nearly falling off when I heard an American lady ask her husband, "Are single kayaks for one person only".





Bear jumping in and waggling his hands furiously




Hand flapping back on his kayak and paddling