Written by Duane Kenny
My hair blows in the wind, the sea all around me, a small turtle swims through the emerald green water, oblivious to my presence. I love how I can see marine life now, high enough to make out a small stingray gliding through the. The sounds of marine birds chatting in the mangrove, a baby egret squawks at his mother as she debates leaving the little one for a quick flight. Nature is alive in the lagoon, but I’ve only really noticed it so easily while on a Stand Up Paddle Board.
Gliding through the water has never felt so much fun. Am I surfing or kayaking. As a life long practitioner of both activities this hybrid definitely adds something new to the mix. Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP has its origins from the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing and only became its current itineration in the last few years. The basics of the sport are very easy to learn and can be taught in one class.
One of the great things about SUP is that there are many options to what you can do. You can go cruising on a lake, river or the ocean, go surfing in waves, or do yoga or fitness classes on the board itself. The options are endless. Give Duane a call at 681-4741, or check out the website at www.standuppaddletobago.com and let us take you on an adventure.
What is Bioluminescence, and what can we see on a Tobago Bio Tour with Stand Up Paddle Tobago
Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. On our tour you will see Bioluminescence in two types of organisms. Fireflies and Dinoflagellates.
Fireflies are winged beetles that as adults use bioluminescence to attract their mate. Maybe I should go and shine a cool light around and see if this works for us humans! What’s even more interesting is their flashing pattern, which may even synchronize with the other fireflies. Are they talking? A great story I read was that before they invented lamps, coal miners used glass jars with fireflies for light. They also would dry out certain fish skins that would give out a slight glow. Thank god for flashlights!
Now onto the real gems of our tour, the Dinoflagellates. These are marine plankton that give off a blue-green light. The flash occurs when the water around them is moved. The purpose of the light is to startle predators similar in size to itself. Unfortunately it also attracts larger predators that feed on them. One of the highlights of a tour is when a stingray or large tarpon swim through the plankton, highlighting them selves, much like the creatures from James Cameron’s film Avatar. When there is a large school of small fish, we sometimes get what one of our past guests calls underwater fireworks, where hundreds of small fish trigger the plankton to flash causing one hell of a light show. In certain areas of the lagoon, there are large concentrations of Dinoflagellates. This may be due to the water being less affected by ocean currents and wind. Sunny bright days, with low cloud cover nights, lower tides and little or no moon, also make the planktons light allot brighter.
It’s really hard to film all of this at night, but the awesome National Geographic has the cameras to do it.
For a great video on youtube, check out
Click to 1:36 till 2:15 of the video to see what our bio looks like.
Next time you are in Tobago, and you want to see something mind blowing, give us a call at 868-681-4741 or check out www.standuppaddletobago.com for more information.