Explore one of nature’s best kept secrets! Dinoflagellates! (Greek dinos “whirling” and Latin flagellum “whip, scourge”)
Dinoflagellates are tiny marine planktons 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.
These Dinoflagellates or light emitting tiny marine planktons occurs all over the world but rarely in such spectacular concentration. In Grand Cayman we can take you to an area where you can plunge your hands and feet into the sea and watch tiny spangles of light illuminate your skin.
How do they do that?
The ability to produce luminescence is strictly dependent upon the day/light cycle. In a 12 hour light/12 hour dark cycle, dinoflagellates will only flash brightly during the dark phase. Light emitted is brightest after several hours of darkness. Early in the morning, glowing activity is reduced and they no longer to luminesce upon shaking. During the day, the dinoflagellates appear as ellipse shaped cells, pigmented red, indicating the presence of chlorophyll which enables photosynthesis to occur so they may harvest light from the sun.
The shock response
The luminescence is transient and the cells soon return to their resting state. Most cells flash for less than a second, however others appear to glow for 1-6 seconds. Upon repeated stimulation, light emission is much reduced and the lux-system becomes “saturated”. Within about half an hour of rest, the luminescence becomes brighter again.
RATE: US$825 for 3 hour Private Evasion Charter (1-8 people)
Gratuities not included
US$275 deposit due at time of booking
(Advanced reservation is highly recommended.)
- Dock located at incredible Camana Bay
- Private Evasion trip to Bioluminescent area
- soft drinks/water
- Cruise slowly through Bioluminescent area
- See the Dinoflagellates
* Transportation to the Dock on own
When is it the best time to see them?
The bioluminescence is best seen when there is less ambient light from the environment. (Sort of like the difference of seeing a firefly in dim light verses seeing a firefly in complete darkness) It is best seen on moonless nights, however this does not mean you cannot see this effect during a full moon. The optimum days for viewing are based not only on the phases of the moon but also the actual rise time of the moon.