Stand Up Paddle Tobago

Swimming with the stars on a bioluminescence tour in Tobago

Posted Apr 07, 2020

Night has fallen on Tobago and I’m swimming in darkness along the edge of Bon Accord Lagoon, gazing in childlike wonder at the water.

Every time I move a limb, I slipstream a trail of light, conjuring an arc of bright glitter below the surface. My leg nudges a mangrove root, which in turn starts to shine. I’m surrounded by my own private galaxy. The stars are out tonight, but they are under water.

Half an hour ago, guide Duane Kenny and I had ventured out here on stand-up paddleboards. It had felt odd, spooky even, to be paddling across a dark and remote lagoon when people elsewhere on the island were settling down to candlelit dinners.

Fast forward 30 minutes and the experience is still odd, but for different reasons. I wasn’t quite prepared for the dizzy reality of swimming in bioluminescence. I’m flailing around like an over-excited octopus, creating my own little blizzard of light in the sea. It feels like an encounter with the supernatural.

Stand Up Paddle Tour Operator

“We’ve got another 45 minutes before we need to paddle back, so go for it – enjoy,” says Duane. I carry on whooshing and kicking in the dark lagoon, summoning subaquatic stardust.

Duane has been bringing people to this spot for years but as I swim I watch him slowly trail his paddle through the waters then drip pearls of light on to his board. He’s as rapt as I am. And frankly, with a phenomenon as transcendental as this, why wouldn’t he be?

Fast forward 30 minutes and the experience is still odd, but for different reasons. I wasn’t quite prepared for the dizzy reality of swimming in bioluminescence. I’m flailing around like an over-excited octopus, creating my own little blizzard of light in the sea. It feels like an encounter with the supernatural.

“We’ve got another 45 minutes before we need to paddle back, so go for it – enjoy,” says Duane. I carry on whooshing and kicking in the dark lagoon, summoning subaquatic stardust.

Duane has been bringing people to this spot for years but as I swim I watch him slowly trail his paddle through the waters then drip pearls of light on to his board. He’s as rapt as I am. And frankly, with a phenomenon as transcendental as this, why wouldn’t he be?

stand up paddle

 

Article by: James Ottery, The Telegraph