Our Ultimate Guide to Bioluminescence: Florida Calendar 2021

Ultimate Guide to Bioluminescence: Florida Calendar 2021

nighttime bioluminescence in waterAn otherworldly, nighttime lightshow is not something you might expect to see in the middle of the Banana River Lagoon. However, this summer, that’s exactly what you can expect – a magical, all-natural phenomenon! With this adventure there are no flashlights, no fireworks, and no fancy tricks to illuminate the water with clouds of green and blue light. That’s right. The bioluminescence Florida calendar 2021 season is finally here.

During the warm Florida summer, bioluminescent kayaking tours bring you right to the doorstep of a magical underwater world. For every Florida resident and visitor, it is an adventure of a lifetime. At Wildlife Watersports, we’re breaking out the boats and kayaks to take you and your family out on the water to experience this miracle of nature – but what exactly is bioluminescence? When should you plan your nighttime adventure? How long is the season? We’re here to answer all this and more in our ultimate guide to Florida’s bioluminescence night kayaking.

The Big Deal About Bio

At first glance, bioluminescence seems like something out of a sci-fi movie or a show at Disney World (it’s totally Avatar!). But in reality, the bioluminescent phenomenon is an aquatic lightshow backed by pure science. Every summer, tiny plankton called bioluminescent dinoflagellates appear in concentrated amounts in the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River Lagoon, creating dazzling displays every night. In Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, we are lucky to be one of a handful of coastal regions across the world to experience this rare phenomenon each year!

Enjoying the Dino Glow

Dinoflagellates, like all plankton, are microscopic, harmless organisms – but they have a defense against predators that causes them to light up in green and blue flashes when moved. Their reaction to movement uses the chemical luciferin to create the tell-tale glow. That means that mullet fish, hunting dolphins, and lumbering manatees all light up the nighttime while swimming through the clouds of plankton. And, of course, kayaking, paddle splashes, swimming, and late-night boat rides all create waves, lines, and splashes of blue-green neon light! Even gentle waves against the beach can cause you to see glimpses of the glow. After a long night of creating beautiful sea sparkle, dinoflagellates recharge their luciferin “batteries” during the day to prepare for the next evening’s display.

The Comb Jelly Craze

green comb jellyfish in waterSimilar to bioluminescent plankton, there is another curious creature that you may have the chance to see light up the night on your journey. The comb jellyfish is a common sighting on dark nights – a transparent, oval-shaped animal with ancient origins (over 500 million years old!) that shimmers as it propels itself through the water. Named for the comb-like rows of plates that it uses to move, these combs also light up in response to movement. And the best part? They are perfectly harmless, so you can even stick your hand in the water to gently encourage their glow show!

Marking Your Bioluminescence Florida Calendar in 2021

As of June 1st, the bio dino glow is already starting. As the water heats up, the dinoflagellates become more active and they continue to cover the lagoon through the summer season. The best time to take a bioluminescent night kayak or boat tour with Wildlife Watersports is from June to November. Once the weather cools off in the winter months, the bioluminescence will go dormant until next summer.

If you’re interested in experiencing the magic of the comb jellies, you can see these animals in the cooler months from November through March. If you miss them on your bioluminescent tour, you can always come back and search the seas with one of our nighttime lighted kayaking tours. Even when the bioluminescence season is done, there is still plenty of after-dark fun to be had with beautiful comb jellies!

The New Moon Hype (And Planning Your Tour)

nighttime bioluminescence in florida 2021Is taking your tour during the new moon worth it?

Yes, yes, yes! The new moon is absolutely the best time to experience the magic. Even though the bioluminescence is bright enough to see on every night, the darker evenings will let you see the blue-green plankton fully – with no distracting light to dampen the glow. As much as we love the big, bright moon overhead, the new moon will leave you speechless as you enjoy the dazzling bioluminescent performance. Cloudy nights can also give you an unexpectedly bright light show!

New Moon Tour Dates

We always recommend trying to schedule your tour during or around the new moon. Again, any night is a great night to enjoy the clouds of sparkling light – but you’ll thank us if you go in the three days before or the five days after the new moon. Planning your trip? Use a lunar calendar or our tour date recommendations below.

Here’s the New Moon Bioluminescent Florida Calendar for 2021:

  • June 10, 2021 (Best Tours? June 7 – 15)
  • July 9, 2021 (Best Tours? July 6 – 14)
  • August 8, 2021 (Best Tours? August 5 – 13)
  • September 6, 2021 (Best Tours? September 3 – 11)
  • October 6, 2021 (Best Tours? October 3 – 11)
  • November 4, 2021 (Best Tours? November 1 – 9)
  • December 4, 2021 (Best Tours? December 1 – 9)

Where in Florida Can You Take a Bioluminescence Tour?

glowing bioluminescence on the beachThe beautiful, bright hues of glowing green and blue are not everywhere in Florida. In fact, the Space Coast is one of the only places in the world that you can see bioluminescence in the water. So, if you’re in Brevard County or Orlando this summer, don’t miss out on this spellbinding excursion. You’ll be able to see Florida’s luminous plankton in the canals, open waters, and shores of the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River Lagoon.

Seeing a Whole New World with Wildlife Watersports

Are you ready to see Cocoa Beach’s tranquil bay in a whole new way? Want to experience the after-dark, underwater world of the Thousand Islands? Then Wildlife Watersports is the perfect place for you. Our bioluminescence tours offer visitors and locals the best way to see glowing dinoflagellates and comb jellies on the Space Coast. Check out our available tour dates and book your kayak or boat today. Making magical memories is easy when you’re discovering the stunning, summer adventure of bioluminescence with us!

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The undersigned, as "RENTER" in consideration for the use of the rental equipment identified herein ("rental equipment") and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, voluntarily and knowingly executes this Release and Indemnification Agreement ("Agreement") with the express intention of effecting a complete and total release and indemnification of Wild Life Watersports LLC. (including its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, relatives, agents, servants, employees and assigns), as "COMPANY" as well as effecting other covenants and warranties as follows:

1. Warranties and Acknowledgment. RENTER, as inducement to COMPANY to enter into this Agreement, expressly makes the following warranties and acknowledgments and states that:
a. RENTER has conducted a visual and physical inspection of the rental equipment and has determined that it is in good and safe working condition.
b. If RENTER is executing this release on behalf of any minor children, that RENTER is the parent of guardian of the minor(s) with full authority to supervise the child(ren) and bind them to this Agreement.
c. RENTER, and if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren), is/are familiar with the proper usage and operation of the rental equipment and/or has requested instructions from COMPANY as to the rental equipment's proper usage if RENTER or RENTER'S child(ren) is/are unsure as to the rental equipment's proper usage and operation. RENTER expressly concedes that removal of the rental equipment from COMPANY'S immediate custody and control constitutes an acknowledgement that RENTER, and if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren), have either received full and adequate instruction on the rental equipment's use from COMPANY or waived receipt of these instructions.
d. RENTER fully understand and acknowledges that there exists certain inherent dangers and risks of damage or serious bodily injury, including death, associated with the use and operation of the rental equipment, notwithstanding the exercise of due care. RENTER further represents and warrants that RENTER, and if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren) are in good health, and that RENTER knows of no physical illnesses or limitations preventing RENTER, and if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren) from using the rental equipment in a safe manner, with due care, and only for its intended proper use and purpose; and
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2. Covenants. RENTER, as further inducement to COMPANY to enter into this Agreement, expressly agrees and covenants that RENTER, and if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren), shall be the only person/people allowed to use and operate the rental equipment and that RENTER, and if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren) shall use the rental equipment safely, with due care, and only for its intended and proper use and purpose.

3. Release, Indemnification and Waiver. RENTER, as further inducement to COMPANY to enter into the Agreement, expressly agrees that:
a. RENTER, with the intention of binding himself or herself, legal representatives, heirs, assigns, as well as any minor child upon whose behalf RENTER signs this Agreement, their legal representatives, their heirs and their assigns, hereby expressly, knowingly and voluntarily releases and discharges COMPANY from all claims or demands of injury, loss or damage of any kind, whether in contract or tort, law or equity, fixed or unfixed, matured or unmatured, liquidated or unliquidated, arising out of this Agreement, including but not limited to the use of rental equipment or child passenger apparatus. RENTER herby expressly, knowingly and voluntarily agrees that this release shall be applicable and binding if RENTER, or if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren) 􀁾uffers injury, loss or damage resulting from COMPANY'S NEGLIGENCE OR FAULT. RENTER further agrees that RENTER is barred, on his or her own behalf and on behalf of those claiming through or under RENTER, from bringing any claim or demand against COMPANY for any injury, loss or damage referenced in this paragraph;
b. RENTER further expressly agrees to assume and bear full responsibility for all injury, loss or damage arising out of RENTER'S, and if applicable, RENTER'S child(ren)'s use of the rental equipment, including but not limited to the use of any child passenger apparatus or equipment. RENTER hereby expressly, knowingly and voluntarily agrees to indemnify and hold COMPANY harmless for any and all liability for such injury, loss or damage REGARDLESS of whether the injury, loss or damage results from COMPANY'S NEGLIGENCE OR FAULT.
c. RENTER further expressly agrees to assume and bear full and total responsibility for all damage to or loss of the rental equipment and agrees to fully indemnify COMPANY for any and all costs and expenses incurred by COMPANY for repairing or replacing the rental equipment, child passenger apparatus or other equipment which may become damaged or lost during the RENTER'S, or if applicable, the RENTER'S child(ren)'s possession of said equipment, except for normal wear and tear to the rental equipment or child passenger apparatus.
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