Bioluminescence in Tomales Bay

Our inn overlooks Tomales Bay but on a recent dark October night, we experienced it from a different angle.  Bill and I went on the Blue Waters Kayak bioluminescence paddle.  Bill had seen the phenomenon in waves before but I didn’t know what to expect.  Blue Waters Kayak is an outfit that operates out of Marshall and Inverness. We met a group of fellow kayakers in Marshall, just a 20 minute drive north on Route 1 from our inn. We were taught the basics of kayaking, outfitted with a paddle, a skirt jacket and a skirt for the kayak to keep us dry. We all got into our two man kayaks and paddled across the bay,  We were lucky to have just a little wind. From May until the rains come, there are two types of bioluminescent critters that light up Tomales Bay.  In the dark of the night, you can see the phenomenon in pockets of the bay that are particularly warm, and you dip in the paddle or stir the waters with your hand for a swash of light and sparkles.  The evening turned out to be magical, not only did we see the bioluminescence, we paddled under the sparkling Milky Way, surrounded by the silhouette of Inverness Ridge and the few lights of Marshall.  We had twinkling stars above us and shimmering sparkles beneath us.  What a wonderful night in West Marin.

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