Open Water Trips

Adventures in Open Water in Small Boats

Tropical rainforrest and bioluminescent water

Hello again,

Just took a little side trip to Puerto Rico. It was going to be a shopping trip, but I couldn't resist. I nixed the mall and went to the El Yunque Rainforrest instead. I spent the day exploring the lush rainforrest filled with unique flora and fauna. The Puerto Rican Parrot is almost extinct, with only 46 birds left, but they are increasing in nuber thanks to help from the national park. One thing I learned, according to the park litterature, is that the original inhabitants of Puerto Rico, the Tiano Indians, are credited with inventing the word "canoe." Is that true? I was always thinking it was a Canadian word! :D Seriously, I'd like to hear from you if you have heard differently. I never associated Puerto Rico and canoes. I figured maybe a Cherokee, Creek, or other continental tribe would have been credited with that.

The El Yunque Rainforest has trails that are suitable for all skill levels, and there are waterfalls and clear pools you can dip in after the long hike. I also got to do a little spur-of-the-moment bouldering. There is nothing like being in the rainforrest and hearing the sounds of rare birds and the infamous "coqui" frog and it's "co-kee, co-kee" chirp that it's named for. You feel like a dinosaur is going to come running out at any time, or perhaps a Tiano Indian is going to come running by. It was a wonderful day hiking, and great training for something I've got up my sleeve that I can't talk about yet ;)

While at the national park office I saw an ad for Eco Actions Tours (787-791-7509 or 787-640-7385) that offers night kayaking trips in Fajardo Lagoon. I coulnd't resist. The lagoon is filled with "dinoflagulates." No, that's not a dinosaur fart, that's a single-celled organism that gives off a bioluminescent glow when disturbed. We have them in St. Thomas in RedHook Bay from time to time, but in Fajardo and also Vieques they are more plentiful, and a night kayak trip is a must do. When you dip a paddle it glows blue-green. The hull glows too as it glides through the water. It's a unique experience. When you dive in you glow all over. Fajardo is about an hour's drive from San Juan. Viequez is accessable by ferry boat, and takes a few hours to get to. If going to Viequez, look for Mosquito Bay for night paddling.

If you are into caving, Puerto Rico has the third largest underground cave system in the world, the Camuy Caverns. That will have to wait until next trip. However, I did snag you guys the number... 787-898-3100... for a place that offers rapelling adventures. ;)

The water on Puerto Rico's north shore is very flat, with a very gradual grade to the beaches. Flamenco Beach is the place to go if you want to see the typical Caribbian blue water. It can be quite packed, as it's a favorite of the locals and a tourist spot as well, but it's still a great place to paddle.

Well, I did make it to the mall just long enough to get two shirts and a new pair of board shorts, so now I'm off to test out the board shorts.

Surf's Up!

-Malcolm

P.S. David in Portland, I hope you enjoyed the adventure. Now wake up dude, it's still raining outside and the thermometer has not risen any while you were unconscious! Nah, close your eyes again and you can paddle the kayak and I'll take the surfboard. Now you surf and I'll paddle. Look, there's a conch shell... reach out and grab it David... reeeeaaacchhh ooouuuuttt.... (fading voice, twilight zone music.)

Messages In This Thread

Tropical rainforrest and bioluminescent water
bioluminescent water
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Re: neon paddle test
Bioluminescence is so cool! Interesting read. *NM*
Re: Bioluminescence is so cool! Interesting read.
Wow! *NM*
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Re: Tropical rainforrest and bioluminescent water
Oops... it's "forest" with one "r"... sorry. *NM*