Cool ways to get out on the water this spring: Bioluminescent kayak tours in Florida, fliteboarding in Hawaii

Picture this: It’s after dark and you’re kayaking through Florida’s Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour from Walt Disney World. The sky is so dark that the stars are in clear view. The only noise you hear is your paddle as it slices through the water. You’re already perfectly content. 

Then, a pod of more than 20 dolphins shows up. That, in itself, is enough to get the endorphins going.

But, wait, it gets better. 

When the dolphins exhale, the water spray expelled from their blowholes begins to glow. You are suddenly surrounded by sea sparkles in every direction. As dolphins dart beneath you and beside you they glow a lovely neon blue. Dip your hand in the water, and the brilliant blue shows up yet again. 

It’s all thanks to a large concentration of single-celled bioluminescent organisms called dinoflagellates that bloom here from June to October each year. They light up like fireflies in the water, creating an unforgettable spectacle like something straight out of “Avatar.”

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