“No Man’s Land” sounds like a forbidden country side or lonely desert in the middle of an old historical site. To anyone who knows better here in Tobago, it’s one of the nicest beaches on the island. See for yourself!
Where was the picture above taken? From these seats. I know… I know! Couldn’t you just climb up in one of those right now?
The best portion of this crystal bath tub is the shallow shore that allows you to walk far into the depths. By “depths”, I mean knee deep. If you look at the photo below, Ryan is actually taking a picture of my handstand. You can barely see me, but that’s the point!
I was thankful that I got to chill on No Mans Land during the daylight to fully appreciate our last evening in Tobago. It’s amost bitter-sweet writing about the final excursion as it was the absolute hi-lite of the trip, yet the least caught on camera. Why? The moonlight wouldn’t expose our journey through the dark sea and for the grand finale you would have needed a professional camera and crew to capture the magnitude and brilliance.
Before we get into that, lets begin with the preparation for the event. I’ll start with the drive to get to the starting point. For all of you water sport fans, please contain your drool.
The sun was beginning to set and all of the participants arrived for a run down on where we’re going and what to expect.
This unforgettable tour starts at Pigeon Point and takes you through the Bon Accord Lagoon until you reach No Mans Land (the stunning beach from above). From there, you paddle or kayak through unbelievable glowing water. Read that again… glowing water! I rarely use the word “unbelievable”, but this, this is only what you see on the discovery channel. In fact, when you go to www.standuppaddletobago.com and click on the night tour, Duane has a link to a video explaining this natural occurrence called Bioluminescence (depending on your accent, it sounds like bio-loom-en-es-ence).
Bioluminescence is caused by blooming phytoplankton and can be seen if “all keys are right”. I’m pleased to say, that on this night we had a wonderful group and indeed, all keys were right!
Here’s the first photo taken as we headed to the water each with a glow stick, a floating devise and 2 trustworthy paddlers as our guides. Duane with the unofficial assistance of Ryan made the group (at least speaking for myself) feel safe, informed and encouraged. I’d do it all over again!
From the shore we made our way to No Mans Land, some on paddle boards and others in kayaks. Here are the only photos that turned out blog worthy(ish) from the first stretch.
Finally we made our way to the “glowing water” and I’ll have to admit, at this point I was wondering just how exciting it would be. Hmm…
As we got closer, I could feel my heart rate increasing and my eyes opening wider to try and absorb what I was actually witnessing! The vibrancy was so wonderous I don’t even want to show you the attempted photos. (If you’re even the slightest interested please see the video here or on Duane’s website).
While coasting on your board, the fish beneath you look like highlighters jetting through the water. Every splash you make with your paddle creates a rippling effect of neon lines. Think this alone would be enough? So did I, until he jumped in the water! Surrounding his entire body was a glowing shield of the blooming phytoplankton. I thought this had to be the spike of my thrill but then… then I jumped in! I felt like a child in a life size pool of glow in the dark finger paint. We splashed around commenting on the sorcerer effect and super-human appearance, again like kids would do.
The most powerful moment for me, was when my school-aged giggles went away. I looked at the motion in the water and realized it resembled, to what I think, energy looks like flowing from ones body, an “ora” if you will. I’ll admit to you all, it almost brought tears to my eyes that I was fortunate to experience such a thing and also saddened my heart realizing there’s only a small percentage that would ever get to do the same.
After the life changing swim, we continued the journey around the lagoon until reaching back to the starting point. The final pictures expresse it all! All of us full of life, energy and completely rejuvenated by natures own brilliant playground.
When you make it Tobago, please put this on your “must do” list and give Duane an extra hi-five for me!