Eyewitness story- Lexi Tzortzis (Calvert Schooling) Oct 22, 2015
I have so much to say but so little time. It all started with a simple conversation.
“What are they?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” Mom replied.
Some things in this world, you just can’t explain. But, I’ll try.
It was another fantastic day in Mexico as we had just sailed around the islands of Espirito Santu, a natural wildlife park, off the coast of La Paz. We swam with the sea lions for an hour or so, and came back into a small cove, big enough only for our 47 ft. catamaran, named Family Circus.
My parents, sister, brother, and I, sat and watched the sun set over the sea, while my two little sisters played inside. The muddy, red cliffs that bordered three sides of the cove got darker and darker, until the only light was coming out of our boat.
You could smell the delicious cooking coming from our tiny kitchen, or galley, as its called on a boat, and I knew dinner was ready. Dad called us to the table for dinner, and we ate. After dinner, we cleared the plates and started to sit down to play cards, when my mom, who was looking at the stars, glanced at the water, and audibly gasped.
“Tristan, Lexi, Kaela, Chris. Come look at this!”
As I leaned over the side of the boat I realized the lifeline netting and night was cold but the heat from my family crowding around me was keeping me warm. Staring Into the glassy water it seemed like it was reflecting the stars. Thousands of surreal shimmering lights in bright neon greens and blues are dancing everywhere in the water.
“What are they?” I ask.
“I don’t know.” Mom answers.
We learned later that the little lights were actually microscopic creatures that produce bioluminescence. The tiny bright organisms seemed like they popped straight out of a movie, one like Avatar where everything is glowing. Bioluminescence is the production of light given off by a living creature. While not technically correct, we started to call them “ocean phosphorescence”, or simply “phosphorescence”.
Watching the sparkles in the water made me feel special and excited to be able to see something that I hadn’t seen before, or wouldn’t have been able to see anywhere else. We watched in fascination for hours, or so it seemed. When I finally got too tired to keep my eyes open, or watch the little blinking creatures, I went to bed. I thought that they would be there tomorrow night. Had I known they would run away, I would have watched them longer. Had I known they would leave, I wouldn’t have gone away.
I dreamt all night of the little glowing creatures, except not in the water. In my dream, it was pitch black all around me, except for little flashing lights everywhere in bright greens and blues.
In the morning when I woke up I felt like I saw the world differently. I tried to walk around and spend more time outdoors. You can hear about something, or see a picture, but to see it for yourself first hand is definitely way better than hearing it from someone else second hand. If you get the chance to, I hope you learned from this experience as I did, and let nature surprise you.
All My Love,